Since you are here you are probably interested in doing some metal detecting in Washington State. Washington is a beautiful state full of history and like all the states in the Union, there are lost treasures that are awaiting discovery here. The best way to find these treasures is through the use of a metal detector.
In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know before you venture out to Washington to do some treasure hunting. You will discover what laws you need to abide by in regards to metal detecting and digging here. You will find out what are some of the best places to metal detect in Washington and my recommendation of the best metal detector to use while treasure seeking in Washington.
Also, learn about the lost treasures of Washington State and where they are possibly located. By the end of this guide, you will be armed with the necessary knowledge you need to make the most of your treasure hunting visit to the Evergreen State of Washington!
Metal Detecting in Washington State: Laws & Regulations
There is one main Federal Law that pertains to every state of the Union although it’s not directly a metal detecting law it is a law that protects archeological sites and artifacts that might be found while metal detecting.
The law that I’m talking about is the Archeological Resources Protection Act or ARPA of 1979. ARPA basically states that you will not disturb any known archeological site on Native and Federal lands. This law protects archeological sites and artifacts throughout the Continental United States.
Another law enacted by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 is called the Antiquities act of 1906. This law states that no person shall remove artifacts that they find on any state or federal lands that are 100 years or older. But if you find an artifact on your own land it’s fair game to keep.
If you plan on metal detecting on private property you will need to gain permission before doing so. National parks are off-limits to metal detecting or digging. There might be areas where metal detecting is allowed just contact the specific park before bringing your metal detector with you to make sure it’s allowed.
Metal detecting and treasure hunting are allowed in 30 state parks throughout Washington State. But you must register before metal detecting in these parks and of course, follow all the regulations of the park while you are there.
If you are interested in metal detecting in Washington State parks you can check out this PDF here to learn more.
Can You Find Gold in Washington State?
Since you are interested in metal detecting in Washington State you are probably wondering if there is any gold to be found in Washington?
The answer is yes there is gold in Washington State. Washington ranks in the top 10 states that have existing gold deposits. There is an estimated 2100 tons of gold in the rivers and streams that haven’t been discovered yet.
So if you plan on panning for gold or using your metal detector to find gold in Washington State you might have a good chance of finding some. If you plan on using a metal detector to find gold in the streams of Washington you will want to make sure it’s waterproof and a detector that’s specifically designed to find gold like the Garrett AT Gold metal detector. Using a machine like the AT Gold you will have the best chance of being successful in your search for that precious metal!
Where Are The Best Places To Metal Detect In Washington State?
The best places to metal detect in Washington State would be some of the state parks there. As a matter of fact, there are about 30 state parks in Washington that allow metal detecting in designated areas. Keep in mind you would need to register with the park before you can go and treasure hunt. Washington State makes registering easy with an online portal that can be used for registration for metal detecting.
The following is a list of six state parks in Washington that you can register and metal detect at. But before going to any of the parks and metal detecting make sure you understand what areas allow metal detectors and make sure you register and get the proper permit if needed.
Rockport State Park
Rockport State Park is located at the foot of Sauk Mountain in Washington State. There are 632 acres you can explore with many trails winding through this ancient forest which has never been logged.
You will also be amazed at the 250-foot tall douglas fir trees known as the Rockport Giants. Take a full day and bask in the beauty that Rockport State Park has to offer. Metal detecting is allowed in a 14.86-acre area of the park. Check out the Rockport State Parks brochure here.
Beacon Rock State Park
Beacon Rock is an 848-foot tall rock overlooking the Columbia Gorge River that was formed by glaciers. Activities you might enjoy at Beacon Rock State Park are mountain biking, climbing, river rafting on the Columbia River, and of course, metal detecting in designated areas.
There are 8.2 miles of hiking trails, 13 miles of horse trails, and 13 miles of bike trails you can enjoy while you visit Beacon Rock. Camping is allowed year-round at the park.
==> Beacon Rock State Park Brochure <==
Lake Sylvia State Park
Lake Sylvia State Park was once a logging camp that’s located above the historic town of Montesano Washington. Enjoy camping, fishing, and hiking in this 252-acre park. This park hooks up with the 5,000-acre Montesano City Forest for even more hiking adventures.
Other activities to enjoy at the park would be mountain biking, swimming, and metal detecting in designated areas. While staying at the park you might want to check out the old dam that supplied the logging camp with hydro-electrical power when it was in operation.
==> Lake Sylvia State Park Brochure <==
Kanaskat-Palmer State Park
Kanaskat-Palmer State Park is located along the Green River in the Green River Gorge. Green River has some of the best kayaking and river rafting white rapids in the region. You will enjoy the 3 miles of biking and hiking trails that this park has to offer.
Other activities to do while at the park are bird watching, swimming, trout fishing, and treasure hunting in certain areas of the park. You could also camp at this 541-acre state park.
Kitsap Memorial State Park
Kitsap Memorial State Park is located north of Poulsbo, Washington. Enjoy the view of the Olympic Mountain range from this 62-acre park. Many activities can be had here including crabbing, clamming, swimming, diving, Saltwater fishing, and hiking on their 1.5-mile hiking trail. And of course metal detecting in designated areas of the park.
Also if you are planning a wedding Kitsap Memorial park is a popular place to get married. There are four cabins that can be rented for your wedding guests or used as preparation for the wedding.
Ocean City State Park
Ocean City State Park is located near Ocean Shores which is a beach town in Washington. Enjoy birdwatching and camping at this 252-acre park that hooks up with North Bay Natural Preserve. Enjoy freshwater fishing, beachcombing, wildlife viewing, and metal detecting were allowed while you visit Ocean City park.
