more rock hunting spots

GPS Coordinates, if known: W 119.87244 N 42.72584
Town/region: Rabbit Hills Basin, near Plush, Harney Co.
State, country: Harney Co. Oregon
Tips for finding it: Use a topo Map, but its easy to find.

Location #1: Cumberland Plateau
General description: The Cumberland Plateau region of Tennessee is one of the nation's best keep secrets. Without a doubt it is one of the most scenic areas in America. There are incredible state parks along its length through Tennessee and has my favorite agates in the country. The state gemstone is Tennessee agate ( a multi colored agate with fortifications, plumes, moss, and eyes) I wrote an article with Dewey Moss in "Lapidary Journal" about these treasures. I have large collection and the very best pieces I plan on donating to a museum for others to enjoy. (see Alabama for the southern end of the plateau.) How to get there: The agate is found on the steep sides of the Cumberland Plateau near the interface of the Mississippian Limestone and the Pennsylvanian sandstone cap rock. Tennessee agate is a sedimentary agate formed in lenses in the limestone. It can be found weathered from the matrix or locked in the country rock. The agates are transported to the streams in the area. Two locations are in quarries owned by the Roger's Group. The company has allowed collecting by groups if the trip is approved in advance. One quarry is east of Pelham on HWY 50 on the side of the Plateau.
The other is on HWY 70 at the town of Sparta. 
Grade this location: (A to F): A 
Handy to bring along:1.Pick & shovel,2.Gloves,3.Rock hammer,4. Safety glasses,5.Hard Hat if required by the quarry owners
.  Helpful notes to newcomers: Will Smith (not the actor) is one of the most knowable rockhounds on Tennessee Agates. His website is filled with information on on these spectacular gems of the Cumberland. He lists several classic sites; some are closed to collecting. These well known sites have been heavily worked but there are sites yet to be discovered. I have found great agate in places that are not widely know. As always if you hunt for these yet undiscovered sites get permission from the land owners. 

Topaz Mountain
GPS: Latitude: 38.966573, Longitude: -112.325053
Directions: 55 west of Delta via U.S. Hwy 6 and paved county road to Topaz Mountain Rockhound Recreation Area.
Where: Near Delta, Utah
Bureau of Land Management
Address: Fillmore Field Office, 35 East 500 North, Fillmore, UT 84631
Visit website.   Toolkit:Shovel ,Pick ,Bucket ,Screen ,Screwdriver ,Hammer
 Topaz Mountain Info: These hills contain some of the most productive and diverse rockhound areas in the West. Visitors to Topaz Mountain can collect a variety of topaz and crystals. There are also nearby trilobite beds at Antelope Springs and geode beds near Dugway. There are no facilities in any of these areas, but dispersed camping is permitted throughout the area. 
stop by the Rockpick Legend Company in Salt Lake City, UT, to get your Topaz appraised.   
Royston Mine/Otteson's Jewelry
GPS: Latitude: 38° 4' 5.415"  Longitude: -117° 13' 52.107"
Where: Tonopah, NV Phone:  (775) 482-9352  (775) 482-9889
Hours: Monday through Saturday,         10 a.m.-4 p.m.
          Call for appt. in the winter
Cost: $50 per day   Toolkit:Rock Hammer ,Pick Ax ,Bucket
 How-To Guide
Richness of color is the chief determiner of value in turquoise; generally speaking, the most desirable is a strong sky to robin's egg blue. Value decreases with the increase of green hue, lightening of color and mottling. Whatever the color, turquoise should not be excessively soft or chalky; otherwise, it is liable to fade over time, and will not hold up to normal use in jewelry. The mother rock, or matrix, in which turquoise is found, often has splotches or a network of brown or black veins running through the stone; this veining may add value to the stone if the result is complementary, but such a result is uncommon.

