Metal Detecting in Utah: A Complete Guide for 2022

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

Metal detecting is a pastime in which people use a metal detector to search for valuable and rare metals like gold and silver, which are then sold for profit. This hobby has a long history as a recreational activity. On the other hand, going on a treasure hunt while earning money is a relatively new alternative. Thanks to technical developments in metal detectors, detecting these rare metals has become a lot easier, as long as you know where to look.

This is one of Utah’s top treasure hunting and metal detecting areas. The weather is great for metal detecting, and there are plenty of undiscovered jewels and gold in the vicinity. Metal detecting is made more enjoyable by the state’s beaches, rivers, lakes, and streams. On your journey, you never know what you’ll find: jewels, 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 Beehive State.

Metal detecting laws in Utah

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

The state of Utah has created metal detecting rules and regulations. The Archeological Resources Preservation Act, or ARPA, is a federal law that governs metal detecting on government 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.

Utah’s metal detecting rules are quite straightforward. Make sure not to metal detect any of Utah’s historic sites. On all historical public lands, metal detecting is banned. As a result, exercise caution when excavating native mounds, burial sites, or earthworks.

Keep in mind that metal detecting on Trust’s land without permission is illegal in Utah.

Don’t dig up anything that appears like an artifact or is more than 100 years old if you’re metal detecting in Utah on a state or federal territory. If you uncover and collect a historical relic, notify officials so they can properly care for it. Metal detecting is also forbidden in Utah National Parks without a valid permit. Metal detecting, on the other hand, is permitted in Utah’s public parks as a leisure pastime. It’s conceivable that you’ll get authorization to detect metal in specific regions by coincidence, but it’s unusual.

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

Related: Dumpster Diving in Utah: A Comprehensive Guide

Is it legal to metal detect in Utah?

Metal detecting is permitted in Utah. However, the laws have limitations. As previously stated, it is illegal to go metal detecting without a permit on Utah’s historic sites, state parks, and federal lands. As a result, metal detecting on Utah’s public lands will require a permit. Permits can be obtained over the phone or online. Please contact your local park and recreation office to obtain one. It is relatively inexpensive, with one costing approximately $10.

If you use common sense and just seek jewelry, money, and gold nuggets on public land, you’ll be OK. Check with the local county office for guidelines before metal detecting at a historic site.

Can you metal detect on BLM land in Utah?

Metal detecting on BLM territory is governed by the same regulations that apply to all other public lands in Utah. Metal detecting is legal on BLM land in Utah, but you must be cautious not to remove or unearth any artifacts. Remember that, according to ARPA, the government has the ability to take any “archaeological valuables” discovered on BLM territory. Archaeological resources are tangible artifacts from human life or activities that are at least 100 years old and have archaeological value.

Can you metal detect at the Great Salt Lake?

Yes using metal detectors on the banks of the Great Salt Lake as a recreational activity is completely legal. You can look for gold nuggets, jewelry, coins, and even some relics. However, any item that seems to be over 100 years old is classified as ‘archaeological valuables’ and must be handed over to the state of Utah.

Where can you metal detect in Utah?

Despite Utah’s rules making many traditional metal-detecting spots unlawful, the state still has a number of outstanding metal-detecting locations.

If you live in Utah, one of the first areas you should go metal detecting is your hometown. Not only can understanding the history of the place save you time, but it will also help you find remarkable riches. What you find and how valuable it is will be influenced by where you metal detect and the history of the area. On average, metal detecting based on historical research will yield better results than detecting in random sites.

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

Is there any buried treasure in Utah?

Utah is a beautiful state with a rich history. Since the 1600s, Utah has held a significant amount of undiscovered treasure. Pirate loots, revolutionary army stockpiles, and privately buried wealth are examples of hidden treasures. There are still a few spots available! Even if many of these claims are incorrect, treasure hunters and metal detectorists are optimistic that the treasure will be found shortly.

The Golden Jesus TreasureAround the 1800s a massive solid gold crucifix was allegedly hidden in a cave among forty burro loads of buried treasure. The cave is said to lie between Escalante and Boulder, close to County 12, in Garfield County, along the Escalante River.
The Montezuma HoardThe Montezuma Hoard is a rumored treasure hoard worth between 10 and 100 million dollars. The Aztecs were said to have taken this treasure out of Mexico to conceal it from Cortez. The wealth is thought to be concealed in caves near Kanab on White Mountain.
Butch Cassidy Buried TreasureButch Cassidy’s buried treasure, estimated to be worth $72,000 in gold and silver coins, was buried about 10 miles southeast of Castle Dale in Emery County. Buckhorn Wash on the Coal Cliffs was said to be where the wealth was hidden.
The Lost Josephine Gold MineDuring the 19th century, ore from the Lost Josephine Gold Mine was valued at $50,000 a ton. It’s in Waterpocket Canyon in Garfield County, amid other abandoned gold mines in the Henry Mountains.

Metal detecting in Utah Rivers

Utah is home to a number of rivers, lakes, and creeks, as well as rugged mountains and historic sites. Because there are so many rivers, creeks, and streams, it’s an excellent spot to go metal detecting. When detecting in rivers and streams, make sure you have appropriate waterproof metal detectors. In Utah, some of the greatest rivers for metal detecting are:

  1. American Fork Creek, Utah
  2. Argyle Creek, Duchesne
  3. Colorado River, San Juan
  4. Courthouse Wash, Grand
  5. Dirty Devil River, Garfield
  6. Dolores River, Grand

Metal detecting in Ghost Towns of Utah

Hundreds of abandoned towns dot the landscape of Utah. These are the towns where mining used to be done, but as the ore ran out, the people abandoned it. People have fled to a number of other ancient cities for various reasons.

These Utah ghost towns are all tiny villages and towns that have been abandoned. These villages contribute to Utah’s unique history. Additionally, metal detecting in Utah’s ghost towns may require permission from local officials. Utah’s ghost towns will rapidly become one of your favorite metal detecting places after you figure out whether you need a permit and obtain one.

These ghost towns may include historical artifacts. These Utah ghost villages are also full of coin spills, gorgeous jewelry, and other precious treasures.

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

  1. Baker Mine, Salt Lake
  2. Blue Creek, Box Elder
  3. Bullionville, Uintah
  4. Spring City, San Pete
  5. Wahsatch, Summit

Metal detecting clubs in Utah

One of my favorite activities is metal detecting since it allows me to reconnect with old acquaintances while also making 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 Utah.

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 come together once a month to show off their treasures, plan their next trip, and talk about how to evaluate the diversity and worth of their finds.

Metal detecting clubs may be an excellent source of knowledge and new treasure-seeking locations. Setting up your metal detector for a specific place might be tough if you’re a beginner. As a result, an excellent approach to cope with this problem is to join a metal detecting group.

Utah is home to a number of fantastic metal detecting groups. Metal detecting groups in Utah can assist you to 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. As a result, join Facebook groups to interact with other metal detectorists in Utah and share your knowledge.

Some of the best Metal detecting clubs in Utah are:

  1. National Utah Token Society, West Valley
  2. Trails West Artifact Society, Hooper
  3. Diggers, St. George

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

  1. UT Metal Detecting Group
  2. Metal Detectors of Utah Facebook Group
  3. Metal Detecting Finds and Advice
  4. Utah Treasure Hunting Tips

Final Thoughts

Overall, Utah is a great place to go metal detecting. The natural beauty, history, weather, and relaxed laws of Utah make this a great activity to participate in. Before attempting it in public, make sure you’re aware of Utah’s metal detecting laws. Furthermore, if you’re on private property, make sure you get permission from the owner beforehand, or you might face trespassing penalties.