Skip nav to main content.
  • FREE U.S. SHIPPING $99.99+

The Lost River of Gold – Kokoweef Peak

Lost California Cave of Gold

Documented by Timothy Draper

Categories & Site Details: Adventures & Treasures, Ancient History, Famous Treasure Stories, Field Research, Gold, Gold & Doubloons, Mysteries, Press Release, Treasure Sites in America

Here’s a great mystery that some may be able to solve. It’ll take some scouting but the payoff will be huge! Not to mention the adventure that comes with this story. Let’s see if you can solve it. 

California is known for its gold and who doesn’t like a treasure to search for? What if I told you that this treasure is not a sunken ship or a treasure chest buried in the ground? No jewels or artifacts to be found. Only a dark cave would amaze National Geographic. The cave was found by two men that followed it 8 miles down into the earth and reached depths of 5,400’ feet deep.

This story is about a river that flows deep in the ground that is baring more gold than I have ever heard of in one place. The river has a tide, similar to the ocean. During the day, the tide recedes and exposes black sand and gold.



The Lost River of Gold – Kokoweef Peak

The following is a sworn affidavit from E.P. Dorr. What you are about to read should get you excited and if it doesn’t, perhaps you are not an adventurer nor treasure hunter at heart. 



This is to certify that there is located in San Bernardino County, California, about two hundred and fifty miles from Los Angeles, a certain cave. Traveling over state highways by automobile, the cave is reached in about ten hours. 

A Civil Engineer, Mr. Morton, and I spent four days exploring the cave for more than eight miles. We carried with us Altimeters, Pedometers, and a Theodolite, with which to observe and record actual directions, take elevations, and measurements by triangulation. 

Our exploration revealed the following facts:

  1. From the mouth of the cave we encountered a canyon, which from the Altimeters and by calculations we found to be from 3000 to 3500 feet deeper; making a total depth of 5400 feet from the mouth where we entered the caves to the floor of the canyon.
  2. We found the cave divided into many caverns or chambers, of various sizes, all filled and embellished with Stalactites that make these caves one of the wonders of the world.
  3. The largest chamber we explored is about 300 ft. wide, 400 feet long and from 50 to 110 feet high. It is encrusted with crystals, fashioned into festoons of innumerable Stalactites, that hang from the ceiling, some of which are extremely large. One, the largest seen, is 27 feet in diameter and hangs 1,510 feet down into a 3000 ft. canyon. This great Stalactite is perpetually washed by water flowing down over it and falling into the dark canyon depths. The huge glistening white crystal is 500 feet longer than the Eiffel Tower, and challenged us with amazement and wonder.
  4. There is a flowing river on the floor of the canyon, which rises and falls with tidal regularity. All measurements and estimates of the river, including its tides and beach sands were reckoned by triangulation, taken with the Theodolit, and while we did not reach the river, nevertheless, taking observations with our Theodolite and its telescope, we reckoned the river to be about 300 feet wide at the high tide and 10 feet wide at low tide. It rises and falls 7 ½ to 8 feet. The Peysert brothers confirm our reckoning.
  5. When the tide is out, there is exposed on both sides of the river 100 to 150 feet of black sand, which the Peysert brothers reported is very high in placer gold. They reported the sands on the river shore to be from 4 to 11 feet deep, and on the average about 8 feet deep.
  6. There are numerous ledges above the canyon that are from 10 to 40 feet wide and covered with sand. We personally explored the ledge sands for a distance of more than eight miles, finding little variation in the depths and width of these ledge sands. And wherever examined, the ledge sands are found to be fabulously rich in placer gold.
  7. I have known intimately Oliver, Buck and George Peysert from my boyhood.  these caves with them repeatedly and thoroughly. They have reported to me in detail, their experience in exploring caves. One of them, George, lost his life in the cave. Buck and Oliver say George was killed by diving in the river on the floor of the canyon. He struck an unseen rock, which killed him instantly. They have reported to me repeatedly their mining experiences and saay they mined on the beach sands of the river a total in all six weeks. They carried lumber down to the river and constructed a sluice box and, using a pump, the three mined for six weeks, during which time they recovered more than $57,000 in gol, (gold at $20.00 per ounce); they sent their gold directly to the U.S. Mint and banked the returns in a bank in Needles, California, and another bank in Las Vegas, Nevada. I last talked to them in my home about November 10th, 1934, at which time they repeated their former statements, giving information as to how they discovered the river, and more of their experiences in mining. They recovered several of the largest nuggets of gold ever found in California. Both Mr. Morton and myself filled our pockets with the sands from the ledges, carried it out and had it assayed. Just what Mr. Morton’s sand assayed, I do not know, but it was approximately $2000.00 per ton. I carried out ten pounds and two ounces of the ledge sand, and panned seven pounds, recovering more than $7.00 in gold, with gold at $20.00 and ounce.  I sold the gold for $18.00 per ounce. The balance of my ten pounds of sand I sent to John Herman, a Los Angeles Assayer. His assay certificate shows a value of $2,144.47 per yard gold at $20.67 per ounce. 