Location #1: Woodward Ranch
General description: One of my favorite agate types anywhere - Woodward Ranch Red Plume Agate and another 60 types of gemstones and agates can be found. How to get there:
The ranch is located on HWY 118 about 16 miles south of Alpine Texas.
Grade this location: (A to F): A 
Handy to bring along: 1. Digging tools - pick shovel,2. Gloves,3. Safety Glasses,4. Buckets Helpful notes to newcomers: There are thousands of acres to prospect. Primitive camping, RV hook-ups and cabins for the tenderfoot are available.

Location #2: Lake Texoma - Ammonites
General description: Texas Lower Cretaceous Fossils including large (dinner plate and larger) ammonites.If you are into fossils this is the real thing. An ammonite is a cephalopod with a flat spiral shell. Simply put it is a squid on the half shell. I went on a field trip with a geologist and waded a creek that flowed into the lake and almost could not carry the fossils out. One ammonite was 18 inches in diameter. How to get there: Lake Texoma is on the border between Texas and Oklahoma. The fossils extend into Oklahoma. Search the lake shore, exposed bluffs and creeks leading into the lake.
Where to stay: This is a resort area with plenty of places to stay. The following web site lists resorts and attractions.
Grade this location: (A to F): A  
Handy to bring along:1.Pick ,2.Small sledge hammer,3.Pry bar,4.Safety glasses,5. Rock bag Helpful notes to newcomers: If you are into fossils you will love this site. It can be family friendly if you are just wanting to walk the shores. My wife and I will stop at the dam on our way to Dallas and walk the shores at the park and enjoy the beauty. When the bluebonnets are in bloom it is an incredible sight.

Location #3: Sequist Ranch
General description: The Llano uplift is a mineral rich area of Texas. The geology is ancient igneous and metamorphic rocks. Texas topaz is the treasure that most prospectors come to find. Although there are numerous places to search, the Sequist Ranch offers camping , RV hookups and Texas hospitality.  How to get there: Sequist Ranch is on HWY 377 about 6 miles west of Mason.
ia an excellent web site for rockhounding the area.
Grade this location: (A to F): A 
Handy to bring along:1.Pick and shovel,2. Screen,3.Gloves,4. Rock bag or bucket Helpful notes to newcomers: Please leave this site better than you found it. Don't mess with Texas -remove trash. In addition to topaz, there is
quartz of different colors.

Location #4: Lake Toledo Bend area of east Texas - Petrified Wood
General description: The petrified wood region extends from east Texas to Louisiana. The most sought after prize is Petrified Palm Wood. Most wood is cream colored, however, the black and red brings the premium price. The petrified wood is found in
Oligocene age Catahoula Formation. How to get there: Toledo Bend is on the border between Texas and Louisiana. Wood can be found on the shores and creeks leading into the lake. Petrified wood can also be found at Sam Rayburn reservoir.
 Grade this location: (A to F): A 
Handy to bring along:1. Shovel,2.Pick,3.Buckets Helpful notes to newcomers: South Toledo Bend State Park is a great place to stay.

Location #5: North Sulfur River
General description: The Sulfur River exposes Cretaceous Age marine fossils ( shells, shark teeth, and even mosasaur fossils) plus petrified wood.  How to get there: The town of Ladonia, Texas offers a park next to the river to access the river bed. (More Texas hospitality.) Ladonia is on HWY 50 north east of Dallas.
This link is to an amazing web site for the Sulfur River fossil site:
There are a number of bridges that cross the river. I have searched below HWY 24 south of Paris and collected fossils.
 Grade this location: (A to F): A if the conditions are right GPS coordinates:
Handy to bring along:1. Digging Tools - small shovel, hank pick,2. Buckets or rock bag,3.  Helpful notes to newcomers: Your luck is dependent upon the river. If the water is to high you are out of luck. The pickings are best after the water recedes from heavy rains that have eroded the banks.

