Monday, August 31, 2009

Review of Tin Pan Prospecting in Fairplay

We had the opportunity to stop in at Tin Pan Prospector/Outfitter, the new panning/prospecting pay for use area located west of the highway 285 bridge, just south of the light, in Fairplay this weekend. The operator, Chad, was informative, pleasant, and really knew his stuff.

We tried out the panning ‘tub’ and were surprised at the amount and size of the gold we found. Panning is 10 bucks a day per person, and from what we saw, it is one of the best values around that we have seen lately, as you can see above.
That's your host, Chad. Great guy!

Tin Pan Prospecting is located south of the light at Fairplay on highway 285 on the west side of the bridge that crosses over the South Platte River.

Gravel is brought in from off the property, for panning, so we decided to try out the highbanking area for a couple of hours. We had two shoveling and one classifying, and came away with roughly a gram of gold for our efforts, which we all thought was a pretty good deal.

Most of the gold was nice sized flakes right out of the moraine bank, and Chad told us we had brought back more than what had been showing in that area. He proceeded to take material from our bank back to the panning area. Highbanking runs around $30.00 a day with your own equipment, and there is equipment for rent on site starting at $30.00, too. Sluicing, dredging, and metal detecting are available, but dredging is closed on the river for this season.

This pan shows what we got out of the $25.00 can o dirt. They also carry $10, $15 and $50 cans.

Chad tells us that the company will be adding several new properties next year to those already available to prospectors. You can even purchase a season pass that gives you access to all the properties. They will be looking at the possibility offering weekly or monthly rates next year. For the money, it looks to me like this is a good deal, and you will have access to patented and private property claims. We were impressed with the areas they are looking at having available for next years’ season. I know where we will be spending more of our own prospecting season next year. Heck, I know where we will be spending some of THIS years’ season that is left to us. LOL!

Their website is located at , but the prices quoted there are higher than they are presently charging. Chad says he will be open daily until after Labor Day weekend, and then you will need to call during the week to use the property. He will stay open to the public on weekends until the season winds down and snow is falling.

So, what do I think? I liked the atmosphere, the property, how it was managed and most of all the gold. Pictures prove my point. I also purchased one of the $25.00 cans o dirt and weighed out ½ a gram (7.5 grains) of nice sized flake.
Looks good in the pan above, doesn’t it? Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will find that much, but at least you can see what I got. They offer $10.00, $15.00, $25.00 and $50.00 cans o dirt, but they are out of the 10 and 15 dollars cans right now. Nice gift idea for that prospector you know for Christmas or a drawing at a club meeting.

If you are looking for a good place to spend some time panning, this is one to try out and lessons are included with the price. If you are looking for where you want to play in the dirt next year, consider Tin Pan Prospecting's season pass. Remeber, you will have access to all their properties for the season. Good people to work with, and a lot of really good gold. They also work with groups and offer a variety of outfitter prospecting experiences, including BBQ and camping arrangements. Stop by their spot just south of the light in Fairplay on highway 285. You won’t be sorry!

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