Panning for Gold & Gems in the Georgia Mountains

Did you know that the northern part of Georgia was home to one of the earliest and largest gold rushes in the USA?

History of North Georgia’s Gold Rush

Although Native Americans had known of nearby gold for generations, the natural resource went largely unnoticed until news of a discovery near Dahlonega in 1828. Gold fever spread quickly through the area, and Georgia’s gold rush began in 1829 as prospectors arrived to stake their claims. By the spring of 1830, there were 4,000 people working along the Yahoola Creek alone.

Best Gold Panning Georgia Mountains

Find the best gold panning option for your group in the Georgia Mountains

During the Gold Lottery of 1832, Georgia distributed gold-producing land previously owned by Cherokees to eligible residents of the state. Tensions increased between the two groups, and though the Cherokees ultimately won a court case upholding their sovereignty, it did not stop the forced Cherokee Removal of 1838 on the Trail of Tears.

The booming gold rush towns suffered from a limited circulation of currency, and in 1835 Congress authorized the federal Branch Mint at Dahlonega. The Dahlonega Mint opened in 1838 and produced almost 1.5 million gold coins until closing 31 years later.

The mining industry started to suffer when deposit yields dropped in the early 1840s. The 1848 discovery of gold in California then drove many miners to seek their fortunes out west. Georgia’s gold industry took a further blow during the Civil War and the Dahlonega Mint closed in 1861.

Map of the Georgia Gold Belts from 1909

Map of the Georgia gold belts from 1909

Although the heyday of Georgia’s Gold Rush has long passed, commercial mining continued into the 20th century and panning for gold is still popular today.

 

Historic Gold Sites in the Georgia Mountains

There are many gold-related historic sites throughout the North Georgia mountains. Stop at historical markers throughout the area to learn more about places including Gold Diggers Road, Findley Ridge, and more.

Exhibit at Dahlonega Gold Museum in North Georgia - photo ExploreGeorgia.org

Gold Mining Exhibit at Dahlonega Gold Museum, Georgia [photo ExploreGeorgia.org]

Chestatee Diving Bell

The 1875 Chestatee River diving bell is a unique example of innovative gold mining methods from almost 150 years ago. Visit this free outdoor exhibit to see this diving bell that laid hidden at the bottom of the Chestatee River for over a century.

  • Address: 8 Warwick Street, Dahlonega, GA
  • Website: lumpkinhistory.org/diving-bell
  • TripAdvisor: rated 4.0 (75+ reviews)

 

Dahlonega Gold Museum

A great introduction to the history of gold in Dahlonega and North Georgia is at the Dahlonega Gold Museum. The museum is located in the middle of Dahlonega’s town square in the former Lumpkin County Courthouse. The courthouse was built in 1836 and is one of the oldest courthouse buildings in Georgia.

  • Phone: +1 (706) 864-2257
  • Address: 1 Public Square, Dahlonega, GA
  • Website: gastateparks.org/DahlonegaGoldMuseum
  • Facebook: @DGoldMuseumPark rated 5.0 (3 reviews)
  • TripAdvisor: rated 4.5 (385+ reviews)

 

Finding Gold in North Georgia

There are many places and ways to find gold in the North Georgia mountains. Find the option that best suits the preferences of your group and head out to strike gold!

Options for finding gold in North Georgia include visiting a gold panning tourist attraction, using a shovel and pan to search for gold in approved streams in the National Forests, searching on private land (with permission), or joining a club that has access to leased gold mining sites.

 

Gold Prospecting Locations

Some local prospectors will tell you that there is gold in about every creek and river in North Georgia. Indeed, Georgia’s gold can be found along gold belt deposits in many areas of North Georgia including:

  • Rivers: Chattahoochee River, Chestatee River, Etowah River, Little River, Nacoochee River, Tallapoosa River
  • Creeks: Baggs Creek, Calhoun Creek, Canton Creek, Cavender Creek, Coosa Creek, Dukes Creek, James Creek, McClusky Creek, Sixes Creek, Tesnatee Creek, Yahoola Creek
    • Plus many other unnamed creeks and tributaries of the rivers
  • Mines: most area mines are no longer commercially mining for gold, but some do offer tours or special dig events

 

Recreational panning for gold is allowed in stream beds in the National Forests as long as significant stream disturbance does not occur and when only a small hand shovel or trowel and a pan are used. Call the Blue Ridge District Ranger at +1 (706) 745-6928 or the Chattooga River District Ranger at +1 (706) 754-6221 to determine whether the mineral rights of a stream are publicly or privately owned or if any restrictions have been placed on the stream.

