Lake Tahoe Gold | Scan, explore and hunt for treasure

Lake Tahoe is one of the most popular vacation destinations in northern California. So much natural beauty, crystal clear water, granite peaks and stunning views that are out of this world!

Since it is located in Northern California, it is not uncommon for people to bring a pan of gold when vacationing here.

You might expect there to be a lot of gold, but there’s actually less than you think. Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area lie outside the famous gold zones of the Sierras. But don’t worry, just a short drive will take you to the heart of some of the richest mining regions in the country!

Go West Young Man!

The source of gold that made the Sierra Nevada Mountains famous is not in the high peaks but in the western foothills.

As you lose altitude, you begin to enter the Mother Lode region of California, where the gold rush to the state began. There was so much gold in this area, one could easily find some even more than 170 years after the first discovery at Sutter’s Mill.

Comstock Lode silver and gold

Of course, another great gold and silver rush occurred near Lake Tahoe, and those were the famous discoveries of the Comstock Lode. Billions of dollars worth of minerals were mined in the surrounding hills and Virginia City.

Although the area has become more famous for its exceptional silver reserves, there is also a lot of gold in this area. In fact, the discovery of silver ore that led to the Comstock Rush was made by a gold miner. He is searching for gold, but is struggling to deal with a dark mysterious ore that is clogging his crevices. That ore eventually became rich silver.
​Interesting geology

For an adventurous gold prospector, it may be interesting that an ancient placer mine once flowed from Northeastern Nevada through the American River area. Millions and millions of years of uplift, fracturing, avalanches and mass wasting have dispersed and buried it. These ancient pebbles could easily be as rich as those found in the foothills of the Sierras.

Small scattered deposits of gold-rich material may certainly be undiscovered there. Some of it may be at higher altitudes outside of known areas. My time exploring California Gold surprised me by how many untapped gold mines are out there.

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