Metal Detecting in Idaho: A Complete Guide for 2022

If you’re seeking information on how to get started metal detecting in Idaho, you’ve come to the right place.

Metal detecting is a pastime in which individuals seek valuable and rare metals such as gold and silver with a metal detector, which is then sold for profit. This hobby has been around for a long time as a recreational activity. On the other hand, going on a treasure hunt while earning money is a relatively new alternative. Because of technical breakthroughs in metal detectors, detecting these rare metals has become a lot easier, as long as you know where to look.

In Idaho, this is one of the greatest spots to go treasure hunting and metal detecting. The weather is great for metal detecting, and the area is rich in undiscovered jewels and gold. Metal detecting is made more enjoyable by the state’s beaches, rivers, lakes, and streams. On your adventure, you never know what you’ll find: gems, money, Civil War artifacts, or even gold nuggets. You should, however, conduct your research and understand the state and federal laws that regulate metal detecting in The Gem State.

Metal detecting laws in Idaho

Even if we want the government to stay out of our hobbies, they must safeguard historical places on their land. As a result, metal detecting regulations and limits differ from state to state.

The state of Idaho establishes metal detecting rules and regulations. ARPA, or the Archeological Resources Preservation Act, is a federal law that governs metal detecting on federal land.

Keep in mind that metal detecting is only permissible on public or federal land under ARPA or state legislation. Metal detecting is only authorized on private property with the owner’s or lessee’s express authorization.

Metal detecting rules in Idaho are rather straightforward. Just make sure you don’t metal detect any historic sites in Idaho. Metal detecting is thus forbidden on all historical public lands. As a result, exercise caution when excavating native mounds, burial sites, or earthworks.

Keep in mind that metal detecting on Trust’s property without permission is illegal in Idaho.

If you’re metal detecting in Idaho on a state or federal land, don’t excavate anything you suspect is an artifact or anything older than 100 years. If you locate and recover a historical relic, always notify officials so they can properly care for it. Metal detecting is also forbidden in Idaho National Parks without a valid permit. Metal detecting is, however, authorized as a leisure activity in Idaho’s public parks. It’s conceivable that you’ll be granted permission to detect metal in specific regions by coincidence, but this is quite unusual.

Overall, it is vital to understand and follow the rules when metal detecting in Idaho. Breaking these rules will result in severe penalties, including fines or, in the worst-case scenario, jail time. If you want to find a new site in Idaho, you’ll need to contact local, county, and state officials to make sure you’re following all of the rules.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Idaho: A Comprehensive Guide

Is it legal to metal detect in Idaho?

Yes, it is legal to metal detect in Idaho. However, there are limitations to the legalities. As mentioned earlier, it is illegal to go metal detecting in historic lands, state parks, and federal lands in Idaho without an authorized permit. Therefore, you will need a permit before metal detecting on most of the public lands in Idaho. The permits are really easy to purchase online or by phone. For example, the city of Boise charges $10.75 for a metal detecting permit which can be purchased online or over the phone at 208-608-7600.

If you use common sense and just seek jewelry, money, and gold nuggets on public land, you’ll be alright. Check with the local county office for regulations if you wish to metal detect at a historic site.

Can you metal detect on BLM land in Idaho?

In Idaho, the same law applies to metal detecting in BLM lands as with any other public land. Metal detecting in BLM lands is completely legal in Idaho, however, you need to make sure not to remove or dig any artifacts. Keep in mind, according to ARPA, the government has the right to seize any “archaeological resources” discovered on BLM property. Any tangible remnants of human life or activities that are at least 100 years old and of archaeological importance are considered archaeological resources.

Where can you metal detect in Idaho?

Despite the fact that Idaho’s restrictions have rendered a lot of traditional metal detecting places unlawful, the state still has a number of great metal detecting spots.

One of the first places you should go metal detecting in Idaho is your hometown. Knowing the history of the area will not only save you time, but it will also help you to look for incredible riches. What you unearth and how valuable it is will be determined by the sites you pick to metal detect, as well as the history of the location. Overall, metal detecting with historical studies will yield better results than detecting in random areas.

Some of the best places you can go for metal detecting in Idaho 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. Idaho Beaches, Rivers, Lakes, and Creeks
  7. School yards
  8. Civil war sites
  9. Ghost Towns

Is there any buried treasure in Idaho?

