Metal Detecting in Arizona: A Complete Guide for 2022

You’ve come to the correct site if you’re looking for information on how to get started metal detecting in Arizona.

Metal detecting is a hobby in which people use a metal detector to search for expensive and rare metals such as gold and silver, which are then sold for profit. As a recreational activity, this hobby has been around for a long time. Going on a treasure search while earning money, on the other hand, is a relatively new option. Detecting these uncommon metals has gotten much easier thanks to technological advancements in metal detectors, as long as you know where to look.

One of the best places to go treasure hunting and metal detecting in Arizona. The weather is ideal for metal detecting, and the area is abundant in gold and other undiscovered gems. The state’s beaches, rivers, lakes, and streams add to the fun of metal detecting. You never know what you’ll uncover on your journey: jewels, money, Civil War relics, or even gold nuggets. However, you should do your homework and learn about the state and federal rules that govern metal detecting in The Grand Canyon State.

Metal detecting laws in Arizona

Even if we’d like the government to stay out of our hobbies, they still have a responsibility to protect historical sites on their property. As a result, state-by-state metal detecting rules and restrictions vary.

Metal detecting rules and regulations are set by the state of Arizona. The Archeological Resources Preservation Act, or ARPA, is a federal statute that regulates metal detecting on federal property.

Keep in mind that under ARPA or state legislation, metal detecting is only permitted on public or federal territory. Metal detecting is only permitted on private land with the express permission of the owner or lessee.

The rules for metal detecting in Arizona are rather simple. Just be careful not to metal detect any historical places in Arizona. This means that metal detecting is completely prohibited on any historical public lands. As a result, when digging native mounds, burial sites, or earthworks, use caution.

Keep in mind that without authorization, metal detecting on Trust’s land is unlawful in Arizona.

Don’t dig anything you think is an artifact or anything older than 100 years if you’re metal detecting in Arizona on state or federal territory. Always inform officials if you find and recover a historical artifact so they can properly care for it. Without a valid permit, metal detecting is likewise prohibited in National Parks in Arizona. Since Grand Canyon is a National Park, therefore, metal detecting in Grand Canyon is also not legal in Arizona. However, metal detecting in the state parks, as a recreational activity, is permitted in Arizona. It’s possible that you’ll be granted permission to detect metal in certain areas by chance, but it’s quite unlikely.

Overall, when metal detecting in Arizona, it is critical to understand and respect the restrictions. Breaking these regulations will result in harsh consequences, such as fines or, in the worst-case scenario, jail time. If you wish to detect a new site in Arizona, you should contact the local, county, and state officials to ensure you’re following all applicable regulations.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Arizona: A Comprehensive Guide

Is it legal to metal detect in Arizona?

Metal detecting is fully legal in Arizona. The legalities, however, have limitations. Metal detecting is prohibited on historic sites, state parks, and federal land in Arizona without permission from the appropriate authorities. You’ll be fine if you apply common sense and just look for jewelry, money, and gold nuggets on public property. If you want to metal detect at a historic site, check with the local county office for restrictions.

Where can you metal detect in Arizona?

Despite the fact that Arizona’s regulations have made several classic metal detecting spots illegal, the state still boasts a number of excellent metal detecting locations.

If you live in Arizona, one of the first areas you should go metal detecting is your hometown. Not only would knowing the history of the location save you time, but it will also allow you to hunt for tremendous treasure. The locations you choose to metal detect, as well as the history of the location, will determine what you uncover and how valuable it is. Overall, when compared to detecting on random lands, metal detecting with historical studies will produce better results.

Some of the best places you can go for metal detecting in Arizona are:

  1. Abandoned Buildings and Structures
  2. Abandoned Parks
  3. Old wagon train routes
  4. Native American Trails
  5. Natural Disaster Distruction Sites
  6. Arizona Beaches, Rivers, Lakes, and Creeks
  7. School yards
  8. Civil war sites
  9. Ghost Towns

Is there any buried treasure in Arizona?

Arizona is a lovely state with a long and distinguished history. Arizona has a substantial quantity of undiscovered wealth dating back to the 1800s. Hidden wealth includes pirate booty, revolutionary army stores, and personal buried fortunes. There are still a few spaces available! Despite the fact that many of these claims are false, treasure seekers and metal detectorists believe the treasure will be discovered soon.

