After the lure of gold made them sell everything they owned and head west to strike it rich, an estimated 2,000 prospecting gold miners found home near South Pass City. By 1872 the Clarissa Mine near South Pass had played out and most of the miners had moved on. Today, you can visit these historic sites and try your hand at gold panning at South Pass City State Historic Site.
Start out by visiting the BLM office in Lander (1335 Main St. 307-332-8400) to find out where you can go. Some areas are off limits to gold panning and there are some places you can go without any permits. Follow these three criteria and know before you go:
- pan on public land
- that public land has to be claim free
- pan for gold (no mechanical devices like dredges allowed)
Or, explore more below to find other spots in Wyoming where you may strike gold!