I, E.P. Dorr, residing at 390 Adena Street, Pasadena, California, make the foregoing statement for the purpose of including investors to invest in the work of mining the gold in these caves, and I solemnly swear that all the statements made herein above are true and that all persons will find the physical conditions in the cave as above stated. 

SUBSCRIBED and sworn to on this 10th day of December 1934. 

Signed E. P. Dorr

EAD Logo
Taking too long?

Reload document
Open Open in new tab





In May of 1927 is when E.P. Dorr was accompanied by the mining engineer and they discovered the cave entrances. They spent a total of four days exploring the cave and followed it between 8-9 miles. At this time, I have found reports from Dorr that he mentioned several entrances to the cave in the area. Here are some draw-outs of what they reported from their journey into the darkness. 

Kokoweef Peak Earl Dorr Lost River of Gold


The Lost River of Gold - Kokoweef Peak
Kokoweef Peak - Earl Dorr - Lost River of Gold Cave System



Here’s where your expedition begins. Where to start looking? The Lost River of Gold – Kokoweef Peak.

Kokoweef Peak in the Mojave Desert of California, very close to the Nevada and California border. There’s another peak just to the South called Dorr Peak. Remember that peak because I’m going to explain more on that later in this article to give you a starting point. 

The Lost River of Gold - Kokoweef Peak



There’s always more to a story when you do your research correctly. I’m going to pass this information on to you so you can better understand. This part of the story starts in the early 1990s. 

Five years ago, an associate of mine sent me a few emails that contained information on this legend. Some of it might seem odd to some of you but some readers will understand if they have a history in researching old stories. I will not include the emails or names of the people involved but you will still understand. 

In these emails, I discovered that a couple of men that called themselves mining engineers arrived at a prospecting store in Las Vegas. They ordered a few mining supplies and were on their way. About a week later, those same two men showed up at the prospecting store again to order a lot more mining and prospecting supplies. 

The owner of the store was a little amazed at the type of equipment the two men ordered and told them they will have to wait for the items to show up in about a week. Here’s where the story caught my attention for obvious reasons. 

The two men went on to tell the man that they were hired by a mining company to find new prospects of an underground river bearing gold. They then told the store owner that they believe they found it and that they also found a lot of gold and that’s how they can afford the new gear they were ordering. The two men went on to tell the story of how they found the river of gold. 

When they arrived at the site they believed could be, The Lost River of Gold, they discovered that several of the cave entrances were either collapsed and/or concealed. This caused a problem for them to enter the famous cave system. They spent a few days exploring the nearby area and stumbled upon a local Indian that knew of the story. The Indian told of his Tribal story of how the early Spanish were in this same area, looking for gold, and that the area was mined by the Spanish for many years. High amounts of the gold were removed by the Spanish and relocated to Mexico where the gold sailed to Spain. 

The Indian also knew of Dorr’s expedition into the cave entrances. The Indian agreed to help the two men because he explained that there were more entrances to this cave system that only his people knew about. Earlier in this article, I said to remember Dorr Peak because my research shows that the Indian took the two men to that peak to find the secret entrance. That’s where they found the cave system and started mining for gold. 

After they explained this story to the store owner, they left saying that they will return to the cave system and come back in a week or two. The two men never return for their purchased mining equipment. The store owner held onto the equipment for a very long time but there was never any sign of the two mining engineers. 

The Lost River of Gold - Kokoweef Peak



At the present time, a mining group has claimed the land around the Kokoweef Peak area and at some point, was giving tours and I believe they are still looking for the tunnels leading to the canyon that Dorr mentions in his sworn statement found above. I would be very cautious going around any private land and/or mining claims. Most owners do not like it. You have been warned by me.  

That being said, I have an alternative for you. If you want to go look and try your luck at finding the Lost River of Gold, please pay careful attention to the information below. 