Dukes Creek Panning for Gold in Georgia Mountains

Dukes Creek was an early hot spot for gold panning in the Georgia Mountains

Gold prospecting maps may help save time finding suitable gold panning locations. Learn more about Georgia gold maps from Gold Trek Maps and Gold Maps.

More serious gold hunters should consider joining one of the gold prospecting associations. Membership in these clubs usually includes access to private leased lands where members can search for gold. Visit the websites of Weekend Gold Miners, Gold Prospectors Association of America, or Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association to learn about unique benefits of membership in these clubs.

Always be sure to follow local laws and respect personal property rights (do not search for gold on private property without explicit permission to do so).

 

North Georgia Cabin Rentals Where You Can Pan for Gold

These North Georgia mountain rental properties allow budding prospectors to pan for gold right at home!

 

Dog-Friendly Renovated Cabin on Chestatee River

This North Georgia vacation rental is located directly on the Chestatee River and is large enough to sleep 12 people. Includes several gold pans that you can use to pan for gold directly on the property (at least 2 guests have already found gold at the property!).

Dog-Friendly Rental on Chestatee River includes Several Pans for Gold Panning

Dog-Friendly Rental on Chestatee River includes Several Pans for Gold Panning

Location near Dahlonega and within 5 miles of local attractions including vineyard and zoo.

 

Private Waterfront Log Cabin on Chestatee River

This cabin is located on a bend of the Chestatee River on 9 acres of woods. Close by the river/waters edge, when the river is not in flood stage you may set down a chair on the sandbar to fish, swim, or pan for gold. A cantilevered deck with a stone fireplace stretches over the river.

Riverfront Log Cabin Rental with Sandbar to Pan for Gold

Riverfront Log Cabin Rental with Sandbar to Pan for Gold

Located 7 miles from Dahlonega, multiple vineyards, and attractions. No smoking, no parties, and no pets are allowed in this North Georgia rental.

 

Restored Vintage Farmhouse Cottage on Horse Farm with Creek

The Flying Duck Farmhouse is a restored vintage farmhouse located on 160 private acres at the foot of Three Sisters Mountains. Enjoy a short walk to the large deck overlooking a stream — a perfect spot to pan for gold or have evening cocktails in the hammock or rocking chairs.

Restored Vintage Farmhouse Cottage Rental with Stream to Pan for Gold

Restored Vintage Farmhouse Cottage Rental with Stream to Pan for Gold

Location is less than 4 miles from downtown Dahlonega, multiple vineyards, and local attractions (Consolidated Gold Mine is 3.3 miles away). No smoking, no parties, and no pets are allowed in this North Georgia rental.

 

Gold Panning Equipment

Carry highly rated gold panning equipment to best set yourself up for success:

 

Note that when panning within the US Forest Service that you may not collect for commercial purposes and in-stream sluices and suction dredges are not allowed. Visit the US Forest Service website to learn more about gold panning, rockhounding, and fossil collecting in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest.

 

Map of Gold Attractions in North Georgia Mountains

Use the interactive map below to find unique gold attractions in the Georgia mountains.

 

North Georgia Gold Panning and Gem Mining Attractions

Enjoy a fun family activity and potentially strike it rich! Choose to visit a local stream and test your luck, or go with a more sure bet at one of the gold panning / gem mining attractions in North Georgia.

 

North Georgia Gold Panning & Gold Mine Exhibits

These attractions include gold and mining exhibits in addition to gold and gem panning.

Consolidated Gold Mine Dahlonega, GA

Consolidated Gold Mine Dahlonega, GA [photo ExploreGeorgia.org]

Consolidated Gold Mine 

Enjoy mine tours, gold panning, gemstone mining, and gem cutting at the largest hard rock gold mine east of the Mississippi. Founded in 1896, this mine goes 200 feet underground where your tour guide will demonstrate how miners blasted quartz veins to uncover huge deposits of gold. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Phone: +1 (706) 864-8473
  • Address: 185 Consolidated Gold Mine Road, Dahlonega, GA
  • Website: consolidatedgoldmine.com
  • Facebook: @consolidatedgoldminedahlonega rated 5.0 (350+ reviews)
  • TripAdvisor: rated 4.5 (1,075+ reviews)
    • Rated the #1 thing to do in Dahlonega

 

Crisson Gold Mine 

Crisson Gold Mine was established in 1847 and is an open-pit gold mine that was worked commercially until the 1980s. View their antique equipment including a 130-year-old stamp mill (rock crusher) that is still used to crush quartz rock containing gold. For those looking to take their gold panning hobby to the next level, Crisson Gold Mine is the largest dealer of mining equipment in the southeast.

