Tom Ashworths Prospectors Cache


by Tom Ashworth


COUNTY:San Juan County


San Juan County is credited with around 2,000 placer ounces, but most of this came from small scale operations, so much of the gold was not reported.

Blue Mountain District

There are many regional mines in the Blue Mountain District with gold showings. This district is a few miles west of Monticello on the southern slopes of the Abajo Mountains. Most of the work was done on Johnson and Recapture Creeks and some of there tributaries. Most of the gold in this area is fine and hard to recover.


In 1892 some 1,200 prospectors arrived but went away empty handed from this location. The regional placer gold is in all watercourse gravels, but it is so fine it is hard to recover. At the mouth of Montezuma Creek there was extensive placer operations. Below the mouth of Nakai Canyon at Zana Camp, about 20 miles above the junction of the San Juan and Colorado Rivers there was also extensive placer work done. The Spencer Camp, in the Great Bend of the San Juan, 6 miles below Zana Camp there was also extensive work done. Below Nakai Canyon there is placer gold too fine for recovery, but much heavy equipment was brought into these areas. Much of the area has been covered by Lake Powell at this time.
© Tom Ashworth's Prospectors Cache / Tom Ashworth / Revised