7 Gold Mining Regions in Southern Utah

7 Gold Mining Regions in Southern Utah

1. La Sal Mountains


Gold deposits were found in 1907 southwest of the La Sal Mountains. Glacial deposits run throughout the gravels on the Wilson Mesa and Bald Mesa. The gold is found as small flakes and rough pieces and is generally very fine and widely disseminated. This region was worked for a short time after the discovery and again by Great Depression era miners. The area is not particularly rich but there is still gold here.


2. Abajo Mountains


The southern flanks of the Abajo Mountains have two main gold-bearing drainages; Johnson Creek and Recapture Creeks. The source of this gold comes from bench deposits on the Blanding Mesa that has eroded and fed the placers. Most of the mining has been done on the BLM lands north of Blanding, but scattered gold deposits can also be found further north within the Manti - La Sal National Forest.


3. San Juan River


Fine gold has been known to exist in the San Juan River since the late 1800s. A tiny gold rush even occurred here, although it was short lived and underwhelming for those involved. Unfortunately, many of the better deposits were inundated by Lake Powell after the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam. Very tiny gold particles were difficult to capture, especially with the old mining methods of the time. Today the best-known area is below the mouth of Montezuma Creek and west to Lake Powell.


4. Henry Mountains


The Crescent Creek placers were the most important gold deposits found in the Henry Mountains. They flow from the east side of Mount Ellen. Gold ranges from small dust up to 2mm flakes. Straight Creek also contains gold deposits. Although not as rich or concentrated, early miners were able to recover decent gold here as well. Auriferous gravels can be found above the creeks which require drywashing to recover the gold.


5. San Francisco Mountains


Gold has been extracted from several mines in the San Francisco Mountains. The Silver Horn Mine was the largest producer during the early days. The ores only contained 0.01 or 0.02 ounces of gold per ton, but the large extraction allowed for considerable gold recovery that was reported above 33,000 ounces by 1959.


6. Gold Mountain District


This area is located in Piute County near Marysvale. The largest activity here was at the Annie Laurie Mine and the Sevier Mines. During the peak of mining from 1901 though 1913, there was 134,744 ounces of reported gold from this district. The recovery of this gold can be credited to the perfection of the cyanide leaching method, which allowed processing of previously uneconomical ores.


7. Mount Baldy District


This area is located near Marysvale in the Tushar Mountains and has similar geology to that of the Gold Mountain district. Production was smaller, although total gold output from the first half oof the 20th century is credited with over 77,000 ounces of gold.

Next: Gold Prospecting in BLM and Forest Service Land