Enjoy gold panning, gem grubbing, wagon rides, and bring lunch to enjoy on their picnic tables. Plus, if you think you may have found gold on your property, bring your own quartz and use the rock crusher to see if you have gold on your own property ($20 for 1/2 bucket, $40.00 for full bucket).

  • Phone: +1 (706) 864-6363
  • Address: 2736 Morrison Moore Pkwy E, Dahlonega, GA
  • Website: crissongoldmine.com
  • Facebook: @crissongoldmine rated 4.9 (75+ reviews)
  • TripAdvisor: rated 4.5 (400+ reviews)
    • Rated the #2 thing to do in Dahlonega

 

North Georgia Gold Panning and Gem Grubbing Attractions

These gold panning attractions allow visitors to purchase a pre-filled bucket of gems and gold. Take your bucket to their panning / sifting areas to search for treasures in your bucket.

How to panning for gold Dahlonega Ga

Learn How to Pan for Gold and Gems [photo ExploreGeorgia.org]

Aska Mining Company

Aska Mining Company is located on the Toccoa River in Blue Ridge and offers gold panning, gem mining, river floats (Toccoa River tubing), gift shop, and a café. Veteran-owned business offers a 10% discount for active and retired veterans, law enforcement officers, and first responders.

  • Phone: +1 (706) 258-4854
  • Address: 8436 Aska Road, Blue Ridge, GA
  • Website: askaminingcompany.com
  • Facebook: @askaminingco rated 5.0 (30+ reviews)
  • Instagram: @askamining
  • TripAdvisor: rated 5.0 (35+ reviews)

 

Dukes Creek Gold & Ruby Mines

Pan for gold and gems at this mine and shop for local treats in the gift shop. Gold comes from nearby Dukes Creek – the site of the first major Gold Rush in the USA.

  • Phone: +1 (706) 878-2625
  • Address: 6145 GA-75, Sautee Nacoochee, GA
  • Website: dukescreek.com
  • Facebook: @DukesCreekGoldAndGemMines rated 5.0 (10+ reviews)
  • TripAdvisor: rated 4.5 (125+ reviews)
    • Rated #1 of Sights and Landmarks in Helen

 

Gold ‘n Gem Grubbin’

NOTE: the Mining and Camping location is closed until further notice, but gold buckets and gem bags may still be purchased in their online store.

Gold ‘n Gem Grubbin’ was North Georgia’s last commercially operating Gold Mine. Formerly a productive part of the Loud Mine which supplied $2M of the $7M of minted gold bullion coins at the nearby Dahlonega Mint.

  • Phone: +1 (706) 865-5454
  • Address: 75 Gold Nugget Lane, Cleveland, GA (currently closed)
  • Website: goldngemgrubbin.com
  • TripAdvisor: rated 4.0 (150+ reviews)

 

Outpost Gold and Gem

Search for treasure in your choice of buckets of gold, gemstones, and fossils. Southwestern outpost and gift shop on site.

  • Phone: +1 (706) 878-5065
  • Address: 7901 South Main Street, Helen, GA
  • Website: outpostgoldandgems.com
  • Facebook: @outppostgoldandgem rated 5.0 (40+ reviews)
  • TripAdvisor: rated 4.5 (90+ reviews)

 

Talking Rock General

Enjoy gold panning, gemstone mining, and fossil digs. Gift shop and ice cream on site (mini golf is coming soon).

  • Phone: +1 (706) 253-GEMS (4367)
  • Address: 5119 Hwy 136 W, Talking Rock, GA
  • Website: talkingrockgeneral.com
  • Facebook: @talkingrockgeneral rated 4.8 (15+ reviews)
  • TripAdvisor: rated 4.5 (5+ reviews)

 

North Georgia Gem Grubbing Attractions

The following gem grubbing attractions do not offer the option to pan for gold, but you can still have fun gem grubbing along with other activities like feeding goats, fishing, and playing mini golf!

Goats on the Roof Gem Mining in Tiger, GA

Goats on the Roof Gem Mining Area in Tiger, GA

 

Cohutta Cove Mini Golf

Cohutta Cove Mini Golf offers gem mining and miniature golf, along with ice cream, coffees, and drinks.

  • Phone: +1 (706) 946-1920
  • Address: 64 Dunbarton Farm Road, Blue Ridge, GA
  • Website: cohuttacoveminigolf.com
  • Facebook: @CohuttaCoveMiniGolf rated 4.7 (15+ reviews)
  • Groupon: @cohutta-cove-mini-golf rated 4.2 (25+ Groupon reviews)
  • TripAdvisor: rated 4.5 (55+ reviews)

 

Goats on the Roof

Tourist attraction featuring goats that walk up ramps, around play areas, and (of course) on the roof of the buildings! This souvenir shop has loads of cheeky goat-themed products as well as local mementos and snacks for sale. Let kids feed the goats, enjoy the small playground area, and try their luck at the gem mining.

