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“Wonderful Fun” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gold Prospecting Adventures

Gold Prospecting Adventures
18170 Main Street, Jamestown, CA 95327
+1 209-984-4653
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Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Jamestown
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: As seen on every major network including Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, Discovery and History Channels, Tokyo TV, CBS and read about in the New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, the Shock Family has some of the most experienced and knowledgeable prospectors in all of Gold Country. We will open doors for the novice to the professional that you may have not known existed. You may lose your pictures but you will never forget the memories. Come have a blast into the past finding gold and learning the art of prospecting on the historic Woods Creek. The surest way to ensure the future is by touching the past.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access
Clovis, California
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Wonderful Fun”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

I try to do things outside of the norm when I travel!

Gold panning I have never experienced! I went and sprung the mother load LOL

The staff at GPA were extremley knowledgable and you can tell they loved there jobs! Thanks for making this traveler have an experience I will never forget!

Visited February 2013
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71 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great Family Weekend Trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

My girlfriend's 9-year old son has a gold obsession and has been begging me to take him gold prospecting for the last year. We found ourselves with a free weekend recently and decided to do a quick/spontaneous trip. Although it seemed like the wrong time of year (mid-January, 45 degrees outside) to be wading out into a California cold stream to pan for gold, we decided to go anyway. At the very least, we reasoned, it would be fun to visit the area and do some sightseeing.

We did almost no planning for the 3 hour trip except to pack some extra warm clothes, in case we got wet/cold. I did a quick Google search the Saturday night before we left and "Gold Prospecting Adventures" showed up prominently in several Gold Sites and had great reviews. We arrived at their office in Jamestown around 10AM with no reservations, but there was no problem. Brent, the owner, was very friendly and assured us that they would supply everything we needed as part of the package.... including rubber wading boots for everyone in the family. He explained the various options to us and we chose the 3-hour Guided Family Plan with sluice box and all panning equipment included for $155.

Brent pointed us to a grocery store across the street where we were able to purchase some fresh sandwiches and snacks and gave us directions to the stream which was just a short 1-mile drive away. Upon arriving at the site, our guide Dustin was waiting for us. Dustin has some great reviews on Yelp, TravelAdvisor and other review sites for good reason.... he was GREAT! Dustin really knows his stuff and answered all kinds of questions about the history of the area, rock & mineral questions, panning technique, etc. He was great with our 9-year old and even hiked downstream with him to show him some nearby Native American grinding basins after our gold panning was finished. He's a "natural" guide and he made sure the entire family had fun and found the most gold possible.

In the end, we found about a dozen gold flakes, which satisfied our son. Another man working the stream found a small nugget while we were there and another family working with Dustin upstream from us also found gold. The owner goes out of his way NOT to make any promises about finding gold, but from reading reviews, it looks like most people who follow instructions and work a little do find gold on their adventure. But the beautiful stream setting and the fun times are the real reward!

Our family will DEFINITELY visit the area again and I'm sure we'll stop back by Gold Prospecting Adventures. There's a lot in the area to see and do and we could definitely have used more time in the area than just our quick Sunday in/out trip. We did have a chance to stop by the old historic town of Columbia (Dustin's recommendation) after our gold panning. Columbia is just 5 miles or so from the gold panning site and we got there around 3PM. GREAT PLACE! The entire town has been frozen in time in the 1800s and only horse & buggies are allowed on the street. The shopkeepers dress in period clothes and sell some great gourmet hand-made goodies (and misc. trinkets). Don't miss Nelson's Columbia Candy Kitchen!

My highest recommendations for Gold Prospecting Adventures!

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Gold in them thar hills!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

I am so impressed with this place. Right on the path to the old west, the storefont sits right on the very street there were prospectors and cowboys and merchants back in the 1800's
Brent and Dustin greeted us as we entered and we were immediately feeling like it was our home. These guys are great. They know the business and they know people. We took a prospecting tour for 2 days, we figured it would take us more than one day to learn how to find gold.
We met Dustin down at the creek that they own and he showed us patiently how to find GOLD!!! My friend Dave wanted to pan and relax. I used the 5 gal bucket and was using the sluice box for processing mopre material faster. Hard work but fun, you are tired at the end of the day and see truly how the miners did it. WOW!!
We found gold too, we were able to get a good return on our investment.
My son is 11 years old and such a great time , what a great time teaching him about the gold country.
Thanks to Dustin and Brent, we had the best time and really will come back before the rains start, we have alot of work left to do!!!:)

Visited October 2012
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San Rafael, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Panning in the Foothills”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

Our first stop on a vacation trip through the foothills and on to Yosemite was Jamestown to take a chance on finding some gold! We really didn't have a plan but when we walked into the storefront on Main St we found all we needed in one place. The store has all the supplies for prospecting for gold like pans, sluice boxes, vials, etc. and will set you up for time on the creek the same day with instruction. While we didn't find gold during our afternoon there, others taking the sluice box instruction did. In summary, I can't imagine how they could make it any easier for a beginner or someone who hasn't panned in a long time to get out there prospecting.

Visited September 2012
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Louisville, KY
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“AWESOME Time!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

My wife always had panning for gold on her bucket list. Well, she can now cross that off her list thanks to Gold Prospecting Adventures. We had reserved a 3-hour trip after having seen all of the glowing reviews of this company. Those reviews turned out to be very accurate.

Brent, Bree, and Dustin were just wonderful. They all clearly have a passion for mining for gold and it certainly showed. They were very patient, friendly, and knowedgeable - which we sure needed as we'd never done this before! The creek at which we mined was only about a 2 mile drive from the storefront. Dustin was our guide and, again, he was great. He patiently shared his knowledge and taught us the tricks of the trade. We each found a few pieces of gold and even a garnet. The creek and the surrounding area was very pretty and peaceful. Even if you don't find any gold, you will enjoy the calm and peace of the "search." But if WE can find gold - anyone should be able to to!

We both enjoyed this visit very much and HIGHLY recommend. If we didn't live so far away from CA, we would definitely return - often. Thanks to Brent, Bree, and Dustin for helping us create a great memory in Jamestown, CA!

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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