Cave Creek’s Mining District features the amazing minerals found during gold panning
Part of its Arizona Gold Mining Experience on April 8
Gold panning, which was a big part of Cave Creek’s early mining era, is one of the most popular stops at the Arizona Gold Mining Experience. The outdoor exhibit will be open to the public on Saturday, April 8 2023 from 10-11:30 AM. Only a few more demonstrations are available through the season, so it’s time to bring friends and family to see the amazing experience in person.
Guests are encouraged to try their luck at the gold panning station, as museum volunteers show visitors how to pan for ore and minerals just like the prospectors did.
Visitors learn about the types of stones and minerals found during gold panning. They include: sand, pyrite (Fool’s gold), black sand, magnetite, garnet, quartz, turquoise, obsidian and shark’s tooth. Shark’s tooth? It’s true because millions of years ago, Cave Creek’s Black Mountain, where the stones and minerals come from, was completely underwater. Seeing what results from panning is exciting for participants.
Guests learn how hard miners had to work for the chance to find a bit of gold.
“Gold is heavier than other rocks,” says Bob Flach, dream team member. “Water and techniques are used to spill lighter rock from a pan leaving gold behind. Each guest receives two bags, one with sand and rock to be panned and the other to take their rock treasures home.”
The Arizona Gold Mining Experience features the amazing Golden Reef Stamp Mill and Tramway, Arizona’s only fully operational ten-stamp ore crushing mill. The 10, 1,000-lb. stamps slam down in synchronized motion to pound ore removed from the mine into fine gravel. The stamp mill was brought from its former location at the Golden Reef Mine on Continental Mountain to Cave Creek Museum, which has the only fully operational mining stamp mill in its original mining district in Arizona; it is located just five miles from its site on the mountain. The giant stamp mill also is connected to a working tramway and ore carts that carry the ore to be pulverized to the stamp mill.
]Other exhibits showcasing Arizona’s mining history include historical and archaeology; articles from Cave Creek’s mining and agricultural past; the historic first Cave Creek church; and the tuberculosis cabin, which is on the National Register of Historic Places as the only known existing tubercular cabin from that era. Admission is $15 for adults and children under 12 are free. Reservations are required.
Reserve tickets online at cavecreekmuseum.org. Visitors, who should plan on coming early, can check in at 9 AM. Culture passes are not accepted for this event. Groups and home school groups are requested to contact the museum office to schedule for special arrangements on another date.
The 52-year-old museum’s mission is to preserve the artifacts of the prehistory, history, culture and legacy of the Cave Creek Mining District and the Cave Creek/Carefree foothills area through education, research, and interpretive exhibits. The Cave Creek Museum is located at 6140 E. Skyline Drive in Cave Creek, Ariz., 480.488.2764. Open October through May.