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Gold Panning

Farmington
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Gold Panning

We will be traveling by car from LA to SF and making stops at Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks. My daughter LOVES ROCKS...so we thought about having her experience panning for gold. There are a lot of options....I value the opinion of this forum...so which do you suggest???

West, Texas
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1. Re: Gold Panning

Panning for Gold is kind of a tourist trap people do all along the west, even here in Texas though there isn't much history of placer mines here.

From a Geologist's point of view....if she's young and you are just trying to find something fun for her to do then just do it. I'd say if she's older than 12 or so and you are trying to encourage a hobby... buy her a hand lens and a mineral book and let her loose in Yosemite!

Santa Cruz...
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2. Re: Gold Panning

You won't find gold nuggets in Yosemite. However, if you go to Columbia State Park, she can do a kind of pseudo "panning for gold" in a wooden trough. I wouldn't do it. But I would visit Columbia for the history.

…about.com/od/…columbia_shp.htm

West, Texas
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3. Re: Gold Panning

I was trying to encourage the Mom to encourage the hobby of rockhounding/mineral hunting to her daughter. Its all Granite in Yosemite so plenty of good specimens of feldspars, amphibole, and pyroxenes.

I'd spend my money on a hand lens and mineral book before I wasted money a tourist trap. if the she's old enough. All I was saying.

Edited: 10 April 2014, 06:33
Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: Gold Panning

I agree completely. Great idea.

Are you listening, GaoMom?

Farmington
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5. Re: Gold Panning

Yes!!!! Great idea!!! I think I may do both!!! My daughter is 9 and wants to be a geologist!!!! I'll inform her the panning is "just for fun".... Because she will seriously try to find nuggets....and also tell her I heard from a real geologist!!! She'll be thrilled!!!

Thanks guys!!!!

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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6. Re: Gold Panning

Hi

I can't figure out when you're traveling. June? July?

Sometimes there are ranger programs in Yosemite just about geology. Check the current Yosemite Guide newspaper that you get when you enter the Park. Here is a link to past newspapers: nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/guide.htm Last June / July there was a geology talk every Wednesday at 3.

You might consider adding a visit to the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa. It's possible your daughter would enjoy it, although carrying a hand lens & looking for specimens outside would be more fun for most kids.

You might search for used books for kids (or adults) about geology in the Sierra Nevada or in Yosemite or tell her you'll buy her a book when you find one at a Visitor Center. My scientifically-minded son loved those kinds of souvenirs.

Fremont, California
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7. Re: Gold Panning

I would probably do the one by the Yosemite Railroad (Wawona entrance of Yosemite Park).

http://ymsprr.com/special-events/

Mentioning this one as this will be on the route you are driving and is in a very pretty area.

In case you are a huge rock fan on that side there is the excellent California State Mineral Museum as well.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=588

yelp.com/biz/california-state-mining-and-min…

This is a very excellent museum with amazing rocks and more. Well worth seeing - a bit off the beaten track...but since you are on that side already you might want to include it.

Have a good trip.

Edited: 10 April 2014, 18:43
8. Re: Gold Panning

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