Randy's Trip Report -- Low Pass Gulch, Colorado

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Randy's Trip Report -- Low Pass Gulch, Colorado

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:22 am

Hey Gold Adventurers...

Several years back I took a day and adventured up Low Pass Gulch, just Northeast of Granite, Colorado.  The GPAA used to have 2 claims up that gulch.....the Rebel Yell and Yankee Nugget.  Given the mostly hard rock mining history of that whole area, I wasn't surprised to find that the creek & dry gulches had very little free placer gold.  The GPAA to my knowledge has now dropped those 2 claims, based on poor member reports.

Still, I had a fun day exploring all the old hard rock diggins', old mines, checking out the old mining debris and miner's cabins.  Judging from the ore samples I found in the old ore chute and around the stamp mill footings they were apparently chasing veins of iron pyrite rich quartz and a soft greenish rock.....crushing it and sluicing the material in the stream below the footings.  I found an old steam boiler.  One mine was apparently worked as recently as the 1930s when the Depression Era miners returned to the hills to scratch out a living, as the inside of several cabins had 1930 newspaper & magazines tacked up on the walls for insulation.

Here's some of the pics I took that day.  I was amazed how well preserved some of the cabins and ore chutes/stamp mills were, given most were probably constructed in the late 1880s to 1890s.  Just my guess.














So, overall a fun day exploring this old hard rock mining area...  Hopefully you'll get out soon, post a Trip Report & some pics for all to enjoy...

Randy  "C-17A"  Smile
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Re: Randy's Trip Report -- Low Pass Gulch, Colorado

Post by russau on Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:04 pm

Yep the gpaa has been dropping lots of things! one of which is the club I helped start in St. Louis , Misery ....I quit them about 4/5 years back because of their attitude about not needing to follow the rules!

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Re: Randy's Trip Report -- Low Pass Gulch, Colorado

Post by Admin on Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:38 pm

Russ,

Yep. A bummer about the GPAA. I did renew my membership, after I let it expire out of disgust. I do like to hit the "Arkansas Group" of claims just North of BV during the Summer/Fall. O.K. fine flood gold IF you know whet to look for...

I have been fighting hard for the GPAA and all us GPAA Members with the BLM & Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) and the Arkansas Headwaters Rec. Area Ranger to STOP trying to charge us GPAA members money to park, walk in, access our Federal mining claims. I have won 2 victories for us.....sent the GPAA notices and asked them to publish the new parking agreement in the Claims Guide & Pick & Shovel.....but, never, ever a reply, thanks.....nothing...

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Re: Randy's Trip Report -- Low Pass Gulch, Colorado

Post by russau on Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:59 pm

HMMM??? Parking fees for the Arkansas groups only?? or for the entire stretch of road that follows the River? Could you PM me or post them rules for us?? Im sure Leonard has heard about this!?!?

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Re: Randy's Trip Report -- Low Pass Gulch, Colorado

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:20 pm

Russ,

Well, as it stands now...........I have an agreement with the AHRA/CPW that let's us GPAA members park in that dirt lot across from the Railroad Bridge Campground free of charge.  

Parking would normally be $7 a day.  We also can access the river/claims without paying the $3 a day individual fee, as well.

Yep.  It's silly as hell, as the AHRA is a 150 mile long Colorado State Park that runs from Leadville to Pueblo.  It's basically the river channel wide....using Hwy 50 and Hwy 24 on the West side as the boundary and a mix of old railroad beds, dirt roads and such on the East side as the boundary.  So, 150 miles long and 1 inch wide, so to speak.

Funny too is that for all the access to the river from federal BLM land, at least here around BV the ONLY place AHRA/CPW charges you to camp, use the picnic tables/pit toilets, parking or even access the river is here at the RR Bridge Campground.  Up and down river are endless pullouts, primitive camp sites, and fishing access points.  NO signage, NO steel posts saying "pay your fees"...

I think technically it's the entire AHRA park that's fee based.....but AHRA/CPW doesn't have a way to charge and collect fees well...

The AHRA has a Citizen's Task Force of 8 members that's composed of rafting, fishing outfitters, environmentalists, private property owners, a local county commissioner, etc. I am TRYING to become the 9th member as a prospecting/mining/gem/rock hounding rep. We're currently rewriting the AHRA Master Plan and I can't get a seat at the table as a new rep until the new Master Plan is approved. How silly is that? But, I go every quarter, sit in at the meetings, make my voice heard.

