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Underwater Gold in Lake Havasu: Top 7 Prospecting Hotspots Revealed

Lake Havasu, Arizona’s renowned playground, offers more than just water-based recreational activities. To the delight of prospectors and treasure hunters, Lake Havasu has become a hotspot for underwater gold prospecting. The rich history of placer deposits throughout the area makes it an attractive destination for enthusiasts seeking the precious metal beneath the depths of the lake.

While there are numerous locations around Lake Havasu where gold deposits may be discovered, it can be daunting for first-timers to pinpoint the best central locations. To help these prospectors, a list of the top seven locations can prove invaluable. These prime prospects provide a variety of opportunities for both beginners and experienced treasure hunters hoping to strike it rich.

With an abundance of gold-bearing locations throughout the area, underwater prospecting in Lake Havasu has become increasingly popular. Each site’s unique characteristics lend themselves to different strategies, techniques, and skills. So grab your gear, and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime as you hunt for underwater gold in Lake Havasu.

Top 7 Prospecting Locations

Lake Havasu City, located in Arizona, is home to the fascinating desert oasis known as Lake Havasu. This breathtaking body of water is surrounded by picturesque landscapes and is a popular destination for discovering underwater gold. Here, we will unveil the top 7 prospecting locations for finding placer gold and nuggets in Lake Havasu.

  1. The Bill Williams River: This tributary at the southern end of Lake Havasu hosts several potential sites for gold prospecting. It’s worth exploring the riverbed and the surrounding inlets for alluvial gold deposits brought down by the water flow.

  2. Cattail Cove State Park: Just north of Lake Havasu City, this park offers miles of shoreline to prospect along. The coves in this area provide unique opportunities for gold accumulation, as they are a natural point for mineral deposits to settle.

  3. Lizard Peak: Located on the eastern shore of the lake near Pressler’s Cove, Lizard Peak is known for its gold-bearing quartz veins. Prospecting around this area can yield promising results, especially if you’re looking for larger gold nuggets.

  4. The Havasu Springs Resort Area: This recreational hotspot on the southern tip of Lake Havasu provides access to a multitude of potential gold-rich sites. Check out the sandy beach areas and gravel beds where the gold is likely to accumulate.

  5. Copper Canyon: Situated on the western side of the lake, this location offers impressive cliffs and rocky outcrops. Gold prospectors can comb through the canyon’s crevices and pockets to find flakes and small nuggets hidden within.

  6. Black Meadow Landing: Located within the vast desert surrounding Lake Havasu, this campground and marina offer plenty of opportunities for gold exploration. Hiking trails in the area expose the underlying geology, presenting favorable conditions for prospecting.

  7. Windsor Beach: This popular leisure site within Lake Havasu State Park is not only great for a beach day but also presents gold prospecting potential along its shores. The beach offers easy access to water for panning, making it a relaxing and enjoyable way to search for treasure.

These top 7 prospecting locations in Lake Havasu offer a mixture of majestic scenery, outdoor recreation, and hidden gold-rich sites. Whether you choose to explore the winding rivers, picturesque coves, or rocky canyons, Lake Havasu is a fantastic destination for both novice and experienced gold prospectors alike, allowing them to immerse themselves in the thrill of underwater gold hunting.

Gold Seeking Techniques

Using Metal Detectors

When prospecting for underwater gold in Lake Havasu, using metal detectors is an effective method. Metal detectors are designed to locate metal objects, making them perfect for detecting placer gold deposits. By adjusting the sensitivity settings, prospectors can accurately pinpoint gold nuggets hiding beneath the lake bed. This technique allows for casual prospecting, and it’s a great initial approach when searching for gold in the top 7 locations.

Keep in mind, however, that certain factors can influence metal detector performance. For instance, the mineral content of the soil around Lake Havasu might cause interference. To enhance their search, experienced prospectors may invest in high-quality metal detectors specifically designed for gold hunting.


Another popular method for gold seeking in the Lake Havasu area is using drywashers. This equipment works by separating gold from dirt and rocks, thanks to differences in weight. The drywasher’s hopper feeds the material, while a fan powered by a prospector’s or engine moves air through the unit, forcing small, lighter particles to rise to the top and discharging them. Heavier particles, like gold, remain trapped in the drywasher, making it easier to sift through and find precious metals.

While drywashing is an efficient way to hunt for gold, it may not be suitable for all prospecting sites. Due to the need for a constant air flow, drywashers are best used in areas with minimal moisture and soil. Lakeshores and dry washes around Lake Havasu can offer those optimal conditions, increasing the likelihood of finding placer gold.


Washes, or water channels, often serve as collection points for gold deposits. Prospectors in Lake Havasu can benefit from searching these areas, as they provide a greater concentration of placer gold. Following a rainstorm or flooding event, gold particles can become dislodged from the bedrock and carried by water flows, eventually settling at natural barriers and bends.

Prospecting in washes requires patience and persistence, as gold deposits can be difficult to find. However, those willing to put in the effort can be rewarded with valuable finds within the top 7 prospecting locations around the lake. Keep an eye out for boulders, crevices, and other obstructions that can trap gold and increase the chances of a successful hunt.

By combining these techniques and utilizing the appropriate equipment, gold prospectors can enhance their underwater gold hunt in and around the rich waters of Lake Havasu. Good luck, and happy prospecting!

Claims and Acres

In Lake Havasu, there are numerous claims available for recreational gold prospecting. These claims, spread over approximately 3200 acres, provide plenty of opportunities for small-scale prospectors to search for underwater gold. Most of the claims are placer claims, which few of them extend up to 640-acre parcels.