  • Phone: +1 (706) 782-2784
  • Address: 3026 U.S. 441 South, Tiger, GA
  • Website: goats-on-the-roof.com
  • Facebook: @GoatsontheRoofGA rated 4.9 (180+ reviews)
  • TripAdvisor: rated 4.5 (240+ reviews)
    • Rated #1 thing to do in Tiger

 

The Lilly Pad Village Miniature Golf and Gem Mining

The Lilly Pad Village offers gem mining, mini-golf, and fishing. They take pride in being the “most generous, comfortable, and educational gem mining experience in Blue Ridge.” Free decks and picnic tables are available for guests.

  • Phone: +1 (706) 534-1317
  • Address: 24 Adelaide Drive, Blue Ridge, GA
  • Website: lillypadvillage.com
  • Facebook: @lillypadvillage rated 5.0 (45+ reviews)
  • TripAdvisor: rated 4.5 (270+ reviews)

 

Further Reading About Panning For Gold in Georgia

Learn even more about how to pan for gold and find gold in Georgia with these highly-rated books.

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Best Gold Panning Georgia Mountains

Best Gold Panning Georgia Mountains

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What is your favorite place to hunt for gold in North Georgia?

76 Responses

  1. Groomy Dude says:

    Hello Alyce,

    I am actually sitting in the Smokey Mountains as I write this comment. I reside in Indiana and find myself in the mountains regularly. I absolutely love it in the mountains. My wife and our dogs enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities and it is nice to have a cabin to come back to for all the comforts of home after a long day in the woods. 

    I am going to check out some of these offers you have here for the next time we are out. I am more than willing to add a couple of hours to our trip to try something new. I would enjoy being outside in GA. I have actually panned for gold on my property in southern IN and found a few flakes but never anything of a substantial amount. It is really fun to do. 

    It may be in the article and I will find it in my research before I book anything but can you say if the cabins near the creek have stuff to pan for gold? Should I bring my own tools?

    Cool stuff here, looking forward to this adventure!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Chad

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Chad, Sounds like some great adventures are ahead for you! There is one cabin that conveniently provides gold panning equipment, but otherwise, you will need to bring or purchase your own supplies. Best of luck!

  2. Anna says:

    This sounds like a really fun adventure. I never considered panning for gold on a vacation, but now that I know it’s an option, this is definitely something to consider for myself and my family.

    I really appreciate the planning details which provide useful information. The short history lesson adds even more interest! 

    Mostly, I especially like that you have included the dog-friendly cabin suggestions. 🙂

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Anna, I think a lot of people are surprised that panning for gold is still something that people can do today. I’m so glad to hear you found some useful information here and I hope you find a great cabin for your family (including the dog!). 

  3. Joseph Stasaitis says:

    I never realized that there were gold sites in the Georgia Mountains. I was just aware of the Appalachian Trail. I appreciate learning about Dahlonega Gold Museum as I enjoy history and museums very much. Your article provides plenty of valuable information on where to prospect for gold. It’s also good to know about the prospecting maps and available cabins. Lots of exhibits and attractions to check out as well. You have provided a wealth of information in this article.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Joseph, I think a lot of people are surprised to learn of Georgia’s gold history. The Dahlonega Gold Museum is a great place to learn even more when you are in town for a visit!

  4. AL. S. says:

    Very interesting. I would not have thought Georgia was a place to pan for gold. As a kid I always went gold mining with my dad and this is something that I could definitely do with my kids. Georgia is very close to us, so a trip to try our hand at panning for gold would be fun. I did not know that panning for gold in streams in national parks was allowed. This is very good information to know. Thanks for all the information.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Al, Gold panning is allowed in the National Forests with a few exceptions, but I’m not sure that the same is true for National Parks. There are a lot of fun places to pan for gold in Georgia and you never know if you’ll be the next person to find a sizeable and valuable nugget!

  5. Cynthia says:

    I had friends who mined for gold here in Maine but I had no idea about gold located in Georgia.  It’s a fun hobby that many enjoy but I don’t know anyone who’s “struck it rich”!  Nonetheless, I think it would be fun to see what I can find.  I would love to visit Dukes Gold and Ruby Mines because, honestly, who needs gold when I can mine for rubies?  Or at least buy some in the gift shop… Thanks for posting!

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Cynthia, I have never earned much from the gold I’ve panned either, so it is good that it is still an enjoyable way to spend time with friends and family. 🙂 

  6. Joyce Easton says:

    Thank you for this excellent idea of your article, to show the place where possible to find the God. I live here in the Philippines, and I heard my people doing exactly what you do there, but I believe we are not allowed to visit the panning area as a bit dangerous. But here in your article, it seems it’s good to visit and have a good adventure there. And to learn how to do panning of the gold in your area in North Georgia. Thank you so much for sharing.

