Gold Dust Creek drains the southwest slope of Mastodon Dome and empties into Birch Creek just below the mouth of Eagle Creek. Gravel clasts in Gold Dust Creek are sub-angular to sub-rounded; commonly they are as much as 30 cm in diameter and rarely are 1 m in diameter. The width of mined gravel is 70 m or more for most of the creek length.
The simple sluice-box operation used in the early 1980’s was moderate to highly efficient in recovering coarse gold, but low in recovering fine gold. As a result, considerable study and research by the local miners led to the introduction of a sophisticated wash plant that used jigs. Gold in the 120- to 400-mesh range was routinely recovered in this operation.
Some characteristics of this fine gold were revealed that had not been previously recognized. Besides the typical bright yellow gold, some was a brown-gray with a porous surface. Shape ranged from crystalline wire gold to granular beads.