I was invited to prospect Topaz with an experience prospector, James, on his Topaz Claim near Pilot Peak about half way between Tarryall and Lake George, Colorado. Pilot Peak is likely one of the best Topaz localities in Colorado! I have found topaz in this area before and was excited to learn more about prospecting topaz in the hopes that I can utilize this information to find that elusive stone in my favorite collecting areas around Devil’s Head.
Here are some links to prior topaz days around this area:
We started the day finding the claim’s corner points (and posts, which are required on all active mining claims) and James showed me some areas of interest that he had in his earlier prospecting trips. The first spot we happened upon was where there were nice signs of pegmatite on the surface, some rocks had quartz with flat sides which is always a great sign! We dug here for a little while but couldn’t find anything interesting in the area. We dug uphill a little ways but still nothing similar to what we found on the ground. Perhaps this was a little seam left over from long ago that was then above the surface level and has been sitting on top of the ground since? Perhaps we just missed the small area? Regardless, nothing was found in this area although I definitely feel that the area is worth more consideration and putting down test holes.
In another spot we found a seam of finer grained granite (aplite) with some pegmatite. Following the aplite seam around we found a couple of spots that opened up; one into a small pocket (that someone before us had cleaned out). Although we didn’t find anything worth keeping, it was great to see these signs. I also experienced that pounding with chisel into granite is a lot of hard work!
We did quite a bit of hiking around the 20-acre claim area, which includes steep terrain filled with bushes and aspen trees, boulders big and small are everywhere. There was a lot of up and down traversing the claim and by the end of the day we were exhausted, good news is it was awesome exercise! The greatest part of climbing these hills was the magnificent views–part of the fun when prospecting the Colorado Rocky Mountains!
Again thanks to James for all the information and fun day on his claim! I learned quite a bit about topaz prospecting!