White Mountains National Recreation Area

Gold Panning at Nome Creek

Want to try your luck at gold panning like the Alaska sourdoughs? A four-mile area has been identified for recreational gold panning on Nome Creek between the Nome Creek Bridge and the mouth of Moose Creek.

 Map of gold panning area on Nome Creek

Recreational gold panning is limited to hand tools and light equipment, such as gold pans, rocker boxes, sluice boxes, picks and shovels. Use of motorized equipment, such as backhoes, bulldozers and suction dredges, is not permitted.

Family panning for gold on Nome CreekEven simple hand tools can scar and destroy resources. Before you take your pan in hand, consider the impacts recreational gold panning can have:

  • Sluicing gravels can cause silt to wash up into the streams and destroy fish spawning beds. Use back eddies and side pools to reduce the amount of dirt and silt entering the main stream channel.
  • Do not dig into or near the bridge abutments.
  • Work only in the stream channels or on unvegetated gravel bars to protect bank stability and prevent erosion.

Read about Nome Creek's mining history>>

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