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Treasure Hunting in Southern Idaho

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 1

Southern Idaho offers many places for the dedicated and well as the casual treasure hunter. Treasure hunting in Southern Idaho can be a lot of fun and possibly even earn you some money.

Treasure hunting though is not about the potential money or recognition you could earn, it is about the thrill of the hunt. Looking for treasure in Idaho is more than just walking around an area with a gold detector. A quality treasure hunter will recognize the needs for archival research, online research, talking with local old-timers, as well as mapping and piecing various stories together.

This article will not necessarily focus on where to look in Southern Idaho for these artifacts. This article is to focus on items that are found there, have been found there, and are known to be there.

From the Shoshone tribes that use to wander these parts of Idaho to the nomadic Bannock Indians that frequented the area, there are many Indian artifacts that have yet to be found. One of the most popular items among novice as well as experienced collectors are authentic Indian Arrowheads.

There are many places where arrowheads can be found in Idaho. The legality of arrowhead collecting is still in dispute. While collecting arrowheads off of public lands is illegal, some [people dispute the law by stating that of the arrowheads are not preserved in a museum or other collection that someone else will pick up the same arrowheads and sell the to a private collector, or worse, the arrowheads will be damaged beyond recognition by mother nature and the vast history of that individual arrowhead will be wiped away forever.

Gold nuggets are still found in Southern Idaho. Although gold nuggets are rare, gold flakes are a lot easier to find. The fine gold flakes can be hard to gather but with some patience and luck you can get enough gold flakes to earn some pocket change.

If you learn a lot about an area you may be able to trace some of the gold flakes up stream and possibly find a vein of gold.

Stolen Loot
Back in the Wild West days Southern Idaho had a lot of action. One of the most popular stories is about the gold coins that were robbed off of a stagecoach and then hidden somewhere in the City Of Rocks.

The story is valid, and at one point the gold was at the City Of Rocks. What we do not know for sure is if someone has already found the gold at the City Of Rocks or if it is still hidden there somewhere.

The odds are that if someone had found it they would have boasted about it by now. Many Idaho historical treasure experts believe that the majority of the stolen loot is still hidden in the City Of Rocks, just waiting for the treasure hunter who gets lucky and stumbles upon the priceless treasure.

Dinosaur Bones
Before the Wild West Days we had the age of the Dinosaurs. Fossilized dinosaur bones and eggs are found throughout Southern Idaho. The most common place is the Hagerman area.

Indian Artifacts
You can find Indian artifacts if you know where to look. Arrowheads are the most popular item found but you can also find cave drawings as well as many other tangible Indian artifacts.

It is not legal to collect Indian artifacts but if you do stumble upon some then call an archaeologist at Idaho State University. Your Indian artifact find may not be worth any money to you but it can provide a valuable resource for Historians and Archaeologists.

Civil War Cannon
John C Fremont passed through Southern Idaho with his expedition. This is the same expedition that eventually ended up in the Las Vegas area. They were carrying a civil war cannon with them. Somewhere between Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada they had to abandon the civil war cannon because of the deep snow.

The civil war cannon still has not been found. It is located either in Southern Idaho Near Jarbidge or in Northern Nevada. Although the route they followed has been mapped, some of the route age is still unknown. What is known is that there is a civil war cannon that was abandoned by John C Fremont and his crew somewhere in Northern Nevada or Southern Idaho.

Chinese Relics
Southern Idaho had a hoard of Chinese people. They came to work on the railroad as well as many other manual labor jobs. The early Chinese in Southern Idaho were among some of the only people that had the patience to pan for the every fine gold dust that was and still is in the Snake River.

The Chinese operated boats to take people across the Snake River near Shoshone Falls. You can find, if you look hard, some old Chinese relics. Many of these relics are actually so common that they are not worth any money at all, but the historical significance of these relics will be a good story to share with people when they are looking at your private collection.

Pioneer Markings and Relics
The Oregon Trail as well as other pioneer trails crossed right through Idaho. There are a few spots where you can still see actual pioneer Wagon ruts from pioneers on the Oregon Trail.

You can also find some old pioneer relics as well as various rock markings that are not yet know to the public.

Other Treasures
Southern Idaho is loaded with various treasures. Some of the treasures such as the loot hidden at the City Of Rocks are potentially worth millions of dollars. Other treasures such as some of the Chinese relics are worth basically nothing. Treasure hunting though is not all about the potential money you can earn; it is about the "Thrill of The Hunt".

Before removing treasure you have found you need to check regarding the legality of it. If you illegally remove Indian Artifacts and then sell them to private collectors you can and will be arrested when they find you. There have been a lot of cases the last 10 years with private Indian relic collectors going to prison and being fined heavily by the Federal Government for essentially stealing Indian artifacts from public land. Even if you are on privately owned property is may still be illegal to remove any of the artifacts you find.

Haunting for treasure in Southern Idaho is a lot of fun and can be enjoyable for the whole family but make sure that if you go treasure hunting you do it both legally and ethically.



May 27, 2010 7:18pm
I had no idea Idaho was so interesting!
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