The following are some of the most common stories in Arizona about hidden or missing valuables:

TreasuresDetails
The La Esmeralda Church Buried TreasureA huge amount of gold and silver bars is believed to be buried approximately 6 miles southwest of the old San Xavier del Bac Mission. Metal detectorists also speculate that the treasure may be in a cave along the south ridge of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
The Telegraph Pass Buried TreasureAround $50,000 in gold and jewelry was allegedly stuffed inside an iron kettle and buried near Telegraph Pass in 1870. The wealth was reportedly buried in a campground near a small butte on the east side of the Estrella Mountains, below Montezuma’s Head.
The Sunlit Cave TreasureA cave on the Arizona bank of the Colorado River, some 15 to 20 miles south of Ehrenberg, is home to several tons of Spanish gold and silver bullion.
The Fort Huachuca TreasureA treasure worth more than $60 million is said to be hidden somewhere in the Huachuca Canyon on the Fort Huachuca Military Reservation. Hundreds of gold bars, each measuring 50 pounds, make up the treasure. Juan Estrada, a Mexican bandit, is said to have buried the treasure between Bisbee and Nogales. According to legend, in 1941, Robert Jones, a base employee, fell into a hole and discovered the riches. Jones is said to have stolen a few gold bars, then covered the hole and kept it hidden. Jones was granted permission by the US government to retrieve the gold in 1959. Jones, on the other hand, was unable to relocate the enormous riches.

Metal detecting on Arizona Beaches

Even though Arizona is a land-locked state and does not have any ocean coastline, the Great Lakes creates beautiful shorelines and beaches in this state. On Arizona beaches, metal detecting is perfect for recovering lost jewelry and coins. As a result, you’ll find a lot of other metal detectorists heading to the Arizona beaches late at night to get their metal detecting fix.

As of this writing, metal detecting is legal on public Arizona beaches. However, the state of Arizona has the ability to take anything of archaeological interest you find.

In Arizona, some of the most well-known beaches for metal detecting are:

  1. Windsor Beach, Lake Havasu
  2. Buckskin Mountain State Park Beach, Parker
  3. Patagonia Lake State Park Beach, Nogales
  4. Roper Lake State Park Beach, Safford
  5. London Bridge Beach, Lake Havasu

Metal detecting in Arizona Rivers

Arizona is not only rich in rocky mountains and historical grounds but also in rivers and creeks. It has numerous rivers, creeks, and streams which is a great place to go metal detecting. Make sure you have proper waterproof metal detectors while detecting in rivers and streams. Some of the best rivers to metal detect in Arizona are:

  1. Agua Fria River (Yavapai County)
  2. Aravaipa Creek (Graham and Pinal Counties)
  3. Barbershop Canyon (Coconino County)
  4. Big Sandy River (Mohave County)
  5. Black River, East Fork (Apache County)
  6. Blue River (Greenlee County)

Metal detecting in Ghost Towns of Arizona

Hundreds of ghost towns can be found throughout Arizona. These are the towns where mining used to be done and the residents simply abandoned it when the ore ran out. There are countless other old cities where residents have left for a variety of reasons.

All of these small, abandoned villages and cities in Arizona are considered ghost towns. These villages add to Arizona’s fascinating heritage. Remember that metal detecting in Arizona’s ghost towns may require permission from local authorities. Ghost towns in Arizona will undoubtedly become one of your favorite metal detecting destinations once you determine whether you require a permit and obtain one if necessary.

These ghost towns may also contain different historical items. Furthermore, it is not uncommon to find a coin spill, beautiful jewelry, or other valuable artifacts in these Arizona ghost towns.

Some of the popular ghost towns in Arizona for metal detecting are:

  1. Edith, Maricopa County
  2. Aripine 18E, Navajo County
  3. Pacific City, La Paz County
  4. Goldfield, Pinal County
  5. Aztec, Yuma County

Metal detecting clubs in Arizona

Metal detecting is one of my favorite activities since it allows me to reconnect with old friends while also making new ones. I definitely recommend joining a metal detecting group in Arizona if you want to meet new people and go on a metal detecting trip with them.

In recent years, metal detecting has become increasingly popular, with clubs cropping up all over the country. Members of the club are involved and supportive of one another. Members of these organizations meet once a month to show off their finds, plan their next outing, and discuss how to determine the variety and value of their finds.

Metal detecting groups may be a great source of information as well as new places to go treasure hunting. If you’re a newbie, setting up your metal detector for a specific spot will be difficult. Joining a metal detecting club is a good way to deal with this problem.

There are several wonderful metal detecting clubs in Arizona. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned hunter, metal detecting organizations in Arizona can assist you to improve your skills.

Metal detecting clubs are not required to have an online presence. Join Facebook groups to meet other Arizona metal detectorists and share your knowledge and skills.

Some of the best Metal detecting clubs in Arizona are:

  1. Arizona Association of Gold Prospectors, Phoenix
  2. Desert Gold Diggers, Phoenix
  3. Arizona Treasures Unlimited, Tucson

Similarly, some of the most popular Metal Detecting Facebook groups in Arizona are:

  1. AZ Metal Detecting Group
  2. Metal Detecting Finds
  3. Cottonwood Metal Detecting Group
  4. Metal Detecting Advice and Help Group

Final Thoughts

Overall, Arizona is a fantastic destination to satisfy your metal detecting appetite. Arizona’s natural beauty, history, weather, and relaxed rules make this a fun hobby. Just make sure you’re familiar with Arizona’s metal detecting regulations before doing it in public. If you’re on private property, be sure you obtain the landowner’s permission first, otherwise, you could face trespassing charges.