Clearwater County has placers that occur in stream channels and on bench deposits as high as 600 feet above the present day streams. Over 30,000 ounces of gold has been recovered from this county. The main locations are around Kelly Creek and Morse Creek, in Township 39 North and Range 10 and 11 East, and on the North Fork of the Clearwater River and its tributaries in Townships 37, 38 and 39 North and Ranger 1, 2, 3, and 4 East. There were some very rich placers discovered.


Gold was first discovered by E.D. Pierce in 1860 and Pierce City, the oldest mining town in Idaho came into existence and was home to the first courthouse in Idaho.

Pierce is located in Townships 36 and 37 North and Range 1, 2, 3 and 4 East. There were many placer operations in this area. Along Orofino Creek, between Orofino and Pierce there were some extremely rich placer workings. The Wild Rose Mine was a very rich lode mine in the area.