We evaluated the trace element content of gossans at four mines in the West Shasta Cu-Zn mining district in California. We found little difference in trace element content between the chipped rock rind and whole-rock gossan samples. Gossans derived from disseminated sulfides were found to have a lower trace element content as well as a narrower range of values than did gossans derived from massive sulfides. Extreme differences in trace element concentrations in field duplicates of both chip and whole-rock gossan samples due to variations within the gossan bodies prevented use of the data at individual sampling sites for areal pattern studies. A computer program (REM), which uses a cell concept and groups the analysis of gossan at each mine, was used to characterize the trace element content. The gossan at the Mammoth mine had the highest anomaly magnitude and the highest element magnitudes for the most elements. Gossan at the Spread Eagle mine had a much different assemblage of elements relative to the other mines studied and had the lowest anomaly magnitude.