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May 02

Searching the Deserts of Utah for Ancient Artifacts

A vacation in Utah doesn’t have to be all about hiking and biking and skiing. Utah is also one the best places in the country to try your hand at treasure hunting. Utah’s canyons, National parks, and deserts are full of treasure from valuable elements to artifacts from Utah’s Wild West history. Searching for ancient artifacts in Utah can be a fun and rewarding vacation for the whole family. Consider visiting one of these Utah desert sites the next time you go treasure hunting.

The Preservation of American Antiquities Act of 1906 forbids the removal of artifacts or ruins of ancient cultures from federal (public) lands. So as you enjoy your treasure hunting vacation, enjoy all the ancient artifacts you discover, but leave them where they are. However, you can find and keep a small number of rocks, crystals, mineral, and invertebrate fossils, so long as they are for your personal use and enjoyment.

Although there are many ways to unearth valuables from the Utah deserts, most treasure hunters use metal detectors as they will pick up valuable elements like Uranium (which can be found in Canyonlands National Park) and gold. As well as detect hard metal artifacts left behind by early civilizations, the Anasazi people, European settlers, or even outlaws. If you are a novice, check out this informative site on metal detectors for more information. Dinosaur National Monument Dinosaur is an ideal place to search for ancient artifacts.

The park has been home to dinosaurs, early civilizations, and outlaws. In the 1800s, European settlers discovered the area and created homesteads near the river. The remains of these homesteads can still be explored, today. The National park is vast so plan to spend several days hunting while you’re here. It offers several campgrounds to choose from. Callao Utah Meteorites can be fun to hunt for as well as being profitable as many universities will pay meteorite hunters for specimens.

If it’s meteorites you’re after and you’re open to a bit of adventure, head over to Callao, Utah and get close to the border of Dugway Proving Grounds (a US Army facility). There is a dry lake bed, called Dugway Proving Grounds dry lake bed, which is supposedly home to meteorite fragments from a 2009 meteorite. If you head up this direction, make sure to stick to the BLM public roads, then take the dirt road to the dry lake bed. Southern Utah The Four Corners part of Utah was home to the Anasazi people and dwellings and artifacts are still being found today. http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2013/05/31/isaacson-southern-parkway-road-construction-unearths-ancient-ruins-what-archaeologists-say/#.U2Nc-aJm6ho

While much of this area is a State park, it is possible to find Anasazi artifacts outside the park, and it is not uncommon for people to come across arrowheads and other remnants of the Anasazi people.

horseshoe canyon

Gold Hill Utah Gold Hill, Utah is a generally fascinating place. Part mining town, part ghost town and with a few modern residences thrown in just to keep it interesting. There is a still active gold mine in Gold Hill and while you should absolutely not do your treasure seeking there, feel free to take your metal detector around the surrounding areas. The ghost town part of Gold Hill is also a good place to look for remnants left from the first gold miners to settle the area.

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  1. Utah Tourism Office and Helpful Resources

    […] There’s a lot to do in Utah, and to help tourist decide what they want to see and where they want to stay, the Utah Tourism Office operates a tourist website. To help plan your trip, take a look at it as well as these other helpful links. […]

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