Location #1: Obsidian
General description: The Black Springs area of the Black Rock desert was covered with volcanic eruption of rhyolite, pumice, and obsidiam during the Tertary Period. Obsidian is not a mineral but is glass created in volcanoes. Various varieties of obsidian can be found at this site: snowflake, black obsidian with and others. How to get there:
From the west edge of Delta, Utah, travel west on U.S. Highway 6/50 about 4.3 miles to the State Highway 257 junction. Turn south on highway 257 and travel approximately 43 miles to a BLM sign displaying "Kanosh 26" and a dirt road heading east. Turn east onto the dirt road and travel about 6 miles to the sign for Black Spring. Turn right onto the Black Spring dirt road and park in the open area across from the watering trough.
Courtesy of:
Handy to bring along:1. Rock hammer,2. Safety glasses,3. Buckets Helpful notes to newcomers: Show respect for the land and carry all thrash out. Bring plenty of water and be careful when breaking obsidian with a hammer. 

Location #2: U-Dig Fossils
General description: Tribobites are and extinct species
of marine animal related to horse shoe crabs, and pill bugs. The fossils are found in a shaley limestone and are found by splitting the sheets with a rock hammer. How to get there:
Once in Delta, first travel 32 miles west on Highway 6/50. At the Long Ridge Reservoir sign between mile markers 56-57, turn right. There is a U-DIG Fossils sign at this intersection. Then travel 20 miles down a well-maintained gravel road to reach the U-DIG Fossils trilobite quarry. Any type of vehicle can travel this gravel road. For a map, click here.
Handy to bring along: 1. Rock hammer or use a borrowed hammer at the site,2. Hat,3. Sunscreen,4. Gloves,5. Safety glasses
6. Water Helpful notes to newcomers:
You will find fossils. For additional information check out the following link: ://

Location #3: Sunstone Knoll
General description: Sunstones can be found on the flats and around the knoll/ Sunstones are a transparent yellow feldspar mineral. Typical stones are 1/3" to 1" in size. Sunstone Knoll is formed of volcanic vents that erupted during the early Pleistocene (1.6 million years to about 750,000 years ago). How to get there:
From the west edge of the town of Delta (railroad overpass), travel west on U.S. Highway 6/50 about 4.3 miles to the State Highway 257 junction. Turn south on highway 257 and travel approximately 13.4 miles (just before mile-marker 56). A sign on the west side of the road marks the entrance to Sunstone Knoll on the east. Turn east onto the dirt road, cross the railroad tracks (watch for trains), and circle around the knoll to the east side. Please sign the register at the entrance. A private claim is on part of this site, but individuals are generously allowed to collect.
Information Utah Geological Survey
Handy to bring along:1. Hammer,2. Safety glasses,3. Plenty of water,4. Hat Helpful notes to newcomers:Children can easily collect on the flats.

Location #4: Vernon Hills
General description: The Vernon Hills wonderstone is a welded-vitric tuff (vitric means glassy) of rhyolitic composition. It is a volcanic rock composed predominantly of volcanic glass particles which have been welded or stuck together by heat and compacted by the weight of overlying material. Alteration of the rock by circulating ground water produced the colorful banding. The maroon and yellow-brown colors are due to the presence of iron oxides How to get there:
From the southern edge of Tooele, travel south on State Highway 36 about 31 miles to the town of Vernon. Continue on highway 36 an additional 4 1/2 miles until you reach a dirt road adjacent to and west of the railroad tracks. Turn north (left) onto the dirt road and travel next to the railroad tracks for 1.7 miles until the road curves to the northwest. From the curve, travel 0.4 miles to the end of the road.  Utah Geological Survey
Handy to bring along:1. Rock hammer,2. Buckets,3. Plenty of water,4. Hat Helpful notes to newcomers: A four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended. Road can be muddy depending on weather conditions. Do not collect on any marked claims or rock piles showing signs of recent mining activity. Bring a rock hammer and protective eye wear if you intend to break pieces of rock. A hat and water are recommended. Please carry out your trash. Have fun collecting

