LYTLE CREEK (CBSLA.com) — Is 2014 a repeat of the great Gold Rush of 1849?

Prospectors in Southern California are heading to the hills, saying the severe drought has exposed gold that has never been touched by human hands. As water levels continue to drop more nooks and crannies are easier for these gold hunters to access.

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“A lot of time you would just see a husband. Now you’re seeing the whole family out,” said Kevin Hoagland, of the Gold Prospectors Association of America.

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Prospectors at Lytle Creek, 60 miles from Los Angeles in San Bernardino County, pan for gold, using metal detectors and sluice boxes. CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Art Barron witnessed veteran prospector  Jack Barber pull up large pieces of the precious metal.

Armed with simple equipment, anyone can look for gold as long as it’s not on someone’s property or violates an existing gold claim. Many amateur prospectors are joining in the search.

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“While you may not make a fortune, it’s a great way to spend time with the family,” Hoagland said. He said beginners may find $5 in gold, but if they’re lucky could take home as much as $200 worth.