Sierra Rivers

Get Your Own Mining Claim

Thousands of abandoned claims are out there

Mining Claims for Sale, Lease or Trade

Owning your own mining claim is one of life's great adventures. Its that chance to find the big gold knowing its all yours. Or maybe you just want a place to do a little prospecting and camping with friends or family. If you scroll to the bottom of the page you'll see a listing of some big nuggets found in Sierra County, California. Those are some good reasons to own your own mining claim. A mining claim can provide you with a lot of memories. You don't have to buy a claim, you can stake your own. All the information you need is on this website. We can provide assistance, custom maps, and even the field work required to locate your own claim. We watch over 330,000 claims across the west and we're able to spot the good claims long before the information becomes public. We've mapped mining claims in Sierra and Plumas county goin back 125 years. We know where every vacant parcel is, we know when people file new claims and we know when they forfeit their current claims. If you want claims, or claim information you're at the right place. Drop us a note at

Motherlode Mining Claims

California Motherlode

We're offering a couple more mining claims in Sierra County. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see a very brief listing of huge gold nuggets found in Sierra County. The richest creek in Sierra County was the Downie River, followed by Lavezolla Creek. These two creeks not only produced huge nuggets, they also had some very rich lode deposits. Almost any creek or ravine in Sierra County is going to have some amount of gold. For your best chance find a claim in a historic area where lots of gold has been previously found. The claims offered are all on historically good gold creeks. You may not get rich by finding a 200 pound nugget buy you're going to have a lot of fun trying to find those monster nuggets.

A good days work
Out prospecting the canyons
Dog not included

Claims for Sale

Looking for your own mining claim? Or just looking? Mining claims and the potential to find your own gold are one of life's greatest adventures. Almost every creek in the mountains of Sierra County has some gold in it. Some of these creeks, and canyons, had enormous amounts of gold. Any claim in the Downieville area is likely to be pretty good. You're not going to pick gold up off the bedrock like they did in 1851, but with some hard work and patience you'll find gold.



Jim Crow CreekReally nice claim near Downieville




Union Flat campground not farNear Downieville




The Downie River3 Miles North of Downieville


Older Listings

Is that gold real?

Yup. Most of it we got ourselves and if we didn't get it, then we know who did. Some of these pieces are for sale, if you're looking for gold to buy we always have a nice collection of pieces. The gold we have either came from our own claims, or was mined by people we personally know. There's something very gratifying about digging gold out of solid rock. In both California and Nevada there are thousands of these abandoned mines and they're yours for the picking. Not every lode mine requires a lot of work, some of them are nothing more than a quartz vein where you just dig the rock out, crush it and pick out the gold. All the gold below we either found, or someone we know found it. It's real, and there's a lot more out there.

SixteenToOne Hardrock gold Hardrock gold Hardrock gold Sixteen to One Mine Hardrock gold Highbanking Hardrock Gold Panning Mine Hardrock Gold Gold Ore Mine Cleanup Gold Pan Unsafe Mine Gold Cleanup Mining Camp Chunky gold Lode gold Gold Hoist frame Gold Gold Specimen Piece of gold Gold Pan 1 oz nugget Nugget Nugget Nuggets Nuggets Quartz Nugget Hardrock Gold

Big Nuggets of Sierra County

A short list of some big nuggets found in Sierra County. For most of them we know exactly where they were found, but we're not telling
The Monumental Nugget

January 26, 1906 Mountain Messenger article. In 1869 a man named William Farish prospected the hill near the Sierra Buttes mine where there was a seam of decomposed quartz. During the summer $30,000 (1,500 ounces) was taken from the seam, but the crevice pinched out and no further gold was found. Later that same year Winstead was passing by the old cut and decided to give the bottom of the shaft another try. He had been carrying a crow bar and he dug a hole as deep as he could with the bar. He took the dirt home, panned it out and found enough gold to return the next day for another try. Winstead, and his old partners who originally located the claim, relocated the claim and started digging again. The next day he hit solid gold at the bottom of the crevice and took out a 103 pound slab of gold of which 97 pounds were pure gold. An additional 25 pounds of gold was taken out beside it, and during the course of the year nearly 3,000 ounces were dug from the small vein by hand.

