Montana is a large state with a colorful history and plenty of hidden treasures that you can find with a metal detector. Most of the early history of Montana started with the early gold rushes of the 1860’s, along with the early ranchers and settlers who made a living off of the land.
A rich history with old mines, abandoned ranches, and historic towns makes Montana a wonderful places to metal detect.
Amazing finds have been found all over the state over the years. For metal detectorists, there are still plenty of old coins, silverware, metal relics, and other hidden treasure across the state. You could even explore the many gold mines in Montana to possibly unearth a gold nugget!
Before you head out prospecting in Montana it is important that you understand the laws that govern such activities. There are various antiquities laws to keep in mind. There is also quite a bit of private land in Montana, which often have great areas to metal detect once you have gotten permission.
To help you get started, here are some ideas on where you could go metal detecting:
Metal Detecting Montana’s Boom Towns
Many ghost towns in Montana are boom towns that were born out of gold mining activities. Some of these areas produced millions of dollars in gold, but the old-timers didn’t find it all! The boom towns present a great opportunity for people to use metal detectors to discover gold nuggets. The best places to look are around old mines and along the rivers and creeks that historically produced gold nuggets.
Early settlers in the United States used to bury their fortune under their cabins because the banking system was not yet well developed as they are today and there were too many outlaws trying to steal from hard working miners.
For a variety of reasons, these buried caches were sometimes lost and lies somewhere in the ruins near old homesteads and within the ghost towns now waiting to be discovered.
By metal detecting ghost towns there is always a possibility that you could stumble upon a fortune in gold and silver coins. It has happened before by others before you!
To find the old mining towns to explore, read the history of some of the small dwindling towns in the area and you will be shocked to find out that once they were thriving mining towns. It can be really surprising to see places that only have one or two dilapidated old building were once full of hundred of hopeful gold miners.
Also talk to fellow prospectors and visit forums on both metal detecting and treasure hunting in your state. There is lots of good information about mining towns in Montana. Do your research and you will likely be rewarded.
Lost Treasures of Montana
Montana has its own fair share of stories about hidden treasure. As a detectorist, there is nothing more thrilling than the thought of discovering a lost treasure buried by an outlaw.
Just a few of the “yet to be discovered” treasures worth looking out for include:
*The Gold Treasure of Phillipsburg that is to have been buried in 1873 by a gold prospector along the banks of the Flint River near Phillipsburg
*The Henry Plummer’s Treasure buried along the Missouri River close to Haystack Butte (there are many treasure stories associated with the infamous Plummer Gang)
*The William Kittering treasure buried in Fort Peck
*The Flemming Treasure buried beneath a cabin along the Bell River.
There are lots of other treasures hidden throughout the state, to find where they are supposed to be, visit forums, research online, read treasure books and talk to the locals.
Metal Detecting on Public Lands
Most federal lands in Montana allow metal detecting activities. Lands managed by the BLM and Forest Service in Montana do not require a special permit for metal detectors. This means that you have access to a lot of great places that you can find really valuable treasures. Just be aware of the antiquities laws that may limit your ability to dig historic items.
Before you head out of any area of interest you need to verify the status of the land. Don’t just assume the land is public because there are no signs saying otherwise. Also, check the laws that govern recreational parks as some public lands have parks and there are special rules about disturbing the vegetation and other things.
Exploring Old Gold Mines in Montana
Montana has quite a number of old mines that still has the potential for metal detectors to find something of value. Not only gold and other precious metals, but also old relics that were left behind by the miners.
Check out some of the early towns and areas around the mines as they still have lots of treasure below the ground.
For example, Helena is an old mining town and many undeveloped areas around the city present a great opportunity for you to discover some real treasure. The area around the old Alder Gulch and other gold and silver rich mines still has lots of gold left to find.
Also Read: Where to Dig for Sapphires in Montana
Montana is crisscrossed by old railroads. Many of these railroads have been abandoned and the rail lines removed. However, the rail tracks are still visible with some being used as hiking and biking trails.
If you want to find lost old coins and other treasures then these are the places you should metal detect.
The men that built the rail lines camped along the tracks as they were building them. The left behind a lot of relics and coins. Abandoned rail stations are also places where coins were exchanged and there are chances that some got lost and are hidden somewhere below the ground surface.
Metal Detecting in Montana
There is great opportunity to go metal detecting in Montana. If you are looking for rare and historical items then the key is to do your research. Locate the places where the early settlers of Montana lived and you will be well on your way to finding coins, relics and buried treasures.