How to Find Gold in Your Backyard

The gold rush never truly did die out, so if you’re wondering how to find gold in your backyard you may be in luck. If you have a river or stream going through your yard you might be able to find plenty of gold without leaving your own property. 

To do this you’ll need some supplies, and you’ll need to learn how to pan for gold, along with how to tell the difference between gold and pyrite. You’ll also need a crazy amount of luck, because panning for gold in your backyard, and finding it, is quite rare. 

What You’ll Need

Everyone wants gold to grow like wildflowers in their backyard, but few actually get lucky enough to get that much gold, if any at all. 

A panning pan, these aren’t the same as regular pans, have metal sections that help sift out the dirt and sand. The gold is heavier than both the water and sand so it sits down right at the bottom of these specialized pans.

Water is a requirement so if you aren’t near a river or stream it’s unlikely you’ll find gold, but still possible. Regardless, you’ll need water to help pull away any dirt and sand from the gold, it’ll shine a bright yellow against the grainy brown backgrounds of the dirt and sand. 

There’s also the physical demands and the probability that you just won’t find gold, either because it’s not there or because you’re doing something wrong

Physical Demands

Gold panning is a very physically demanding activity. It entails you leaning over and shaking the panning pan for potentially hours. 

You have to work very hard to get even just a few flecks, which makes this an activity that only strong, physically capable people should do. Otherwise, you risk potentially hurting yourself. You should not pan for gold if you don’t have the physical ability to sit crouched for hours. 

Where Gold Sits

Gold isn’t everywhere, it’s a rare metal for a reason. That being said, you just might not have gold in your backyard. 

If you live near a river or stream there is a higher probability of finding gold in your backyard, but you should look for sand and gravelly areas whenever you’re trying to find it. If you don’t live near water, you just might be out of luck, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find gold where you are. 

There is a very slim chance there might be gold in your yard, but the chance is still there, and for some, that is enough of a chance to look. You’ll need a water source and sand from your yard to sift through. 

Riches and Backyard Gold

Though gold is very valuable, you’d need more than a few flecks to get rich, which will take hours upon hours of work – if not many days, weeks, months, or even years of work. The large mass of gold you would need to be able to gain a substantial fortune is going to take massive amounts of effort, and more than one persons share of luck. 

Though you probably won’t get rich, you can still have a bit of fun. Panning for and finding gold is a thrilling experience especially when those tiny goldenrod flecks are shining up at you. 

Unfortunately, finding gold isn’t as easy as attracting flying squirrels to your yard, and once in a while, you find fools gold. 

Fool’s Gold

When you’re panning for gold, sometimes you find a bright golden chunk and lose your mind with delight, thinking that you’ve found out how to find gold in your backyard! Before you start promising to buy everyone you love a new house you should check that gold out. 

Fool’s gold or Iron Pyrite is not easy to distinguish from the real thing to an untrained eye. There are two very distinct ways to tell though: 

Firstly, real gold is much, much brighter than fools gold. Secondly, real gold, though it’s heavy is very soft.

This is why people used to bite into gold to see if it was real, gold was soft enough to leave your teeth impressions in. There are dozens of ways to tell if gold is real these days, from acid tests to so much more, so don’t worry about hurting your teeth. 

If You Don’t Find Gold

If you work for several hours and still can’t find gold in your backyard you can always try a different tactic. Public land is free to use, which means you’re allowed to go and pan for gold there instead. 

If you take this route you should target an area with heavy streams. This will help you find gold in a natural, and far more likely place. This is always a good option if you really want to find gold and have fun, but you have been unsuccessful in your backyard. 

Regardless, it’s still much more fun to be able to walk into your backyard. You can pan for gold for a few hours with friends or family and potentially walk away with a few fecks for your collection. 

If you really want to find gold, you can go elsewhere, but be careful not to cross onto anyone’s property and always remember to be considerate of the public land we all get to share. Pick up your litter, leave nothing but footprints, and take nothing but your memories – and maybe your gold. 

How to Find Gold in Your Backyard: Final Thoughts

Firstly you need to be physically fit, it’s better if you live near a lake or stream as well. On top of that you’ll need the right tools, plenty of water and the right panning pan to sift through the sand and dirt debris. 

Pair this with a lot of patience, luck, and the ability to tell the difference between real and fool’s gold and you could very easily learn how to find gold in your backyard. So take a minute to have some fun panning for gold in your backyard.

Who knows, you might be sitting on much more fun, and treasure, than you bargained for!