Club Claims

Many of the 20 claims available are owned by prospecting clubs, which offer their members access to these specific gold-rich locations. Club claims are especially attractive to new prospectors as they often include the necessary facilities, equipment and support needed for a successful gold hunt.

Joining a club is a great way to navigate the complexities of the claims process, especially since many claims are on privately-owned land. Prospecting clubs typically handle the legal requirements and permissions, allowing members to focus on gold panning and enjoying their hobby.

Overall, recreational gold prospecting in Lake Havasu can be a fun and potentially profitable activity when you take advantage of the abundant claims and acres available to explore. With 20 claims spanning 3200 acres, there are plenty of spots to try your luck in finding underwater gold treasures.

Club Activities and Outings

The club organizes various activities and outings, with a focus on creating a welcoming, casual atmosphere for members and their families. Camping is one of the favorite activities among the 300 members, offering a chance to relax, connect with nature, and prospect for gold in a laid-back environment. These camping trips often include family outings, making it a great opportunity for members of all ages to bond and learn from one another.

Furthermore, the club hosts regular BBQs to encourage camaraderie among members. These events allow gold prospectors to get together, share stories, and enjoy good food while discussing their latest finds and experiences in Lake Havasu. Officers of the club and more experienced members attend these gatherings, providing a wealth of knowledge and assistance to new prospectors.

In addition to recreational events, the club conducts meetings to discuss club matters and share newfound prospecting techniques. These gatherings are crucial for maintaining a well-organized and smoothly functioning group. Members highly value these meetings, as they promote education and skill development in their gold prospecting adventures.

While the club boasts a casual tone, it also takes safety and learning seriously. On outings, all necessary precautions are followed, ensuring an enjoyable and responsible experience for everyone involved. Whether you’re passionate about prospecting, looking for family-friendly activities, or simply want to connect with like-minded individuals, this club offers the perfect blend of camaraderie and adventure.

Legality and Safety

Bureau of Land Management

When considering gold prospecting in Lake Havasu, understanding the governing body is essential. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversees any recreational activities on their land. It is the organization responsible for the enforcement of legal restrictions and the designation of boundaries for prospecting areas.

Before setting out, prospectors should familiarize themselves with any limitations set by the BLM in order to avoid breaching legal guidelines. BLM land is typically accompanied by legal descriptions and documents, so proper research is necessary to prevent encroaching on private land. Legal jurisdiction and ownership are determined by the BLM, which enforces rules and regulations on public lands to ensure the safety of land users and the environment.

Havasu Gold Seekers Inc.

The Havasu Gold Seekers (HGS) is a non-profit gold prospecting club operating in the Lake Havasu area. Founded in 1991, the club is led by elected officers, including a president, vice-president, and club secretary. These officers oversee the club’s operations and ensure that the by-laws are adhered to.

HGS offers assistance and guidance to prospective gold seekers, providing information about safe prospecting locations and navigating any legal obstacles. The club is committed to practicing due caution and ensuring that prospecting activities are conducted in accordance with the law.

HGS strives to create a safe environment for its members, and as such, natural hazards are identified and documented. Prospecting locations are selected with this in mind, with the club taking due care to avoid areas prone to accidents and incidents.

It is important to note that while HGS provides valuable support and knowledge related to gold prospecting, it does not assume any legal liability for its members. Prospecting enthusiasts should be aware of this and take responsibility for their own safety and adherence to regulations.

Historic Gold Production

The area surrounding Lake Havasu, which is fed by the Colorado River, has a rich history of gold production. Many prospectors established themselves along the river, as it was the ideal location to search for gold. Upstream, near the town of Parker, miners panned for gold directly from the riverbanks. Downstream, gold could be found in the sandbars that collected at the bends of the river.

In the early 1900s, the region experienced a significant gold rush. Oatman, a once-thriving and bustling mining town, is now a popular ghost town with a past rooted in gold production. The property in and around the town yielded countless findings, contributing immensely to the region’s overall profits.

When exploring the region’s historic gold production sites, “The Diggings” stands out as one of the most renowned locations. It was here that miners extracted gold, not just from the river itself but also from the surrounding hills and valleys. The wealth of minerals in the area led to extensive mining operations, which attracted prospectors from all over.

Today, modern-day fortune seekers and hobbyists can relive this rich history by visiting these renowned gold prospecting sites around Lake Havasu. Whether it’s panning at the river’s edge or exploring the abandoned mines, seekers can unearth a new-found appreciation for the region’s fascinating and bountiful past.

Appendix: Resources and Additional Information

Lake Havasu offers numerous opportunities for underwater gold prospecting. In this appendix, a list of resources and additional information is provided, making it easier to plan your gold hunting adventure.

Various sources of publicly available data are present for gold prospectors. Geospatial data can help identify hotspots and prime locations for gold accumulation. The accuracy, reliability, and completeness of this information are crucial to successful prospecting, so be sure to trust reputable sources.

Many maps and graphics showcase potential gold-rich areas in Lake Havasu. The Mohave County website and local offices are excellent starting points for finding up-to-date maps detailing the topography and geology of the region.

To improve your chances of success, it’s always a good idea to communicate with experienced gold prospectors. One way to do this is by joining an HGS (Havasu Gold Seekers) member group. There, you can share knowledge, techniques, and valuable advice, as well as staying updated on any changes to the region or regulations. Furthermore, various email newsletters and online forums are available, providing tips on gold prospecting in Lake Havasu.

To estimate the amount of gold found in a particular area, remember that gold is measured in ounces. This measurement can help prospectors gauge the overall value and potential of different prospecting locations. Be cautious about exaggerated claims of gold finds, and focus on areas with consistent results.

Armed with this valuable information, Lake Havasu’s top 7 prospecting locations become even more enticing. Enjoy the prospecting adventure and who knows, you might just strike it rich!



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