    All the best,

    Joyce

    • Alyce says:

      Hello Joyce! I would not recommend exploring just any old mine that you may find in the woods, but panning at the edge of a slow-moving river shouldn’t be considered too risky.

      If you’re interested in learning about recent explorations of mines in the USA, Brent Underwood has a fun YouTube channel called “Ghost Town Living” where he explores the ghost town Cerro Gordo, California

      Brent purchased the abandoned mining town a few years ago with the goal of restoring and rebuilding it into a resort town. His videos are a fun mix of exploring things that he finds on his property (old mines, old trails, ruins of old buildings, etc.) and sharing the history he learns about the area. Enjoy!

  7. Lisa says:

    I lived in Atlanta for about ten years, and never had any idea about the rich gold mining history in North Georgia. This webpage seems very comprehensive. It makes me wish I had gone up north to check out the attractions when I was living nearby. I especially like that you have highlighted a few cabins to stay in up in the mountains. They seem very economical compared to cabins in Utah, where I live now. Have you ever panned for gold? And if so, did you ever find any? Is it enjoyable even when you don’t find any gold to spend the day in nature with hope in your heart that you will find something valuable? I can imagine that it is.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Lisa, The gold on top of the capitol building in Atlanta was mined from Dahlonega, so even if the state’s history isn’t totally obvious, it is nice that it is there to enjoy. 🙂

      I have panned for gold at the tourist gold panning locations, but I have never taken my own equipment and panned for gold on my own in a river or stream. The tourist locations make it very easy to find gold — everyone gets to leave with their own vial of the gold they panned. The tourist locations aren’t likely to have the bigger nuggets though — you’ll want to go out on your own or to a group dig for the best chances of striking it rich!

  8. Geoff says:

    This is a wonderful post.  This is so difficult from the usual holiday.

    I think that it would be a really good alternative to the usual breaks that I go on.  It would be such fun for anyone.  Families or groups of friends would have so much fun and laughter as they try to be the first to find some gold.

    A tour of the consolidated gold mine would definitely be one place I would want to visit.  The history and stories I’m sure would be fascinating.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Geoff, The tour of the Consolidated gold mine is a great way to learn more about the local gold industry and it certainly makes for a unique way to spend time while on vacation!

  9. Leahrae says:

    I lived in Alaska for 22 years, and know all about the Alaska Gold rush.  But I suppose I never thought about one any where else.  So this was interesting information and a lot of parallels to the gold rush in Alaska.  Oh, it would be so relaxing and fun to stay in one of the cabins you have listed.  

  10. MrBizOp says:

    This is a very well thought out article. I certainly learned a few things. I never knew about the trail of tears. Such a sad thing. I love that you used quick article navigation links. 

    I could take a page or two from your book for my own website. Absolutely professional. 

    Now I want to bring my wife and dog and go panning for gold…lol

    Wishing you success in all you do, Joshua Horton

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Joshua, I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the article and found the layout of the website to be helpful. Thanks so much for your feedback!

  11. Sophie says:

    Hi there,

    I love all the information given in this post. 🙂 This would be something I would love to do with the little ones if I ever get the chance to visit Georgia. You’ve added another item to my bucket list I think lol! The history is quite sad to think about, but  it’s great that this information is still available to be shared so that we know the origins and the roots of how gold panning started there. Thanks for teaching me something new today! 🙂 

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Sophie, The North Georgia mountains definitely have a rich history that includes many tragedies. I’m glad you enjoyed learning more about Georgia’s gold and can make a visit soon!

  12. Lana says:

    wow, I never thought to have camped on a gold mining site or visiting a gold museum. I guess this could be a nice idea for the next travel list. More when I can experience mining my own gold. But for the mining and digging activity, I do not need to carry extra tools right? I mean, they must have the tools for rent? I will not buy the tools just for one time and not planning to do that either for the rest of my career.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Lana, Whether or not you need tools depends on what type of experience you prefer. Since it doesn’t sound like you want to purchase any tools, then you should try the gold mine attractions which will provide everything you need on site. Enjoy!

  13. Kelly says:

    Sounds like the cherokees had it real tough in 1838. The trail of tears, it sounds so sad. 

    I didn’t realise Gold panning still happened in today’s world. This is really interesting and gosh, that private waterfront log cabin with a hot tub sounds like the perfect place for me and my human to discover the history behind it. What better place to be when learning about something new and interesting than in the lands themselves.

