Metal Detecting in Colorado: A Complete Guide for 2022

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for information on how to get started metal detecting in Colorado.

Metal detecting is a hobby in which individuals seek expensive and rare metals such as gold and silver with a metal detector, which are then sold for profit. As a leisure pastime, this hobby has a lengthy history. Going on a treasure search while earning money, on the other hand, is a relatively new option. Detecting these uncommon metals has gotten a lot simpler thanks to technological advancements in metal detectors, as long as you know where to look.

This is a popular treasure hunting and metal detecting location in Colorado. There are plenty of undiscovered diamonds and gold in the area, and the weather is ideal for metal detecting. The state’s beaches, rivers, lakes, and streams make metal detecting more pleasurable. You never know what you’ll come upon on your journey: gems, money, Civil War antiques, or even gold nuggets. However, you should do your homework and learn about the state and federal rules that govern metal detecting in The Centennial State.

Metal detecting laws in Colorado

We must protect historical sites on their territory even if we want the government to stay out of our hobbies. As a result, metal detecting laws and regulations vary from state to state.

Metal detecting rules and restrictions have been established by the state of Colorado. Metal detecting on government land is governed by the Archeological Resources Preservation Act or ARPA.

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.

Metal detecting rules in Colorado are basic. Make sure not to metal detect any historic places in Colorado. Metal detecting is prohibited on any historical public lands. As a result, while digging native mounds, burial sites, or earthworks, use care.

Furthermore, metal detecting on Trust’s property without authorization is prohibited in Colorado.

If you’re metal detecting in Colorado on a state or federal land, don’t dig up anything that looks like an artifact or is more than 100 years old. Notify officials if you find and gather a historical artifact so they can properly care for it. Without a valid permit, metal detecting is likewise prohibited in Colorado National Parks. Metal detecting, on the other hand, is authorized as a recreational activity in Colorado’s public parks. It’s possible that you’ll be granted permission to detect metal in particular areas by chance, although this is unlikely.

Overall, while metal detecting in Colorado, 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’re looking for a new location in Colorado, you’ll need to contact local, county, and state officials to ensure you’re following all of the regulations.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Colorado: A Comprehensive Guide

Is it legal to metal detect in Colorado?

In Colorado, metal detecting is legal. The laws, however, contain restrictions. Metal detecting without a valid permit is prohibited on Colorado’s historic sites, state parks, and federal properties, as previously indicated. As a result, metal detecting will require a permit on Colorado’s public lands. Permits are available over the phone and online. To receive one, please contact your local park and recreation office. It is reasonably priced, with a single unit costing around $10.

You’ll be OK if you exercise common sense and just look for jewelry, money, and gold nuggets on public ground. Before metal detecting at a historic site, check with the local county office for rules.

Can you metal detect on BLM land in Colorado?

Metal detecting on BLM land is subject to the same rules that apply to all other Colorado public lands. On BLM land in Colorado, metal detecting is permissible, but you must be careful not to remove or uncover any artifacts. Remember that the government, according to ARPA, has the authority to seize any “archaeological riches” uncovered on BLM land. Archaeological resources are tangible objects from human life or activities that have archaeological importance and are at least 100 years old.

Where can you metal detect in Colorado?

Despite the fact that many conventional metal-detecting areas are now illegal in Colorado, the state still contains a number of excellent metal-detecting spots.

If you are a local Colorado resident, one of the first places you should go metal detecting in Colorado is your hometown. Not only can knowing the history of the area save you time, but it will also assist you in discovering extraordinary wealth. Where you metal detect and the history of the place can impact what you find and how valuable it is. Metal detecting based on historical study will, on average, produce better results than detecting in random locations.

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

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

Is there any buried treasure in Colorado?

Colorado is a lovely place with a fascinating history. Colorado has housed a substantial amount of unknown riches since the 1600s. Hidden treasures include pirate booty, revolutionary army caches, and privately buried money. There are still a few open seats! Even if many of these claims are false, treasure seekers and metal detectorists believe the wealth will be discovered soon.

