- Phone: National Forest Service (406) 293-6211
- Web site: http://www.libbymt.com/areaattractions/libbycreekgold.htm
- Length of Vacation: Day to Overnight
- Cost: Free
- Open: Not sure, call the Forest Service
- Type of Prospecting: Gold
- Equipment: Bring your own
- Instruction: None
- Lodging: Camping (14-day limit)
- Meals: Bring your own
From their web site:
The Libby Creek Recreational Gold Panning Area is located 23 miles south of Libby, Montana, within the Kootenai National Forest. The public is allowed to pan for gold within this area and any gold you happen to find is yours to keep. Some rules do apply, but this is a great recreational opportunity for the whole family. Howard Lake Campground is one mile south of the Gold Panning Area and offers fishing, hiking, swimming, boating and camping facilities.
The gold-bearing gravels found in the area were deposited as a result of alpine glaciation between 10,000 and 130,000 years ago when glaciers gouged rock off the mountain peaks and carved the valley bottoms. The glaciers left deposits of till and moraines at the edge of the retreating ice. Water Libby Creek gold panning area from the Libby Creek, Howard Creek, and other streams have reworked portions of the glacial moraine concentrating the gold in the channels of Libby Creek and what is now known as the Libby Creek Recreational Gold Panning Area.
FACILITIES There are no developed parking lots or camping facilities at the Gold Panning Area. Camping at the Panning Area is primitive with dispersed sites. A men’s and a women’s restroom are located in the main panning area. For those planning on longer visits to the area, Howard Lake Campground is located one mile south. This is a developed fee campground that offers swimming, fishing, hiking, water well, RV pull sites, and toilet.