==> Ocean City State Park Brochure <==
What’s The Best Metal Detector to use in Washington State?
The best metal detector to use while treasure hunting in Washington State would be the Garrett AT Pro.
This metal detector has all the features that other more expensive metal detectors offer at a price that won’t blow a hole in your wallet. You can pick one up on Amazon for under $600. The AT stands for all-terrain and is a great all-around all-purpose metal detector that can be used in any soil type.
Are There Any Hidden Treasures in Washington State?
You are probably wondering if there are any lost treasures of Washington State and the answer is yes. Washington State has it’s share of lost treasure legends that you might want to check out while you are there. The following is a list of 10 lost treasures that you could potentially hunt for while in Washington.
Wild Man of Wynoochee’s Buried Loot
A strongbox containing $15,000 is said to be buried on the banks of the Wynoochee River in the area that it turns into a horse-shaped creek.
Captain James Scarborough’s Buried Gold
$120,000 worth of gold is said to be buried somewhere near Captain James Scarborough’s home which was located on present-day Fort Columbia Park near Battery Two.
3 Treasure Chest In The Columbia River
Three chests filled with gold bullion is said to be west of a toll bridge on the north side of Plymouth, Washington in the Columbia River.
Lost Gold Bullion on Protection Island
$70,000 in gold bullion is supposedly buried on Protection Island near Port Townsend, Washington.
Victor Smith’s Buried Gold
$7,500 Buried near the town of Port Angeles on the shore of Straits of Juan De Fuca. $200,000 and crates filled with $20 gold coins lost from the wreck of Brother Jonathan near Crescent City California.
Hidden Gold on Sentinel Peak
$30,000 in gold is said to be hidden in a cave somewhere on Sentinel Peak located three miles southeast of Beverly, Washington.
Lars Hanson’s Buried Gold
$200,000 in gold coins buried somewhere on the banks of Judd Creek close to the town of Burton, Washington.
Harry Suttons Buried Gold
$11,000 in gold coins is said to be buried Hammond Orchard in the village of Port Townsend.
Buried Payroll On The Banks of Discovery Bay
$80,000 payroll is said to be buried on the Banks of Discovery Bay near the village of Port Townsend.
Buried Treasure Near The old Chevy Chase Inn
6,000 gold sovereigns are said to be buried on Chevy Chase Beach Trail on Discovery Bay near Port Townsend, Washington.
Metal Detecting Clubs in Washington State
There are a number of metal detecting clubs that you can contact if you are interested in metal detecting in this state. The following is a list of four metal detecting clubs that operate out of Washington State.
- Hood Canal Detectoris Club
- Olympic Penisula Treasure Hunters Club
- Outlaws Metal Detecting Group
- Pilchuck Treasure Hunting Club
Where to Stay While Metal Detecting in Washington State
In the following I have put together a list of 5 of the best places to stay while metal detecting in Washington State.
Suncadia Resort is located in Cle Elum Washington. There are 40 miles of hiking and biking trails for you to explore at this 6,400 acre resort nestled in a beautiful Washington forest. There are many luxury condos you can choose from to make your stay in Washington a restful one. They also offer an inn with 14 rooms and suites to choose from. Plenty to do and lots to see at this fine resort.
Mountain Home Lodge
Mountain Home Lodge is located in the mountains above Leavenworth Washington. Stay in one of their rustic cabins and enjoy all the comforts of home in the mountains of Washington. Beautiful views anytime of the year especially in winter. Enjoy a swim in their outdoor pool or relax by a fire in one of the jacuzzis in your cabin.
Willows Lodge is located about 40 miles from Seattle Washington. This rustic lodge is on 5 acres of wooded land near the town of Woodinville Washington. The rooms offer fireplaces, balconies, and walk-in showers. Enjoy fishing in the Sammamish River that the lodge is located on. Also offered is spa services that include a relaxation pool and steam room. All the comforts of home in a rustic backdrop.
You can find Skamania Lodge near Stevenson Washington between Hood River and Portland Washington. You can book your stay here in either a traditional room, suite or even a tree house. The lodge overlooks the Columbia River Gorge and dense beautiful forests. Relax as you sit by one of the fireplaces and enjoy all the comforts at home as you stay in one of Washingtons breathtaking forests.
There’s plenty to do and see while staying at Skamania Lodge including zip lines, hiking trails, take a scenic car ride, golf, watersports and much more.
Cameo Heights Mansion
Cameo Heights Mansion is located in Touchet, Washington. This seven suite mansion is surrounded by 400 acres of trails and overlooks the Walla Walla River. You’re mouth will be watering when you dine in their 5-star restuarant. Enjoy a truly luxurious stay at Cameo Heights Mansion while you vacation and metal detect in Washington!
Conclusion Metal Detecting in Washington State
So now you have a good idea about what you need, where to stay and where to metal detect while you visit Washington State for a treasure hunting adventure. Washington has a natural beauty that you don’t find in every state of America. There are treasures to be found here and I wish you all the luck while you treasure hunt in Washington State!
Before going to Washington make sure you bring along digging tools, your metal detector of course, possibly a good pair of metal detecting headphones and a pinpointer as well. Having the right tools at your disposal is essential for a successful treasure hunt. Until next time Happy Treasure Hunting!
Cory Haasnoot is an author, entrepreneur, metal detecting enthusiast, antique, coin collector, and founder of Treasure Seekr.