Gold Panning in the Redding Hills

There’s gold in them thar Redding, California, hills. Gold was first discovered near Redding in 1848. Since then over 2 million ounces of gold have been mined and that number continues to rise as the number of prospectors continues to rise.

Gold was first discovered near Redding, California, in 1848. Since then, over 2 million ounces of gold have been mined, and that number continues to rise as the number of gold panning prospectors hoping to get rich grows and grows. These prospectors have good reason to think they might hit the mother load.

Educational Experience for the Family

One of the great adventures available in the areas around Redding that is inexpensive, exciting, fun, and educational is a day of gold panning. The Shasta State Historical Park offers a tour of what remains of Shasta City, a gold rush town straight out of the Old West and just 10 minutes from Redding. Take your gold panning equipment with you, not far from the park is Whiskey Creek where an eight-pound nugget was found in 1880!

Equipment and Provisions

There isn’t much needed to get the real experience, just a gold pan and a sluice box. A sluice box is used to separate the dirt, sand, and rock from the gold. If you buy a sluice box it can be expensive, but you can build it for a lot cheaper, and you can make it out of lightweight material so it is easy to carry to remote locations. Detailed instructions for constructing a sluice box can be found online, as well as stores where you can get your provisions. There are many stores in Redding that have all the equipment you need for the beginner and the expert. One of them is The Miners Cache. They have everything you will need to satisfy even the most serious gold panner.

Where to Go

Pack a lunch and take the family to some of our beautiful creeks. No permit is required for low impact gold panning in most areas; however, if you want to really get serious about this, or you want to incorporate a camping trip into your gold panning experience, the Butte Creek Recreation Area gives visitors the opportunity to “stake a claim” for up to 30 days at five dollars per day for up to eight people. There is a camping area nearby, or you can camp in your reserved site. There are many recreation activities nearby such as mountain biking and hiking trails. Even if you come away with no gold, your family will enjoy the outdoors, the cold creek water, and experience firsthand some history of the California Gold Rush. Contact the Bureau of Land Management field office to find out the best places to go.

Image Source: Flickr/mazaletel


Debbie is a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker/ C&C Properties in Redding, California where she is a consistent award winner in sales. Debbie has led her company in innovation by video creation and advertising ideas. Debbie works with her partner, Diane Sorgatz and together they are known as "The Home Girls".

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