Gold in the Rivers of Washington

This GIS is to assist others in locating gold in the State of Washington Rivers. The goal of this research is to highlight 5 rivers in WA, pinpoint mineral deposits, trail access and ultimately to find gold. I utilized ArcMap to bring in the data for all the maps shown. The tools that were used the most in this project were the buffer tool, select by attributes, and the editing feature tool set. The buffer tool was used in the image above to better identify the selected rivers in Washington. Select by attributes tool was used to only select the parts of the river I wanted to highlight. Lastly, the Feature editing tool set was used to remove the unnecessary and irrelevant water features from the map.


Washington Mineral Deposits

Figure 2 is showing the mineral deposits in the State of Washington. These points played a big factor in the river selection process. Although these points are not just depicting gold deposits, when there are minerals present, there is a higher probability of gold. When choosing a river for gold panning, ensuring there are mineral deposits in the area will give you a leg up on the competition.

Washington Trails

Many of the rivers are accessible by only a beaten path (not by a maintained and documented trail); however, the unmaintained trails can be very difficult to traverse depending on the number of people or wildlife accessing the river. Figure three is depicting all the trails in Washington state.

Washington Rivers

Methow River

Figure 4

For the Methow River, the black arrows represent the areas in the river with the highest probability of finding gold while panning. Although the mineral deposits (shown in yellow) are not near the river, it still shows minerals are in the area. Coordinate -120.352794°, 48.561643°, due to the sharp bend in the river would have a higher probability of finding gold.


South Fork Stillaguamish River

Figure 5

The South Fork of the Stillaguamish river has fairly high flow during the Spring melt. To work a sluice box efficiently one would have to wait until later in the Summer; however, with the mineral deposits showing close to the river, there is a good chance to discover gold.


Sultan River

The Sultan river is a great place to prospect; although, beware of mineral rights as there are several claims on the Sultan river. This river in the past has produced a fair amount of gold and is worth spending the time to run several buckets of material through a sluice. Access to the river is via a beating path, as there are no maintained trails to make your way down to the rivers edge.


North Fork Skykomish River

The North Fork Skykomish river is also a great place to try your luck. Near coordinate -121.407321°, 47.897894°, there is a documented maintained trail for easy access shown in red on figure 7. The four locations on the river may produce some flakes, as the black arrows are designating drastic bends in the river.

South Fork Snoqualmie River

The South Fork of the Snoqualmie is a high volume river and must be prospected in the Summer months and up river as far as possible. Lat/Long -121.491744°, 47.396531° is the most up stream location to potential find gold and has the most drastic bend in the river. Just up stream from this location is a documented maintained trail show in figure 8.

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