    Now I have a burning desire to visit Georgia and a bigger desire to read up on this trail of tears.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Kelly, the history of Georgia during the Gold Rush had all kinds of interesting elements and actions with long-lasting effects. I feel like I barely scratched the surface in the article, but I’m so glad to hear that it’s piqued your interest to do some further research. A lot can be learned from reading, but hopefully you’ll get to visit and see these sites in person soon!

    • Michael says:

      Go see Unto these hills in Cherokee North Carolina. If you want to know or embrace the true trail of tears, this is the way to do it

  14. roprimixz says:

    Hello there,

     Great job you did here on Gold. Fantastic article chocked full with useful information. I am currently studying Materials & Metallurgical Engineering, Gold happens to be my Project work for next semester, This article would defintely help me out, Never knew North Georgia had this much Gold in it. Thanks for this, I would share with my group mates

    • Alyce says:

      Hey, thanks so much for sharing with your peers — it sounds like you all have some really interesting work ahead of you! I wish you all the best with your gold project and your studies!!

  15. Alicia Watts says:

    I believe I read one of your other articles which I loved “the scenic drives in Georgia.  This was also informative.  I want to find gold but the history is amazing how what they had to do to fine it.  The waterfall is beautiful.  It is amazing that they have places where you can actually pan for gold! Good article.  Alicia

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Alicia, Thanks for sharing. The Georgia mountains are full of fun surprises like the ability to find gold all around! 

  16. Shavo says:

    It is good to be able to read about the history of gold in the Georgia mountains, many of us are just reading about this for the first time which makes it very interesting and novel. Very nice that you have made it so understandable and so comprehendible. I’d love to have more information like in this article.

    • Alyce says:

      Thanks for the kind words Shavo! Please make sure to sign up for the Ga Mountains Guide e-newsletter to be notified when new articles are published! 

  17. Josh says:

    Thank you for sharing this cool tidbit of local Georgia information with us. I enjoyed learning the history and how the intrepid explorer can tap into that spirit and go gold panning for themselves! I’ve never explored panning gold and gems in the Georgia mountains but it seems to be really fun and exciting. I am definitely interested in this mostly for fun, but also to make myself some money!

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Josh, It is really neat to think that a beautiful day spent outside in the Georgia mountains could also yield a bit of treasure! Best of luck on your search for treasure!!

  18. Ray says:

    Super informative article on the topic. Amazing reference to the history of the state. If I were to visit Georgia, which places would you recommend the most to visit? As well as including a short time frame (not venturing all over the state)? Also, amazing information on the cabin rentals for folks who want to venture into the state with no idea where to stay.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Ray, The easiest way to enjoy panning for gold and some of Georgia’s gold history is to visit one of the historic gold mine exhibits where you can also pan for gold. They’ll have all the tools you need and experts available to answer your questions. Either Consolidated Gold Mine or Crisson Gold Mine in Dahlonega, Georgia would both be great choices!

  19. Kelvin says:

    I never knew! Good day to you at this time of your day. I always saw the treasures of the Georgia Mountains to be the beautiful hotels, eateries and other wonderful places to be. I never knew the Georgia Mountains also had treasures as we know it to be – Gold and Gems. This is so amazing. Thanks for this information.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Kelvin, North Georgia is full of surprises, and the rich history of gold is just one of the many interesting things to explore in the area!

  20. Teboho Lekhanya says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the article.

    I was beginning to feel bad and stupid, but thankfully you eventually said that today the gold mining industry in Georgia is largely limited to the history books. It’s true I don’t know Geography that very much. But I have surely never heard of a vibrant gold mining industry in Georgia, such as the one you describe from the 1800s.

    In the United States, don’t minerals and similar resources belong to the state? Are people allowed to mine freely?

    Best wishes.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Teboho, people need to be very careful to make sure they are panning for gold in an approved place with approved methods, but yes, you are allowed to keep what you find!

  21. Akshay says:

    Hi. I found your article about Panning for Gold in North Georgia Mountains to be a super interesting and educational post. The way you described it is very clear and comprehensive. 

    I had not heard many details about the Golden history of GA, so this was nice to learn about the origins of the local gold rush. It’s neat that not only is gold available, but lots of various gems and fossils too. 

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Akshay, A lot of people are surprised to learn about Georgia’s role in the nation’s gold fever. I hope you are able to visit and see the exhibits in person and try your luck when panning for gold.

  22. Mohammad says:

    I’ve never explored the concept of panning for gold and gems before… obviously I’ve heard about it, but never really thought about doing it. Sounds fun, especially when you can make it into a weekend getaway and enjoy nature at the same time. I wonder if there is much of it here in the UK where I live…?

