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Metal Detecting in Colorado – Coins, Relics, and Buried Treasure

With huge open spaces and a rich history, Colorado has so many great places that you can go metal detecting.

As with many states that have a history of mining, there are old mines with gold, silver and other precious metal that can be discovered, old settlements with relics to be searched, and stories about buried treasure waiting to be discovered.

Metal Detecting in Colorado

If you are interested in metal detecting in Colorado there are many places you can explore. The following are some ideas on places you should metal detect:


Metal Detecting in Colorado State Parks


Colorado has several state parks spread all across the state. Activities regarding recreational use of the park are determined by the park managers. Because of this, some state parks allow metal detecting while others don’t. You may also need a permit.

Respect any rules that state rules against metal detecting, but otherwise be respectful, always fill your holes and leave things better than you found them. Some state parks also restrict areas where you can metal detect even if they permit you to carry out the activity within the park.


Metal Detecting on National Forest Lands


In Colorado, most of the mountainous areas away from cities are managed by the US Forest Service. Some of these areas are home to old mines and early settlements and are perfect sites for metal detecting. The Forest Services allows metal detecting on most of these lands; however, it is important that you take note of any special restrictions that may be in place.

For example, some forest lands are designated as wilderness areas and thus metal detecting is not allowed.

In some areas private mining claims are found on the forest lands. You should take note of such and avoid encroaching on private claims.

Read: 4 Things to Know BEFORE you Buy a Mining Claim


Metal Detecting in Ghost Towns and Old Mines


Colorado is also home to a good number of old mines, ghost towns, abandoned settlements and railroad stations. All these are rich places where you can discover some real treasure.

The key to metal detecting in abandoned places and ghost towns is to do your research and find out what are some of the less explored places. Visit local libraries, read about the local history, search online and join forums to find information on the best places to prospect.

Quite a number of old mines and ghost towns are private property and thus you will have to get their permission of the owner before starting your metal detecting. In some cases, such places are on public land and you will have to follow rules that govern metal detecting on such lands.

As you search for ghost towns and old mines also consider abandoned railroads and railroad stations as they are some of the places you can find valuable relics and buried treasure. The early railroads that go through Colorado are some of the oldest infrastructures in the state. The men that built them would camp along the tracks as they were working, and they lost coins and other interesting relics.

Also Read: 8 Ghost Towns in Colorado with Abandoned Gold & Silver Mines

And: Gems in Colorado – Where to Find Topaz and Rhodochrosite


Lost Treasures of Colorado


There are many stories about buried treasures in Colorado. As with many other states, most of the treasures are thought to be hidden in caves, old mines, and ghost towns.

Most of the buried treasures yet to be found were buried by the outlaws in the early days of settlement in the state. Depending on where you are in the state you can get information on the hidden treasure by doing some research online and reading about the local history.

Some of Colorados hidden treasures that you can look for include:

*The Robber’s Roost Treasure of $60,000 in gold coins buried by outlaws somewhere near Horse tooth Reservoir to the west of Fort Collins.

*The Jamestown treasure made up of tens of thousand dollars in gold coins buried in several places around Jamestown in the 1930s.

*The Lost Platinum Mine that is thought to be located somewhere near the Dinosaur National Monument.

*The Jim Reynolds Gang Treasure that is made up of $175,000 in silver coins buried in 1860s by the Reynolds Gang on the South Plate River near the Hardcart Creek.

*A treasure of $50,000 in silver and gold coins buried by the Jesse James Gang near Half Moon Gulch and the Gold Hill treasure in the abandoned settlements in Salina, Crisman, Sunshine, and Gold Hill.


Metal Detecting For Gold in Colorado


Most of the gold mining in Colorado was in gulches, creeks and in rivers. Lots of rivers and creeks in the state have been dredged in search for gold, but these dredges missed a lot of gold. There is still a lot of potential of finding something valuable in the waterways in the state.

You can also find gold in the tailing piles of old mine dumps. There are thousands of these mines throughout Colorado.

Colorado has a lot of gold, but it doesn’t generally produce very big nuggets. Small “pickers” weighing in the ¼ gram to ½ gram size are much more common to find, and because of this a very sensitive metal detector is very important. Two really good units for nugget hunting in Colorado are the Fisher Gold Bug 2 and the Makro Gold Racer. I’ve used both of these metal detectors, and they are exceptional on small gold.

Gold Panning in Colorado

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