This summer in the western United States has been referred to by many who partake in the rockhounding and gold panning lifestyle as the "new gold rush" due to the heavy winter mountain runoff. It's been reported that some southern Idaho rivers might yield huge amounts of gold that could rival all other regions in the state.

I own all the tools necessary to unearth river gold but haven't had the opportunity to pan yet in 2023. If you enjoy the hobby or have never tried panning in your life, this is the summer in southern Idaho to get your waders wet.

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The Boise Basin Gold Strike of 1862 put the western U.S. on notice that southern Idaho was no joke when it came to mining. There are numerous websites and books devoted to the historical facts surrounding the amount of gold that most definitely still lies throughout the region. One of those hot spots is said to be located between the cities of Ketchum and Boise in the Sawtooth National Forest northwest of Twin Falls.

The communities of Featherville and Pine are mentioned repeatedly online in connection with top gold panning sights in the southern region of Idaho. This area of the mountains is about a two-hour drive (120 miles) northwest of Twin Falls and is littered with abandoned mining sites from the nineteenth century.

Gold panning is one of the cheapest hobbies out there. For the cost of roughly $100, one can accumulate the tools needed to pull gold from the Snake River. It just requires some waders and some patience. Be very careful this summer when spending time near the river due to the powerful currents from a harsh winter runoff.

Happy hunting!

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