East Kootenay Prospecting Trip
I had the chance to visit the historic area of Cranbrook, British Columbia last September. I took my favorite companions with me: my wife and, of course, my Gold Rush Nugget Bucket!
Cranbrook, B.C. is a beautiful and scenic area. More than just gold panning to do here!
The East Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada, has a rich gold-producing history. In 1864, placer gold was found on Wild Horse Creek and soon a stampede of placer miners was pouring up this small stream, each one determined to get a share of this newly found wealth. Before the end of the year, in the middle of this gold stream, the first town in the East Kootenay was flourishing. It was named Fisherville after Jack Fisher, a leader of one of the first groups of miners in the area.
By 1865, there were up to 5000 miners at Wild Horse Creek and Fisherville was booming. However, miners quickly discovered that the gravel bench the town was built on was rich in gold. The town was torn down and moved up the hill and renamed Wild Horse.
The year 1865 saw the first all Canadian route across southern B.C. completed. It was called the Dewdney Trail. About one-and-a-half miles of this trail end up at the old town site of Fisherville. There are some great trails and signage explaining the area and it's activities. At the bottom of the trail is the Public Panning Reserve, containing many gravel bars just waiting to be cleaned up with a Gold Rush Nugget Bucket, something the old miners didn't have the advantage of using.
Across the Wild Horse Creek from the old Fisherville hiking paths is the Maus Creek turn off. Eight miles up this rugged road you will come to the Nip & Tuck Mine: a small scale working placer claim, operated my owner Steve Latham. To visit Steve on his claim is a real treat! He is very friendly and loves talking about gold, mining and gems. For only $25.00, he gives you the grand tour and permission to pan on his claim, right next to Boulder Creek and the Wild Horse Creek. He has sluices set up in the river all season. Anyone on his property can use the sluices and you can keep any gold nuggets or pickers you find out of them. Any fine gold can only be retrieved when Steve does his clean up at the end of the season. I used my Gold Rush Nugget Bucket and didn't leave the fine gold behind for Steve, which is what I would recommend to anyone going up to visit the Nip & Tuck Mine.
Nip & Tuck Placer Goldmine, owned and ran by Steve Lathem.
If you are planning a trip to the East Kootenays, definitely pan for gold in the Public Reserve. Go up to Fisherville and hike around the old buildings and diggings, though there are no metal detectors allowed at Fisherville area. And of course, visit my friend Steve Lathem at the Nip and Tuck Mine!
Here's Steve Lathem’s Contact info:
Elizabeth Lake Lodge is a great place to stay if you head up to Cranbrook B.C.
If you've got gold fever, grab your Gold Rush Nugget Bucket and head up to Cranbrook B.C. Canada. A very reasonable place to stay at up there is the Elizabeth Lake Lodge. It is very clean, and has super friendly owners, rooms have built in kitchenettes. Hope you enjoy the trip as much as us.