41 pounds from Kanaka Creek

The July 27, 1867 edition of the Mountain Messenger reported some Chinese mining on Kanaka Flat, in Sierra County found a nugget of pure gold weighing 41 pounds.

23 ounce nugget found in quartz vein near Sierra City

The December 10th, 1904 edition of the Mountain Messenger reported a 23 ounce nugget found in an exposed outcropping of quartz near Sierra City.

80 ounce nugget near Gold Lake

A man named Robert Locke discovered an 80 ounce nugget in his quartz mine in the 1950's.

7 Ounce Nugget Found While Crevicing

In February, 1963, a man prospecting along the Yuba River found a 7 ounce nugget on the bank of the river.

Hunter finds 28 ounce Nugget

A man hunting in the vicinity of the Sierra Buttes discovered a quartz piece with 28 ounces of gold.

40 pound Nugget Found At Hayes-Steelman Mine

In July, 1886, a 39.75 pound of pure gold was found in the Hayes-Steelman Mine near Sierra City.

90 Ounce Nugget Found Near Gibsonville

In 1862 a 90 ounce nugget was found near Gibsonville, in Sierra County.

Big Nuggets Near Gibsonville

In 1863 two nuggets were found in the placer diggings near Gibsonville. One nugget weighed 32 ounces and the other weighed 14 ounces. A few months later another nugger weighing 46 ounces was found.

Big Nugget from Howland Flat

In 1869 a nugget of 100 ounces was found in placer diggins near Howland Flat.

150 ounce nugget near Gibsonville

In 1863 a 150 ounce nugget was found in a drift tunnel near Gibsonville

Gold Boulder from the Monte Cristo Mine

In 1860 a gold and quartz boulder weighing 48 pounds was found in the Monte Cristo placer mine near Downieville.

250 ounce nugget from Whiskey Diggins

A 160 pound nugget was found in the hydraulic pit near Whiskey Diggins (near Gibsonville). The boulder contained 250 ounces of gold.

60 pound nugget found near Slate Creek

In 1901, Chinese working a claim near Howland Flat, on Slate Creek found a 61 pound nugget of pure gold in the placer workings.

Big Nugget from Onion Valley

In 1908 miners working a hydraulic operation near Onion Valley found a 62 ounce nugget.

7 pound Nugget found north of Downieville

In 1851 a 7 pound nugget was found on Lavezolla Creek.

90 ounce Nugget found west of Downieville

In 1888 a 90 ounce nugget was found in a small ravine west of Downieville.

195 pound nugget found within 2 miles of Downieville

In 1853 three miners working a placer claim east of Downieville uncoverd a pure gold nugget weighing 195 pounds.

38 Ounce Nugget Found near Downieville

In 1894 miners working a canyon within 2 miles of Downieville uncovered a 38 ounce nugget from a placer deposit.

Largest Nugget Ever - Found near Downieville

In 1852 two miners working a small ravine near Downieville unearthed a 277 pound nugget while working a shallow drift cut. The nugget was laying on top of the bedrock, but was so heavy the miners cut it into 4 parts to carry it. Because the nugget had been cut into pieces it is considered undocumented and consequently it is not considered the biggest nugget ever found.

7 Ounce Nugget Found in Crevice

In 1899 a man searching crevices in a ravine 1 mile from Downieville found a 7.5 ounce nugget.

Big Nuggets from White Bear Mine

The White Bear Mine, a couple miles from Downieville, has produced some nice nuggets in its time including a 28 ounce nugget, followed by a 20, 12 and 11 ounce nuggets all with the span of a couple of weeks in 1904.

Nice Nuggets from Ravines near Downieville

The small ravines near Downieville have produced a lot of nice nuggets over time, most of them undocumented, but the ones which made the newspaper included a 17 ounce nugget found in a ravine by a lady panning; a 30 ounce nugget from a ravine on the Downie River in 1906; a 7 ounce nugget from a ravine 3 miles from Downieville; In 1906 a 9 ounce nugget was taken from placer diggings at the Monte Cristo; In 1971 a man crevicing near the Downie River found a pocket of gold nuggets weighing over 5 ounces; In 1965 a man working the cracks of a high bench near Pauley Creek found a ten ounce nugget.

8 Pound Nugget Found Above Downieville

In 1926 a solid gold nugget weighing over 8 pounds was found at the head of a canyon not more than 2 miles from Downieville.

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