Gold Panning at the Marshall Gold Discovery Site
You know, that place where James W Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in California? That one singular event that set up the greatest mass movement of people in the Western Hemisphere and helped (or even created) the explosive growth of the region for years to come…
So have you ever thought of panning for gold? Come on, you know you have… Well to get started you should head over to where the panning sign is and sign up! Or, if you want, go visit the museum, and pay for panning there. Then walk over to the area where you can do some panning with your receipt. They do it between 10 -3 pm. It is a 45 minute lesson, and cost $7 per person.
You should to reserve your time slot, as on busy days you may not be able to squeeze in. What I mean, is when you get there, sign up for it right away instead of waiting till after your museum visit or walking tour. Because if you wait till the end, then want to pan… You may have to wait a few hours after you are done with your exploring.
Its important to get there early to not only get your spot, but to listen to the rangers talk about the history of panning, and techniques on making it work. Funny how some people show up and have no interest in doing it, then they just do it once and are hooked! The instructors give you a vile to put the gold you find in, and that is where the fun begins!
They “seed” the troughs to be sure everyone finds gold! So pretty much everyone finds some. They also add some semi precious gems to make it more fun.
So if you are looking for a fun activity to bring the kids, then you have to take them here. You can also do a walking tour, museum, walk down to the river or go check out the statue of Marshall. From a number of gold rush era buildings, to exhibits. Horse drawn vehicles, memorabilia and films on early mining techniques.
Junior Ranger Program is available too! Get the workbook from the museum, complete several of the tasks, have the ranger sign you off and get a patch! Well, the patch is available for $2 bucks at the store, but it is still cool!
Helpful info: Visitors center 530-622-3430. 310 Black Street, Coloma CA 95613