A new generation of prospectors is partying like it’s 1849: Record prices and a simple desire for outdoor fun are drawing thousands westward in a new gold rush, the New York Times reports. “Anywhere gold has been found in the past, that’s where they’re going again,” says a gold guru whose organization’s membership has ballooned 40% in the past few years.
Gold prices per ounce broke $1,000 last month and are now at $913. The search—getting hot and heavy in California, Arizona, and Colorado—isn’t easy, and some “get crazed by it,” says one prospector. “You can end up with $7,000, $8,000 worth of equipment and still no gold.” But for many, it can provide a kind of therapy. “You get to go out and play in the dirt,” says another. “What else could you want?”