You could maybe Google up the AHRA and CPW fees and see what else you can find.

HTH,

Randy  "C-17A"  Smile
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Re: Randy's Trip Report -- Low Pass Gulch, Colorado

Post by russau on Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:02 am

Randy I SALUTE you and your efforts! Thankyou!!

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Re: Randy's Trip Report -- Low Pass Gulch, Colorado

Post by TexGemCutter on Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:40 pm

Randy, Good to hear about your agreement with the AHRA/CPW. I was there for a week in Sep and parked in that gravel lot across from the railroad campground; walked down to the river with my sluice. Was worried about maybe finding something on my windshield when I returned, but never did. I figured I would pull the ole GPAA membership card on 'em, if I had to. For the future, is there anything to use to identify us GPAA members so we don't get 'ticketed'?

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Re: Randy's Trip Report -- Low Pass Gulch, Colorado

Post by Admin on Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:24 am

TexGemCutter,

Well.............at this point, nothing completely agreed on to ID us GPAA members to the AHRA/CPW Rangers...  They have just agreed to not "hassle" anyone parked in that small dirt lot, for now.

When I was working the dispute I would go there and park, I had my GPAA bumper sticker on the rear bumper in plain sight and I'd place my 2 current GPAA member/mining cards on the dash in plain sight so IF a Ranger was going to place a ticket they'd see I was a GPAA member for sure.

I never got a ticket the 4 or 5 times I went there over the months it took to get AHRA/CPW to back off, take down the "Parking Permit Required" sign, then brief their people to leave us in the lot alone...

The head ranger for AHRA/CPW I negotiated with Mr. Rob White, is a nice guy, but trying to defend their "interests"......and afterward he wanted me to hook him up with the GPAA leadership folks to "talk" about that block of claims & the AHRA/CPW campground issue.  He'd told me he "thought" years back when AHRA/CPW wanted to build that campground at the Railroad Bridge site that GPAA somehow "relinquished" access rights and agreed to pay for access.....but, he couldn't find anything in writing.  Good for us Mr. Keith Berger, the Canyon City BLM Field Officer sided with us miners and told the state that they couldn't charge us for access to our federal mining claims....

I never heard back from Rob if he ever talked to GPAA, got some sort of "deal" from them that he wanted.  Just silly.  

The AHRA/CPW state park is 150 miles long and 1 inch wide and here around BV the ONLY place AHRA/CPW tries to actually charge you the $7 a day parking and $3 a day individual access fee to the river is THERE, at the RR Bridge campground.  Just downriver is the AHRA/CPW primitive Elephant Rock campground.............NO fees at all.  Upriver for miles are many primitive AHRA/CPW pullouts and camp sites and NO fees there either...

Zillions of private boaters.............meaning non-commercial kayakers & rafters............and flyfishermen..........all put in, use the river from a zillion different access points and they don't "pay up" to AHRA/CPW.  IF you are a "commercial" anything you are supposed to have a Special Use Agreement (SUA) with AHRA/CPW where you abide by certain training, safety rules AND pay them a fee for every paying customer.  All about milking the cash cows for all they can get...

The AHRA/CPW folks even tried to force ME into a SUA for my Gold Adventures LLC business, where I sometimes "guide" individuals, families out on the river for a 1/2 day or full-day fee. Well, I resisted big time as I was NOT going to be the one that set a precedent that AHRA/CPW could somehow compel prospectors/miners to "pay up" to them. Since 1989, when the state created the Ark Headwaters Rec Area, there's NEVER been a single prospecting/mining business that was required to have a SUA......mostly commercial rafters, kayakers, fly fishing, mountain biking & photography outfits... Good again that BLM in Canyon City sided with me saying as long as I was "guiding" on either private property on the river OR on federal mining claims...........either individual or club owned, then AHRA/CPW couldn't compel me to pay up to them, as my federal mining rights superseded the state's supposed claim on me.. Ha.

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Re: Randy's Trip Report -- Low Pass Gulch, Colorado

Post by dickb on Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:26 am

Chalk one up for miners and the Minestopo's lose one.

Randy, your right about the fees, it's only about the money they can get! Taxes no longer seem to be enough for them. You know they can never have enough money.

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Re: Randy's Trip Report -- Low Pass Gulch, Colorado

Post by russau on Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:11 am

Very good write up Randy!! Thankyou for stepping up to the plate!!

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Re: Randy's Trip Report -- Low Pass Gulch, Colorado

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