There aren't too many more exciting outdoor hobbies than panning for gold. Idaho has numerous sites throughout the state where an abundance of gold is expected to lie, and one of those locations is along the river banks near a dam just 28 miles east of Twin Falls.

The Snake River is one of the largest in the northwestern United States and weaves through hundreds of miles of Idaho land. It's also thought to be one of the most untapped rivers in the country for gold seekers, according to information found at

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One of the last outdoor trips you should try to make before summer ends in about four weeks is to take the family gold panning. Compared to most hobbies, it's relatively inexpensive, and with gas prices finally dropping in the Gem State, there's a site that's a little more than a 30-minute drive east of Twin Falls that some in the gold panning community believe is southern Idaho's best shot at finding nuggets.

Milner Dam is less than 30 miles east of Twin Falls. In the 1800s, large-scale prospecting took place near the site, and many enthusiasts still believe there remains a great fortune to be made by those who dip pans into the nearby river banks. All you need is a shovel, a pan, a water source, and a packed lunch to make for an exciting, inexpensive afternoon in the great Idaho outdoors.

Having panned myself on numerous occasions, I can guarantee you'll have a great time if you've never gone before.

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