Idaho is a beautiful state with a rich and illustrious history. Since the 1800s, Idaho has had a significant amount of unknown riches. Pirate loot, revolutionary army stocks, and personal buried fortunes are examples of hidden treasures. There are still a few spots left! Even if many of these claims are incorrect, treasure hunters and metal detectorists believe the wealth will be found shortly.

Robbers Gulch Buried TreasureStagecoach bandits utilized Robbers Gulch on the Salmon River, about five miles southwest of White Bird, as a hideaway. A stagecoach heist is said to have left $75,000 in gold bullion buried here. The buried riches were apparently hidden in steep cliffs near Robbers Gulch.
Dry Digging Ridge Gold OreThe Dry Digging Ridge has a gold ore worth $3,00,000. It is believed to be located north of Warren, but nobody knows the exact location.
Camas Creek Buried TreasureA $25,000 gold bullion may be found on the banks of Camas Creek about a mile north of Camas. In 1864, it was buried on the banks of Camas Creek.
Jim Looney Stolen BullionIn 1876, a robber named Jim Looney stole $100,000 in gold bullion from the Boise-Kelton stagecoach. The cache was allegedly concealed in the midst of the triangle formed by the City of Rocks, Almo, and Cache Peak. Looney was subsequently slain in a barroom gunfight.

Metal detecting in Idaho Rivers

Idaho is rich in rivers and creeks as well as rugged mountains and historical sites. It is an excellent site to go metal detecting because it has multiple rivers, creeks, and streams. When detecting in rivers and streams, make sure you have adequate waterproof metal detectors. In Idaho, some of the greatest rivers for metal detecting are:

  1. Camas Creek, Lemhi
  2. Boise River, Boise
  3. Cayuse Creek, Clearwater
  4. Deadwood River, Valley
  5. Falls River, Fremont

Metal detecting in Ghost Towns of Idaho

Hundreds of ghost villages dot the landscape of Idaho. These are the towns where mining used to be done, but when the ore ran out, the population just abandoned it. There are several other historical cities with people who have left for various causes.

All of these ghost towns in Idaho are tiny, abandoned communities and settlements. Idaho’s unique history is enhanced by these towns. Metal detecting in Idaho’s ghost towns may need obtaining permission from local authorities. Once you establish if you need a permit and receive one, ghost towns in Idaho will certainly become one of your favorite metal detecting sites.

These ghost villages might also include historical artifacts. Furthermore, coin spills, gorgeous jewelry, and other expensive relics are not uncommon in these Idaho ghost towns.

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

  1. Bellevue and Broadford, Blaine County
  2. Caribou City, Bonneville County
  3. Centerville, Boise County
  4. Chesterfield, Caribou County
  5. Keuterville, Idaho

Metal detecting clubs in Idaho

One of my favorite pastimes is metal detecting since it allows me to reconnect with old acquaintances while also creating new ones. If you want to meet new people and go on a metal detecting trip with them, I highly recommend joining a metal detecting club in Idaho.

Metal detecting has grown in popularity in recent years, with clubs springing up all across the country. The club’s members are active and supportive of one another. These groups get together once a month to show off their treasures, plan their next expedition, and talk about how to determine the diversity and worth of their finds.

Metal detecting clubs may be an excellent source of knowledge as well as new locations for treasure hunting. Setting up your metal detector for a specific place might be tough if you’re a beginner. A smart approach to cope with this problem is to join a metal detecting group.

In Idaho, there are numerous fantastic metal detecting groups. Metal detecting groups in Idaho can help you improve your abilities whether you’re a novice or a seasoned hunter.

It is not necessary for metal detecting groups to have an internet presence. Join Facebook groups to meet other metal detectorists in Idaho and share your expertise.

Some of the best Metal detecting clubs in Idaho are:

  1. Gem State metal Detecting Club, Boise
  2. Boise Basin Search & Recovery Club, Boise
  3. Northside Gem & Hobby Club, Twin Falls

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

  1. S.E Idaho Metal Detector’s Group
  2. Idaho Metal Detectorists Group
  3. Metal Detecting Finds and Advice
  4. Sod Busters Metal Detecting

Final Thoughts

All in all, Idaho is a great place to quench your metal detecting thirst. The nature, history, weather, and lenient laws make this hobby really enjoyable in Idaho. Just make sure you understand the metal detecting laws in Idaho before attempting it in public places. In the case of private properties make sure to have the permission of the landowner, or else you may be charged with trespassing.