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Mohammad, Panning for gold is definitely a fun way to enjoy a potentially lucrative hobby while getting in some much-needed time in nature. Enjoy!

  23. Misael H says:

    Had to come back to your site to learn more about Georgia and tell my uncle more about it. I’m not sure if he’s peeked around a bit on the site buy I’m sure if he does, he will love it. I am going to be sending this article to him too, as I just read it and it got me excited haha I almost just wanna move down there

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Misael, Thanks for sharing with your Uncle who is local to the area. Georgia is not only a great place to visit, but also a fantastic place to live! We’d be honored for you to stay and enjoy the area for as long as you’d like!

  24. Bella says:

    Thank you for sharing this truly informative and insightful article about panning for gold in Georgia. I really enjoyed reading your article because I learnt a great deal from it about the history of gold panning and mining in the GA mountains, tips on how to go about it in recent times, and many more other things like where we could stay on a prospecting trip!

  25. QueenAna says:

    This is a great website.  The color “Army Green” is awesome!  I particularly do not like green, but your website is outstanding.  Not only in the color scheme, but the information is great also.  When I was in college, I worked for a geologist to help pay for college books that we never used. But, the rocks were interesting, but not enough to make a career of them. But, your website is well designed and a student could actually use the information to write a term paper. (smile) The only experience on the topic I can offer is “I recognize a rock when I see one”.  Opinion about the topic, I might be inspired to go looking for gold.  Thank you for designing a very good website.

    Respectfully submitted,

    • Alyce says:

      Hi QueenAna, I love the experience of being out in nature. Spending time on the water to pan for gold is a nice way to spend an afternoon. Beginners will appreciate going to one of the gold panning tourist attractions to get a quick education on the different types of rocks and minerals that can be found nearby. Enjoy your trip!

  26. Aluko kolawole says:

    Hi,

    From my online research about the topic panning for gold gems in the georgia mountain is Dahlonega, Georgia might not be the first place Americans think of when they hear the words gold rush. But in fact, gold was discovered in this North Georgia town about 70 miles north of Atlanta two decades before prospectors found it in California.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Aluko.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Aluko, It is true that Northern Georgia had a big gold rush about 20 years earlier than the famous rush in California. There are a lot of ways to explore this history of gold in Georgia. Be sure to include a stop at the Dahlonega Gold Museum to bring even more to your gold panning experience!

  27. Alketa says:

    Hi, What an interesting story, and it is great to know the story. Your article is plain of helpful tools, tips, and advice for everyone interesting in panning for gold. And, it is really nice to go on a family trip and to have a similar adventure and why not find a piece of gold:). 

    Thank you for sharing this with us. 

    Best

    Alketa

    • Alyce says:

      Panning for gold is definitely a fun way to have a family outing that both celebrates the area’s history and includes a small chance of finding a valuable gold nugget!

  28. ReeceMichael says:

    Wow, how cool! It’s amazing that you can legally pan for gold in so many places in Georgia. I’d love to find some good precious stones while panning for gold. I haven’t tried panning in the Georgia mountains — didn’t even realize it was possible — so thank you for sharing. I’m sure to have a great time while I’m there whether I find gold or not!

    • Alyce says:

      It’s nice that you have the option to go to a tourist-focused gold mine attraction and pretty much be guaranteed to get some gold flakes, or you can up the adventure by trying it out on your own!

  29. It’s good to know that there are sites where gold panning is allowed as long as there isn’t much river disturbance involved. My niece and nephew had always expressed that they want to go on a camping trip with me and I don’t know yet what fun activities we could do out there. Perhaps I should see if I could buy some gold prospecting materials in case we happen to feel like going some gold panning.

    • Alyce says:

      Just make sure to follow local regulations that limit the scale and location of your operations, but yes, gold panning is allowed! Amazon.com has a selection of basic products and gold panning kits that will easily get you started.

  30. Temidayo says:

    This is an interesting history you have narrated here. Its really an interesting site to see how gold is mined. The finished products we see today is a lot different than the way it looks in the rocks. Those guys that came from everywhere to pan for gold did less if it were found in our day. Your interesting history brings me to the story of the blood diamonds story in Sierra Leone.

    It will really be fun to pan for gold. I hope they can allow us to do it as tourist? Since we won’t be doing it like the miners did during the gold rush hope there won’t be much restrictions? Thank you so much for sharing. Will check out some of the links you have provided particularly the Gold Panning Instructions.

    • Alyce says:

      One needs to be mindful of the enviornment, but it’s nice that recreational gold panning is allowed in most of the National Forests.

  31. Gomer says:

    I love the story you shared. It piqued my imagination once again of how it looks like just like in the old movies I’ve watched. You know, white Americans trying to make a living or a fortune in newfound gold mines while Cherokee Indians think they have encroached. You know, those wild west movies.

