Best places to go metal detecting in california

The typical west coast adventure of driving across California is something that everyone should do. The I5 is a well-known interstate that runs from Mexico to Washington. My family and I had to stop at several fantastic state parks along the route while travelling, even though they were a little off the usual road. After all, California is home to some of the best national state parks.

You could try metal detecting for gold in a few specific locations, such as Butte Creek and Clear Creek in the Redding vicinity, Keysville Recreational Area in Kern County along the Kern River near Isabella Lake, and South Yuba Recreational Area in the South Yuba Valley.

The one downside to this wonderful state is that if you want to try any metal detecting, you must make a reservation with the state parks. After overcoming that obstacle, state parks are fantastic locations for any experience, and metal detecting might be one of them.

Let’s look at some amazing state parks in California that you can visit, and if you contact them in advance for permission, you can perform some fantastic metal detecting in them while you’re there.

Many metal detectorists who are searching for the next big find congregate in California, the state with the largest economy and population in the US! In fact, it is well known for its stunning rivers, parks, and beaches.

These locations typically offer lots of chances to locate some quite valuable items!

However, it would be a mistake to not be familiar with the state’s regulatory legislation. Even while this doesn’t actually happen frequently, if you don’t follow the guidelines, you can run into some issues with the local authorities.


The beaches of California are among the best in the world. A 21-mile length of the Monterey Bay Area’s coastline is home to six of these coastal parks. Swimming, kayaking, and beachcombing are among the activities that are permitted on these beaches, according to the official brochure.

Here are some of the greatest locations you should try to reach:

American River: This river flows through the Auburn State Recreation area and is situated just northeast of Auburn.

Bagby Recreation Area: This area is perfect for detecting because it is situated at the intersection of the Merced River between Coulterville and Mariposa.

Big Flat in the Trinity National Forest: Traveling west on Highway 299 for about 22 miles will get you to the Big Flat Free Permit Area. There is also camping permitted.
However, keep in mind that you must first obtain a permit from the BLM office in the Redding District before using Butte Creek as a detection site!

All around California, several types of soil can be found. The state’s soil development is the consequence of a variety of variables, including weathered rock, plant leftovers, and volcanic ash.


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  • California’s mountain foothills, nearby rivers and streams, as well as some of its coastal regions, all have sandy soils.
  • In valleys and flat places, such as flood plains along rivers and streams, loam soils are common. Sand and clay are combined to form loam.
  • In the state’s urban regions, clay soils are present.

The best beaches in California to visit?

  • Discovering beaches on the west coast is undoubtedly a fantastic experience. One suggestion that most local detectorists make is to bring a basket along with you.
  • … It does, in fact, make it simpler to sift through the sand and generally make things move more smoothly!
  • Here are some of the top beaches in California that you should visit.
  • Laguna Beach Treasure Island Beach La Jolla Shores Coronado Beach Newport, Huntington State, Manhattan, Venice, and Santa Monica State are just a few examples.

Californian gold nugget hunting

The Indians, the Mexicans, and the Spaniards who mined along the Colorado River, the San Gabriel River, and in Santa Cruz made the first gold discovery in the region that currently comprises the state in the 1500s. These were all brief operations on a minor scale.

The great California Gold Rush of 1848 was sparked by the discovery of gold at the renowned Sutter’s Mill on the American River, close to Sacramento. Further prospecting across the state and the ensuing exodus of thousands of people to California were both sparked by the gold rush.

Since then, California has been a mining location for gold and other minerals. Due to the mining operations, there are many ghost towns and other abandoned locations that offer fantastic metal detecting opportunities today. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of ghost towns and old abandoned mining camps that you could search with a metal detector only concentrating on old mining regions.

  • Along with being an amazing California beach with camping available, Emma Wood State Beach also features an intriguing historic battleground that may be explored. While I was strolling along the coast, I occasionally even saw dolphins jumping close off-shore, which I thought was fairly thrilling.

The variety of camping options available at this state beach park is one of its best features. Family camping, RV access, and even rustic camping are all available there. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds like fun.

The following are some additional park activities:

  • bicycle paths
  • Surfing and Swimming Camping RV Access


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Californian Federal Lands for Metal Detecting

  • The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) are responsible for managing thousands of acres of federal lands on behalf of the federal government in California. Although the government manages these areas, you and I own the public lands!
  • Generally speaking, metal detecting is permitted on public lands under BLM management, while there are certain limitations, such as locations that are well-known historical sites. It’s never a bad idea to give the neighbourhood land manager a call and ask for clarity on any particularly sensitive regions.
  • Public areas are some of the best locations to look for gold nuggets. Additionally, you can look for jewellery and coins. Make sure you properly understand the rules before you go because there are rules about finding artefacts on public lands.

In California, are metal detectors permitted?

This hobby is governed by a number of laws in this state to protect historical artefacts, private property, and any mining claims.

… Therefore, you must ensure that you abide by all applicable federal and state laws before using your machine there on any public land.

… Some of the laws to be aware of are listed below:

  • Bureau of Land Management Laws: Visitors are permitted to use a metal detector to search for objects on BLM property if they comply with specific requirements, according to the website of the California Bureau of Land Management (BLM). No artefacts may be taken out by visitors. Visitors are required to report the objects found to the BLM field office that is the closest to them rather than taking them. In California, it is against the law to dig into the ground or remove any rocks or minerals from any area of a mining claim.
  • The use of detectors is prohibited in national parks, according to Code of Federal Regulations 36 CFR 3.1(a)(7). This rule is in force not just in California but throughout the entire nation.
  • State Park Laws: The California Code of Regulations forbids any sort of detection activity in any of the state parks. However, there is a clause to detect if you have the district superintendent of the park’s consent. If you don’t obtain permission in advance, you cannot dig up any items.

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