The Taft Prospectors Club



New Board is in place, The Club is back together!!!!



Click to load Membership Application

New Membership Rules See Below

Valley Fever Information CLICK HERE

You can get your annual California Fire Permit here. www.fire.ca.gov

You do need one to have a Campfire, BBQ or Camp Stove on the desert in California


Click here for the Thanksgiving 2017 Tailing Pile

Click Here for some pictures of the 2015 Thanksgiving outing.

If you have some more pictures of the outing please e-mail them to:


We removed the rule that you must attend a meeting or outing to become a member but we do require a recommendation from a club member

Click to load Membership Application

Taft Prospectors is a family oriented club with rules that must be followed.  

Read our Code of Ethics on the Website. Members that do not follow common sense and destroy our claims will get kicked out.

Read and know the rules of the Taft Prospectors.

At the Outings we have coin hunts, 50/50 drawings Pot Luck dinners  and general campfire camaraderie.  

We do require that you fill your holes. The BLM also requires that you do too.  If you don’t fill your holes or make turtle ramps while you are working a hole the BLM can cite you or be drastic and take our claims.

Water can be bought in Johannesburg at the water company above  the Post Office but the closest place with a dump is the Fair Grounds in Ridgecrest.

BLM allows you to stay 14 days in any given 30 day period on our claims before you have to leave.

We are fortunate enough to be allowed an “Out House” on the Black Gold #2 Claim for us to use so please help keep it neat and clean. 

Click here to go to 2014 Thanksgiving Outings Picture Page

Click here to link to pictures from Karen Stanphil

I will be posting more pictures as I get them.
If you have some outing pictures please send them to me:



Merry Christmas


TAFT PROSPECTOR'S Code of Ethics:  these are the rules that you signed to abide when you joined the Taft Prospector's Club and signed your hold/harmless agreement.  Fill your holes. Leave an incline ramp for tortoises and animals when even leaving your digs even overnight. It is the law! You may leave a bucket with your name on it in your digs if you are coming back in a day or so but not unless you are working it. You cannot save more than one spot at a time. Respect where someone else is working. Be aware of other claims in the area that do not belong to us. Don't be claim jumpers. We have 9 claims so that should give you more than enough prospecting space.

BLM rules say you cannot burn wood with nails in it so no fencing or pallets. You also need a Federal Fire Permit to have a camp fire. You can get one from the BLM office, the US Forestry or from the Friends of Jawbone Information center. Fireworks are forbidden on the desert. Pick up all of your trash and take it with you. Do not leave glass or cans in the fire ring or any other debris in the fire ring. Please help keep our "Out House" clean and free of debris. We are very fortunate the BLM lets us keep it so let’s not abuse it.  

Taft Prospector Member's may bring guests but they must work in close proximity to you. You may not give permission for anyone to use the claims without you being with them.

The BLM allows you to camp on the Taft Claims for 2 weeks at a time.

To go beyond the Red "No Entry" stakes you must carry your current TAFT membership card and this map to prove you have the right to be prospecting on our claims. The Ranger might cite you anyway depending on your attitude and their attitude plus you must be prospecting and not just joy riding. If you get a citation, get the officer's name and badge number but be polite and then contact PLP for advice. If someone approaches you and asks to see your Membership card show it. Proving you have a right to use the claims should not be a problem. You have the right to ask anyone digging or metal detecting on the Taft claims to see their current membership card.

Remember that all prospectors may be judged by the example you set. Leave flora and fauna as you found it. Do Not Destroy any property, public or private. Obey the laws. Please do not litter. Take your trash with you. Each member of the Taft Prospector’s should strive to set a good example for others.

May your 2022 fill your pan with gold nuggets!


Snake Killed on Taft Outing - Watch Out!

Proper name for the Panamint Rattlesnake that was killed on the Taft Claim is Crotalus stephensi. Thank you to those who identified it so quickly. It also looks like the red form of a Mojave Green, Crotalus scutulatus but the pattern looks more like the Panamint so that is the consensus of opinions.

parimit rattlesnake

Does anyone know what kind of snake this is?

rattle snake


Just before we got to the Taft claim yesterday they had killed an aggressive rattlesnake where we usually park. We have been coming out and camping here for 19 years and never saw a rattlesnake on this claim. The guys cut the rattles and head off and they even had this buried by the time we got here. When they described it I knew it wasn't a red diamond back because they said there were no black & while strips on the tail but even after seeing it, I am not sure what kind of rattler it is. My guess is it was about 20 inches long with 5 rattles on the tail. Any suggestions as to what kind it is?  It was called a Red Mojave Green but I could not find one called that on the Internet. The snake really didn't look like the Mojave Greens we have killed.

A Visit to the West Kern Oil Museum May 18, 2013


We are accepting new applicants without attending an Outing or a Meeting.

We ask for a recommendation from a current or former member.


Sequoia National Forest
California Campfire Permit
Click to open Page


If you are on our claims and want to build a fire, You must have or build a rock fire ring.  We can get fined and loose our claims if you do not use a fire ring.  If it is windy, you can not build a fire.  These are not club rules. These are BLM rules. You also need to get a Federal Campfire permit to have a campfire or use a propane or charcoal barbecue or stove from the US Forestry or BLM Office..

You can not burn pallets or fencing with nails in your campfire.
Fireworks are not permitted anytime, anyplace on the desert.
Those are BLM rules too.

May 2021 be peaceful and be full of God's blessings.

May the bottom of your gold pan be covered in GOLD!





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