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I'd like to find some destinations in the Pacific Northwest (US) for panning or gathering precious metals or gems, preferably without requiring non-trivial effort to gain access to. This is meant as a recreational thing with a small group of people.

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for self-panning or as part of a tour/company/tourist spot? – Mark Mayo Jun 7 '13 at 1:59
With others, probably not an extended trip. – Hamster Jun 7 '13 at 2:08
but do you just want to say, go down to a river with friends, or are you looking for a company with tools etc to take you out to a place? – Mark Mayo Jun 7 '13 at 2:21
By company do you mean a literal company or just being in the company of hobbyists or something? – Hamster Jun 7 '13 at 5:11
We're not objectively seeking a profit or anything like that. It would be neat to go to something like an actual (decommissioned?) mining location, though. – Hamster Jun 7 '13 at 5:19
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I am not from around your area, but prospecting has always been an interest of mine.

This article looks at the general information relating to prospecting in the US, a link from that article here provides more detail.

This article from Nature of the NorthWest has many links pertaining to the rules, regulations and locations of the gold-panning areas in the Pacific Northwest.

I hope this helps.

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