NewsCovering Kern County


Adam's Adventures: Panning for gold in the Kern River!

Posted at 10:05 AM, Nov 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-19 13:05:05-05

Did you know you can pan for gold for free in the Kern River? We talked to one person who found $500 worth of gold in one trip. You can literally become rich in one day. 23ABC's Adam Bowles went about 5 minutes from Bakersfield to see if he can find this precious mineral.

You don't have to go far for this. About 5 minutes from the city of Bakersfield you can do something for free and who may leave with a fortune.  Here's a hint. It involves the Kern River. First, you're going to travel down Panorama Drive down the hill until you reach China Grade Loop.  

Continue down Round Mountain Road for about 5 miles. You'll be able to see the river and hart park across from that.  You may even see some people on the banks of the water.  

You can do this activity on any bank next to the river but we are going to the best spot to do this.  You'll see a turn out and a dirt road.  Take it to the river. 

There you'll find an activity that could make you rich in one day.

Did you know the Kern River one of the most prime spots in California to find gold? Plus its right here in our backyard! Gold hunters come from all over the country to the gravel bars and along the banks of the Kern River to find this treasure. People like the Kern County Prospectors Club.

"Gold comes down from the mountains like the Greenhorns and the Piutes and gets deposited right here in Hart Park," Robert says.

Miners began searching for gold in the Kern river back in the 1850's when they found out gold was being deposited into the water from the Greenhorn Mountains, Piutes, and Erksine area. To this day, it is still a shock that you can actually find  this mineral that will put some money in your pocket.

"I came with my girlfriend and saw here taking pans and digging with them. It shocked me like a bolt of lightning. I thought, there is no way there is gold here," Spencer says.

For these prospectors, one of them actually found hundreds of dollars worth of gold in one trip!

"I actually found $500 dollars in one trip," Robert says.

 That's a lot of dough, so if you want to become rich in a day; and you never panned for gold before here is how you would do it.  First you're going to find a gravel bar or areas with big rocks. A good thing to look for is fishing weights or mercury in the area because gold is heavy and will sink with these things.  You will then dig into the dirt and rocks and begin panning.  Some people use a sluice box to let the river pan for them, but most people pan by hand with this handheld pan.  

Your trying to separate the heavier black sand and the gold from the light blonde colored sand.  

 It may take a while for a beginner but may find something that may make your jaw drop!  

There it is..the sparkly yellow looking minerals. You have found gold!  

Gold right now is worth about 1,300 dollars an ounce...which can fit in the palm of your hands so you may leave a whole lot happier with what you may find.  

You never know what you may find. Who knows, you may become rich in one afternoon. Adventure is out there. All you have to do is get out there.