Later that year there was a missing person police file of the two men but they were never found. In 2019, a producer started working with me on this story. We were considering filming a TV show around this story. With the help of the producers, we found that the two men mysteriously disappeared for a very long time and then reappeared in a different state, with no mention of where they went, what happened to the cave they found, and what their story was. These two are not living their lives in the United States and I tried to reach out to them in 2019 but they will not respond to me. 



I feel very strongly that there are many entrances to this underground river. In fact, I believe that this cave stretches for hundreds if not, thousands of miles. I have been researching the Mojave desert and found that this area is famous for aquifers. I also agree with some that the cave entrances are not man-made except for the modern-day entrances that are now filled in around Kokoweef Peak. 

The cave entrances are similar to a natural blow-hole. That means this underground river has been flowing for thousands of years and naturally, the moisture and humidity have to be released and travel to the ground’s surface, creating after time, natural-looking cave entrances. I also believe that Dorr’s affidavit also is holding a clue when he mentions the tide. I found that this Lost River of Gold could be connected to a massive underground river that flows somewhere in Southern Idaho and flows south to the Sea of Cortez. I’m not going to reveal everything because I believe that the reader should do some research of their own. I’m just trying to give you the tools and direction on where to start.

I think that the prospector’s story holds a clue to an unknown entrance by Dorr Peak, just south of Kokoweef Peak. I have included maps, drawings, and articles in this blog because I believe a motivated person or group can still find the Lost River of Gold. 

I have known about this story and I have been saving it for my team, Treasures in America but I have so many stories, there’s no way my team can research all of them in our lifetime. So I pass this one on to you, hoping that if you go searching for it, you can report for discoveries back to me. 

Treasure Map and Location


If it was me, I would take a group of guys with different talents and abilities relevant to outdoor activities. In fact, I will list some talents below that are needed. 

I would take these types of people with me. For example, please visit my team’s page of treasure hunters to understand better. 


  • Two experienced climbers are known for exploring caves with all the modern-day climbing gear. 
  • One drone pilot has experience with flowing low to the ground and around mountain peaks and canyons. 
  • One – two metal detectorists that have many years of experience searching for artifacts and gold. They should have semi-professional metal detectors that look for small and big gold deposits and relics from the past. 
  •  A safety manager that understands the danger and is responsible for the whole team. Someone also trained with first-aid.
  • A researcher has spent a considerable amount of hours researching all there is to know about this story, its history, and location. 



  • Have ORV’s (off-road vehicles) with good tires and four-wheel drive. There’s a lot to see and scout and I have been in very rough places and I know that it’s very dangerous to venture outdoors without a good reliable vehicle. 
  • Bring a spotting scope and binoculars with you so you can see from a distance. You are looking for a natural cave hole in the rock, most likely in an outcropping. 
  • Bring a G.P.S. system with updated software to pinpoint your findings. 
  • If available, a GPR would be nice, if you find flat ground but from Google Earth, that may prove to be a hard task. 


I would plan on a weekend trip and either find a good spot to camp near the peak or stay in a hotel at Primm Nevada. Stay off private land and mining claims. Remember, you should plan your first trip as a scouting trip. That way you can get familiar with the landscape and have a better understanding of what will be needed in the future to continue your journey. 

Real treasure hunting takes time, patients, and a little luck. Plan your budget accordingly because this will take money to be successful. Safety is key. The Lost River of Gold – Kokoweef Peak

For more information please reach out to me and I would be glad to help you out more. Read my other blogs to see more treasure stories in America. We are here to assist you and provide you with the best and most useful treasure hunting gear. 


Good luck. Be safe. Find Your Adventure


The Complete Guide To Metal Detecting


The Lost River of Gold – Kokoweef Peak – 2021

Copyright properties of Treasures in America LLC | Treasures in America Productions | Uncharted Expeditions LLC


Written by: Timothy C Draper, Historical Treasure Hunter and Founder of Treasures in America

Edited by: Craig S Draper


View more of Treasures in America Research on our social media and YouTube


Contact Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Leave a Reply

Join Our Treasure Hunting Tribe

The Best Membership

Explore Now

Read More Treasure Stories

Adventure Is Waiting

Read Now

Listen To Treasure Hunting Podcasts

"Talk Treasure with Tim"

Listen Now

Learn More About Treasures in America

The History of

Learn More

View Our Treasure Gallery

History Continues

See Now