Robber‘s Roost Buried TreasureOutlaws buried $60,000 in gold on the east side of Horsetooth Reservoir, west of Fort Collins.
The Gold Hill Ghost TownsCrisman, Gold Hill, Salina, and Sunshine are the names of the Gold Hill Ghost Towns, which are located on Route 119 between Boulder and Nederland. There’s no way of knowing what else is in there. Before going into this location, get permission.
Jamestown Buried TreasureThere might be multiple buried treasures near Jamestown. Gold coins were discovered in many locations in and around Jamestown in the 1930s. A farmer working his field in the 1960s discovered a jug containing $10,000 in gold coins.
The Jim Reynolds Gang TreasureThe Jim Reynolds Gang buried gold and silver coins worth $175,000 along the South Platte River and Hardcart Creek in the 1860s.

Metal detecting in Colorado Rivers

There are many rivers, lakes, and creeks in Colorado, as well as harsh mountains and historic landmarks. It’s a great place to do metal detecting because there are so many rivers, creeks, and streams. Make sure you have adequate waterproof metal detectors while detecting in rivers and streams. Some of the best rivers for metal detecting in Colorado are:

  1. Animas River, La Plata
  2. Arkansas River, Otero
  3. Badger Creek, Park
  4. Beaver Creek, Fremont
  5. Big Thompson River, Larimer
  6. Blue Creek, Gunnison

Metal detecting in Ghost Towns of Colorado

Colorado’s terrain is littered with hundreds of abandoned villages. These are the towns where mining used to be done, but people abandoned it as the ore ran out. For various causes, people have fled to a variety of other historic cities.

All of the villages and towns in Colorado’s ghost towns have been abandoned. These towns play an important role in Colorado’s history. Additionally, approval from local officials may be required for metal detecting in Colorado’s ghost towns. After you determine whether you require a permit and receive one, Colorado’s ghost towns will quickly become one of your favorite metal detecting locations.

Historical items may be found in these ghost towns. Coin spills, beautiful jewelry, and other valuables abound in these Colorado ghost communities.

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

  1. Abbeyville, Gunnison
  2. Animas City, La Plata
  3. Golden Hill Station, Boulder
  4. Holy Cross City, Eagle
  5. Quartzville, Park

Metal detecting clubs in Colorado

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

Metal detecting has been increasingly popular in recent years, with clubs cropping up all across the United States. Members of the club are involved and supportive of one another. Once a month, these groups meet together to show off their discoveries, plan their next expedition, and discuss how to assess the variety and value of their finds.

Metal detecting groups may be a great source of information and new treasure hunting spots. If you’re a newbie, setting up your metal detector for a specific location might be difficult. As a result, joining a metal detecting club is a fantastic way to deal with this problem.

There are several wonderful metal detecting organizations in Colorado. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned hunter, metal detecting organizations in Colorado can help you improve your skills.

Metal detecting clubs are not required to have an online presence. As a consequence, join Facebook groups to communicate with and share your expertise with other metal detectorists in Colorado.

Some of the best Metal detecting clubs in Colorado are:

  1. Eureka Treasure Hunters Club, Denver
  2. Durango Diggers Club, Durango
  3. Chaffee County Prospectors Club, Buena Vista
  4. Pikes Peak Adventure League, Colorado Springs
  5. Uncompahgre Treasure Club, Montrose

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

  1. Metal Detectorists in Colorado
  2. Metal Detecting in CO
  3. CO Metal Detecting
  4. Metal Detecting Finds and Advice

Final Thoughts

Overall, metal detecting in Colorado is a fantastic experience. Colorado’s natural beauty, history, weather, and loose rules make this a fantastic pastime to partake in. Make sure you’re familiar with Colorado’s metal detecting regulations before attempting it in public. Also, if you’re on private land, be sure you ask permission from the owner first, otherwise, you might be charged with trespassing.