Gold Districts of California
WHERE GOLD WAS FOUND
Although gold is found in many areas in California, the most productive districts are
in the northern and central portions of the Sierra Nevada. The primary deposits usually
consist of gold-quartz veins in metamorphic rocks and are associated with the intrusion of
the Sierra Nevada batholith.
In the Klamath Mountains, the second most-productive province, the largest sources of
gold have been the streams of the Klamath-Trinity River system. The older terrace deposits
along the sides of the present stream channels also have yielded much gold and were mined
The Basin Ranges and Mojave Desert provinces of eastern and southern California have
yielded substantial amounts of gold. The gold occurs either in epithermal deposits in
brecciated silicified zones of Tertiary volcanic rocks or in mesothermal quartz veins of
older metamorphic and granitic rocks. Gold also has been recovered from dry placers in
Moderate amounts of gold have been mined in the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges in
southern California. The mineral also has been recovered from the Modoc Plateau province
in northeastern California. Small amounts of gold have been produced in a number of places
in the Coast Ranges.
Edited from: Gold Districts of California, by: W.B. Clark, California
Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 193, 1970.
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