Finding Gold in the Mountains
Check the exposed bedrock on the banks of creeks and rivers known to have had gold. Also check in the exposed tree roots along the riverbank. Work upstream and check the tributaries of known gold streams, to see if you can get closer to the source.
Look for old mining operations. Sluice sites along streams, or rocks stacked up along the banks of creeks and streams. In the hills and mountains themselves, look for old tailing piles, pits from above-ground operations, or channels in the ground from dredging. Finding a remote area with lots of old iron pieces probably means you've found an old mining site of one kind or the other.
If you can determine where the foundations of the old sluices or shakers are, you're likely to find gold that fell off the sides. Also check for old riverbeds or streambeds. Changes in topology and water tables can mean that a dry bed once transported gold placer deposits from higher up the mountain.