Club Claims

Now 14 claims with approximately 280 acres of Gold Bearing Ground!

Middle Camp Mountain

The Quartzsite Metal Detecting Club presently has claims in the Plomosa Mining District, 3 claims are located in the Middle Camp Placers area, Middle Camp #1 is a 20 acre claim, Middle Camp #2 is a 20 and,Middle Camp #3.Golf #3, A Miners Affair claim, are each 20 acres in size. The Jumping Jack claims are2,2.5, 3,4,5,67,8,9 all 20 ac claims.

You will receive maps and directions upon joining the club.

The Plomosa Placer District includes the eastern and western margins of La Posa Plain. This plain, which separates the Plomosa Mountains on the east from the Dome Rock Mountains on the west, is approximately ten miles wide and from 1000 to 1300 feet in elevation. It is dissected by many shallow arroyos that are tributary to its northward-flowing axial channel, Tyson Wash. These arroyos contain no water except for short periods after occasional heavy rains. These areas have been worked intermittently by individual dry-washers since the early 1860's. Several large scale operations have been planned or attempted, but none have been successfully carried out. The 1900-1931 yield of the district is given by the U.S. Mineral Resources as $44,826 at $20 per ounce.

(Wilson, Eldred D.:   Arizona Gold Placers and Placering,   Arizona Bureau of Mines, Mineral Technology Series No.35.   Bulletin No. 135;   August 15, 1933) The placer districts in the area are in one of the most arid parts of southwest Arizona. There is little water outside of the Colorado River. Quartzsite, at an elevation of 800 feet has an average rainfall of 6 inches which often comes in a flash flood during the monsoon season. Summers are challenging for any outside activity, unless you are one of the creative prospectors who drywashes at night with a generator and lights. Let’s explore the placers within thirty five miles of Quartzsite.

It is no secret that the desert around Quartzsite has produced gold. Every now and then a large nugget is found in the washes with a metal detector or dry washer. Some nuggets have been found by people walking down the trails. Winters are a great time to explore the hills in the area. The Middle Camp, Oro Fino and LaCholla placers on the southern flank of the Dome Rock Mountains have all been productive with both nuggets and fine gold still being found.

The Middle Camp placers cover an area about five miles long by a mile wide on the southern flank of Middle Camp Mountain. It was reported to have rich seams of gravel on bedrock. One mining company set up a 31/2 yard drag line operation with 100 feet of sluice boxes and settling tanks for water recovery. Water was hauled from Quartzsite but the operation lasted only a few weeks. There are many active claims in this area at present, including several claims owned by The Quartzsite Metal Detecting Club.

Obvious geological upheaval of the hill near the Yellow Dog Mine in the La Cholla Placer area

The La Cholla Placers border the eastern flank of the Dome Rock Mountains south of I-10. The area is defined by the upheaval of the mountains tilted to the west with a blue gray slate color. The gravels containing gold are found at bedrock and mostly cemented together with lime carbonate. The bedrock can be of a depth up to 84 feet. The area was active in 1933 with a pay streak struck at 42 feet. In this time frame a rich vein was discovered with 300 feet of drifts and stopes. The rich gold bearing gravel was at bedrock and concentrated where boulders were present. The Julian Mine near the motel on the old highway was not profitable with only spotty gold and silver mixed with sulfides. The Yum Yum, Yellowdog, Cinnabar, and Kellog Mines were spotty producers. Mostly shallow producers needing crushing due to the cemented nature, a total of 9464 ounces of gold was produced from the 1860’s to 1950. Silver and mercury were byproducts.

The LaPaz placers are on the western flank of the Dome Rock Mountains six miles east of the Colorado River. Part of this is the Colorado Indian Reservation. Placers in the LaPaz district are found in Goodman Arroyo, LaPaz and Gonzales Wash, which is the wash containing the I10. Our old friend Pauline Weaver discovered these placers in 1862 when he panned for gold in El Arollo de la Tenaja in the Dome Mountains. He returned to Yuma and told about his discovery. Upon his return he brought other prospectors with him, discovering good gold areas. One man Jose Redondo recovered a nugget weighing more then two ounces and the rest is history. About a million dollars in gold was recovered the first year. The LaPaz district is known for the large nuggets it has produced. The largest nugget recovered from the LaPaz placers was 65 ounces. The gold found in the placers is attributed to erosion of the metamorphic rocks in the area.

The prospectors settled the original town of LaPaz which grew to a population of 1500 and was an Overland Trail stage stop between Ft Whipple (Prescott) and San Bernardino. This land was later included in the CRIT (Colorado River Indian Tribe) lands and restricted greatly the prospecting. In later years this land was excluded from the Indians. The Dome Rock Mountains in this area consist largely of metamorphic rock and granite. For a short distance at the base of the range, the bedrock is exposed. The thinking is that the gold particles came from erosion of the gold bearing veins in the Dome Rock Mountains.

One must be careful when in the Quartzsite area not to trespass on the Yuma Marine Proving Grounds extensive land operations along Highway 95 which are totally off limits, the Indian Reservation which requires written permission from the Chief and the KOFA Wildlife Refuge through which you can hike but cannot prospect.

(Middle Camp, La Cholla and LaPaz Placers by QMDC member Jane Alene Boyles)

Claim Rules

Updated Club Claim Rules March 2014




1. Only QMDC members are allowed to prospect on club claims ,please keep your membership
button or card available for elected officers or their designates ( who will be on the board of



3. No motorized equipment is allowed for digging.

4. Claims can be no larger than 20'x20' and must be marked with surveyors tape or cloth attached
to a stick is acceptable..


5. ONE CLAIM PER MEMBER be marked with a bucket or milk jug or similar item that you can use a marker on and is to have Members FULL NAME and marked with the LAST DATE the claimant has

6. Stay off other persons claims.

7. DO NOT date or re-date other claims.


8. DO NOT remove any buckets, jugs,tools etc from other members claims.


9. Members are responsible for their own Equipment..

10. At the end of the SEASON please remove all buckets markers,tape etc..

Blake Harmon {President} 928-927-7150
Joe Wallingford {Vice-President} cell: 509-953-8080

FOR SUMMER, contact Miners Depot 928-927-7150