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 cont. from previous page.  On down highway 24, around the bend you will come to Gold Camp which has been in existence since the mines started.  It has gone into the hands of private industry now, and is a parking place for the rafting companies.  The last owners made their living off the gold they gleaned from this placer.  Hooked on Gold looked into buying this property twice, but it wasn't in our stars to own it.  It could have been a nice place for prospectors to come and have some fun.  Alas, t'was not to be.


Past the falls, you come to a stretch in the river known as "The Numbers".   There is a bit of State land, a tiny bit of BLM land and 5 claims that run together down to the raft launch on the river and continue south to the road leading back to the highway. If you try to access the State or BLM land for panning, be aware that you are not supposed to cross the railroad tracks to get there.  Also, the water in that stretch runs fast in spots and it is a bit of a walk in and down the VERY steep bank.  (Back up, too.)  The 5 claims are in the hands of Phil Martinez of Vista Mining Adventures.  These claims are now open as a pay for use area and you can contact Phil at www.vistaminingadventures.com.  Anyone using the area will need to pay for a parking day pass at the Forest Service box provided at the entrance and park in the parking area at the launch site.


 Below that is private property, marked, and fenced.  These people monitor activities, so don't be in there or you may have the sheriff on you.


Past the bridge is a combination of private property and claims until you get to the GPAA claims. Be careful on the GPAA claims as they run in between some private land, and will need to know exactly where you are.  There is quite a bit of camping available along this stretch, too.  With the new BLM regulations (2011) on River activity, GPAA has elected NOT to file the required pan of operation on this claim, and it will be restricted to panning and sluicing until that gets done.  You will be monitored by two river groups, so don't think you can go in there and not get caught.  The River Rangers WILL be watching.


Below the GPAA claims are a group of claims intermixed with the Elephant Rock public prospecting area.  As of this fall (2010) all of the public area is closed to prospecting.  The BLM has reorganized and put together a plan for this area that does NOT include prospecting here.  There is supposed to be signage put up to guide you as to what is allowed here.  Along with this closure, many of the claims in the area have also been disallowed.



Below Elephant Rock is the town of Buena Vista.  Needless to say, there is a lot of private property and little river access all the way through the Brown's Canyon study area, which is off limits to gold prospecting, and on past Salida. (More on the study area-Ruby Mt is still open , for now, to gem hunting even though the study area begins at their parking lot).  You may find a spot in this area, but do your research and make doubly sure you know where you are.  Point Bar Recreational Area, south of Salida is open to the public, and for gold prospecting, but watch for rattle snakes especially in the Spring.  You can access this area by turning on the road that leads over the bridge at the "Wellsville" sign.  This is a new bridge, and you won't have much warning that this turn is coming up. 


If you are coming toward Salida on Highway 50, you will pass Point Bar on your right, so watch for the turn as you come around the bends, about a mile or so beyond the point.  As with all of the Arkansas and its tributaries, the BLM requires a "bond" for use of motorized equipment from April 1st through September 30th, other than a dry washer.  Panning and sluicing and dry washing are allowed without the bond.  You can access those forms on the BLM.gov site, from The Rock Doc in Nathrop, or the Arkansas Headwaters group in Salida.


We do not usually wander below Point Bar due to the distance from our CORA camp, so we are not familiar with this part of the river.  However, I will compile information I have about the river below Point Bar and post what I can find about it.


Clubs in the State that have claims you can work on if you are members are the Gold Prospectors of Colorado out of Colorado Springs, and Gold Prospectors of America Association.  GPOC has several claims on the Arkansas River, and outside of Fairplay.  GPAA has claims on the Arkansas River, north of Buena Vista, a claim north of Granite and a claim southeast of Leadville.



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