Metal Detecting in Montana: 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 Montana.

Metal detecting is a hobby in which people use a metal detector to find expensive and rare metals such as gold and silver, which are then sold for profit. As a leisure pastime, 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 a lot simpler thanks to technological advancements in metal detectors, as long as you know where to look.

This is one of the best places in Montana for treasure-seeking and metal detecting. The weather is ideal for metal detecting, and the area is teeming with undiscovered gems and gold. The state’s beaches, rivers, lakes, and streams make metal detecting more pleasurable. You never know what you’ll uncover on your quest: diamonds, money, Civil War artifacts, or even gold nuggets. However, you should do your homework and learn about the state and federal rules that govern metal detecting in The Treasure State.

Metal detecting laws in Montana

Even if we want the government to stay out of our hobbies, historical sites on their territory must be protected. As a result, metal detecting laws and restrictions vary from state to state.

Metal detecting rules and regulations are established by the state of Montana. 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.

Montana’s metal detecting laws are quite basic. Just be sure you don’t metal detect any of Montana’s historic landmarks. Metal detecting is prohibited on all historical public lands. As a result, while digging native mounds, burial sites, or earthworks, use care.

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

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

Overall, while metal detecting in Montana, 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 Montana, you’ll need to contact local, county, and state officials to ensure that you’re following all of the requirements.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Montana: A Comprehensive Guide

Is it legal to metal detect in Montana?

Yes, metal detecting is legal in Montana. The laws, however, have restrictions. It is unlawful to go metal detecting on Montana’s historic sites, state parks, and federal areas without a permit, as previously stated. As a result, you’ll need a permit to metal detect on most of Montana’s public lands. The permits can be purchased online or over the phone. In order to purchase one please call your local park and recreational office. It is generally cheap and you can get one for just around $10.

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

Can you metal detect on BLM land in Montana?

Metal detecting on BLM property is subject to the same laws as any other public land in Montana. In Montana, metal detecting on BLM property is permissible, but you must be careful not to remove or excavate any artifacts. Keep in mind that the government, according to ARPA, has the authority to seize any “archaeological treasures” uncovered on BLM land. Archaeological resources are tangible relics of human life or activities that are at least 100 years old and of archaeological significance.

Where can you metal detect in Montana?

Despite the fact that Montana’s regulations have made many classic metal-detecting locations illegal, the state still boasts a number of excellent metal-detecting locations.

If you are a local, your hometown is one of the first places you should go metal detecting in Montana. Not only can knowing the area’s history save you time, but it will also aid you in your search for extraordinary treasures. The places you choose to metal detect, as well as the history of the region, will impact what you find and how valuable it is. Metal detecting using historical studies will, on average, produce better results than detecting in random locations.

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

Is there any buried treasure in Montana?

Montana is a lovely state with a long and storied past. Montana has had a substantial quantity of undiscovered wealth since the 1600s. Hidden treasures include pirate booty, revolutionary army stores, and personal buried wealth. A few seats are still available! Even if many of these claims are false, treasure seekers and metal detectorists are confident that the riches will be discovered soon.

The Lost Springer’s Gold MineThree workers allegedly removed 300 pounds of gold from the mine, but when they returned, they were unable to locate it. The incident occurred near Anaconda, at the Baggs Creek Drainage region, one mile north of the Baggs and Cottonwood Creeks’ junction.
Hell Gate Ronde RuinsIn or around this town, the Henry Plummer gang hid a stockpile of gold coins and nuggets. The group was hanged soon after without saying where the stockpile was hidden. This town is believed to be named Missoula and is about two miles northwest of here.
Hollow Top Mountain Buried TreasureThis mountain is roughly seven miles to the northeast of Waterloo. In a cave on the mountain, the Plummer gang hid $800,000 in gold bullion and coins. Before returning to the treasure, the gang was hanged.
Chinese Grade Buried GoldThis treasure is located between Drummond and Bearmouth, along the Clear Fork River. Many miners resided here during the 1860s gold rush. Much of their gold was allegedly buried for safekeeping.

Metal detecting in Montana Rivers

Montana is home to several rivers and creeks, 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 suitable waterproof metal detectors while detecting in rivers and streams. Some of the best rivers for metal detecting in Montana are:

  1. Basin Creek, Flathead
  2. Big Creek, Lincoln
  3. Bitterroot River, Ravalli
  4. Black Canyon Creek, Big Horn
  5. Bull River, Sanders
  6. Cache Creek, Mineral

Metal detecting in Ghost Towns of Montana

Hundreds of abandoned settlements dot Montana’s terrain. These are the towns where mining used to be done, but the populace abandoned it as the ore ran out. People have fled for various reasons to a number of other ancient cities.

These Montana ghost towns are all small, abandoned villages and localities. These communities contribute to Montana’s distinctive heritage. Permission from local authorities may be required for metal detecting in Montana’s ghost towns. Once you figure out if you need a permit and get one, Montana’s ghost towns will quickly become one of your favorite metal detecting destinations.

Historical items may be found in these ghost communities. Coin spills, beautiful jewelry, and other valuable antiquities are also widespread in these Montana ghost towns.

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

  1. Bear Creek, Carbon
  2. Exeter, Phillips
  3. Fort Benton, Chouteau
  4. Hillsboro, Carbon
  5. Marysville, Lewis & Clark

Metal detecting clubs in Montana

Metal detecting is one of my favorite hobbies since it allows me to reconnect with old friends while also making new ones. I definitely recommend joining a metal detecting group in Montana 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 trip, and discuss how to assess the variety and value of their finds.

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

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

Metal detecting clubs are not required to have an online presence. Therefore, join Facebook groups to connect with other Montana metal detectorists and share your knowledge.

Some of the best Metal detecting clubs in Montana are:

  1. Beartooth Treasure Hunters & Prospectors Club, Billings
  2. Montana Treasure Seekers, Helena

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

  1. Metal Detecting Finds and Advice
  2. Montana Detecting Group
  3. Today’s Metal Detecting Finds
  4. Metal Detecting Federation

Final Thoughts

Overall, Montana is an excellent spot to satisfy your metal detecting needs. Montana’s natural beauty, history, weather, and relaxed rules make this a fun sport. Just make sure you’re familiar with Montana’s metal detecting regulations before attempting it in public. If you’re on private property, be sure you obtain the landowner’s permission first, otherwise, you might face trespassing charges.