    Looking at the chart about gems, I wonder why is gold not included in the list of gems? Isn’t gold a gem?

    • Alyce says:

      I’m guessing since gold is a metal that it is not included. The process for finding gems versus metals can be different, but these places in the Georgia mountains should help you learn quite a bit about each one!

  32. riverdogg says:

    Awesome, right up my alley! Glad to hear it’s legal to pan for gold on National Forest land. I just gave my had a big bag of Alaska paydirt for his birthday and we had a blast panning it in the backyard. We are planning some recreational gold panning trips for this Spring as neither of us want to deal with the freezing cold (it’s currently getting down to 15-20 degrees F here in Washington State). Thanks for the very informative post, good stuff man.

  33. Linda Cooper says:

    Very interesting topic, would love to do something like that. Love hearing all the background story and how these particular mines came about. I have only heard of the California gold rush, so hearing about an earlier one was great.

    A lot of precious ans semi precious stones still available to mine which makes the prospect more interesting. If I didn’t live in the UK I would be bringing the family to have a go. They would love it.

    Sharing for others to enjoy.

    • Alyce says:

      Thanks Linda, there is a lot to learn and explore in this little part of the world! I’m glad you enjoyed it and thanks so much for the share!!

  34. DorcasW says:

    Hello; Mining for Gold in these areas back then was a fortune oriented venture I believe; however mining now would be finding fun through history. 

    As much as I would want to visit these attractions for family fun, I do believe that for anyone to pan for gold and really find gold it would have to be a miracle.

    DorcasW

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Dorcas, I’ve been to the Crisson Mine and believe it or not, everyone leaves with a little bit of gold! It’s usually not anything that will make you rich though… the flakes are about the size of what you find in a bottle of Goldschlager. 

      The gems that you get are really pretty though… again, you are not likely to make a fortune, but there are really pretty gems that come with the joy of the hunt for them. I hope you get a chance to check it out!

    • Jeff says:

      I know this is an older thread but I feel compelled to correct you Dorcas. There is gold to be found in almost every creek and river in North Georgia!! I am an avid gold prospector and have made quite a bit of extra money from the gold I have found over the years from numerous creeks and I am not talking about the “pay for gold dirt in a bag”..……..
      So….. To get to the point, finding gold in Georgia is not a “miracle” as you stated. The yellow stuff is here, always has been, and always will. This is a very good article and very informative. I hope you try out gold prospecting in Georgia if you can. Sincerely.
      -Jeff

  35. akborm says:

    Hi there!!
    This can be a notice for the gold miners. As because you mentioned very well the places of gold mine. Gold miners will love to travel their for sure. 100 years of undermined golds will be a treasure for them. The Cherokee nation did the job. You have written their story so nicely with all the necessary information. So this is an informative article as well.

    • Alyce says:

      The area was certainly transformed by the discovery of gold, although today that industry is more of a footnote than something that attracts gold prospectors. It is interesting history, and enjoyable to visit the old mines that allow you to learn more about the panning processes.

  36. Shannon says:

    I am so glad I ran across your site! I was just browsing through and am very interested in one of the cabin rentals you suggested and was thinking on activities the whole family could do together in the area when I ran across this article 🙂

    Panning for gold and gems sounds like an excellent idea and I know my 3 boys would absolutely love it! I’m quite sure it would turn into a competition to see who could come up with the most treasures hah! This would be a great learning activity for them as well. Do you have any information on what the charge is for panning? Thanks again!

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Shannon, There are different ticket packages available depending on your interests. Most places will offer buckets of different sizes — it’s great fun to get a bucket or 2 per family and roll up your sleeves to hunt for treasure! 

      Crisson Mine may have the lowest price per person (currently $11 for a tour plus pan and bucket containing treasures), but each place is a little different so you may want to explore them all to find the best one for your family. Enjoy!

  37. Pandamelody says:

    Great family activity !  Is the activity free ? you might want to specify the cost (if there are any)

    If you find gold or anything else can you keep it ? It isn’t exactly very clear if you can keep the treasures found or not, it may be I that didn’t understand it but I just wanted to make sure. 

    When you say gems, what types of gems do you talk about ? sapphire, ruby ? … 

    But overall I find the topic very interesting, I would have loved doing such an activity with my family 

    • Alyce says:

      Hi, there is no charge to find a stream and pan for gold, but the attractions and exhibits are not free. The gem mining and gold panning activities do allow you to keep whatever you find. They usually have a hall of fame out front to showcase some of the most impressive hauls. The gems do include sapphires, rubies, and many others. Visit this page for a PDF of an ID chart of some of the treasures that you may find.

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