Location #1: Chester Mines
General description: Actinolite, Ankerite, Chrysotile, Serpentine and Talc. Some nice sprays of actinolite crystals have been gathered from the dump on the west side of the road  How to get there:At the intersection of Route 11 and Route 35 in the town of Chester go south on Rte 35 about 0.7 miles. Turn left onto the old road for approximately 1.6 miles. The mine will be on the right and easily visable from the road. The mine dumps are located on both sides of the road.
For more information:
Handy to bring along:1.Sledge hammer,2.Chisels,3.Rock bucket,4. Gloves & safety glasses Helpful notes to newcomers:

Location #2: Chester Garnet Mine
General description:Garnet, Kyanite and Stourolite. Some very well formed garnet and staurolite crystals can be collected from this area  How to get there: From the town of Chester head north on Route 103. The garnet mine has been covered over by a new bridge that was built about 0.8 miles past the intersection of Rts 10 and 103. However there is still good collecting in the road cuts and the fill area around the bridge. 
Handy to bring along:1.Sledge hammer,2.Chisels,3.Safety Glasses, Gloves

Location #3: Chester Talc Mine
General description:Talc and Serpentine. Some nice talc specimens both massive and foliate can be found How to get there:From the town of Chester head north on Route 103 about eight miles. There will be an active mine in operation by Windsor Minerals on the left, it is posted and access is not obtainable. However, you can observe an operating mine from the parking lot and if you ask nicely they might let you do a little collecting along the edge of the filled parking lot for the trucks. Please do not dig holes in the parking lot and refill any that you make along the edge. 
 Helpful notes to newcomers:
A three prong garden rake and a trenching shovel may be necessary to dig out specimens to bring home. Don't forget goggles and gloves for protection.
Location #4: Asbestos Mine
General description: Garnet and Vesuvianite Crystals and Other Minerals
This site is a closed asbestos mine with a significant amount of asbestos in the dumps. Anyone that has an aversion to the possibility of lung problems should stay away. Reasonable precautions such as using a face mask and goggles should be sufficient protection for most individuals. How to get there:
From Interstate 89 take State route 100 north towards Stowe and Hyde Park. Go past the intersection of Rte 100 and Rte 118 in Eden about 1.2 miles. There will be a general store on the left in the town of Eden Mills. Just beyond the general store take the road that forks off to the left up the hill. The VAG mine is about 2.5 miles down this road on the left. It is nearly impossible to miss as the asbestos piles can be seen from about a mile away
Helpful notes to newcomers:
bring: A rock pick, rock chisels, pry bars, hand sledge, shovel and 3 tined rake are all recommended for collecting at this site. For the less aggressive a shovel, rake and sifting box could produce some reasonable results by working the dumps.
Credit: Thanks to the members of the Nashua Mineral Society for providing the locations of numerous sites including this one.

Location #1: Fairy Stone State Park
General description: With 4537 acres the state park is one of Virginia largest and most popular. The lakes, the scenic beauty make this site a truely enjoyable place to stay. The Park is also a great site to collect Virginia Fairy stones. Fairy crosses are staurolite, a combination of silica, iron and aluminum. Staurolite crystallizes at 60 or 90 degree angles, hence the stone's cross-like structure. How to get there:
From I-81 near Roanoke, take Route 581 to Route 220 South to Route 57 West to Route 346 North (Fairystone Lake Drive)
The State Park web site is:
Grade this location: (A to F): A GPS coordinates:
Handy to bring along: Bag to put your crosses in
Legend of the Fairy Cross:
Many hundreds of years before Chief Powhatan’s reign, fairies were dancing around a spring of water, playing with naiads and wood nymphs, when an elfin messenger arrived from a city far away. He brought news of the death of Christ. When these creatures of the forest heard the story of the crucifixion, they wept. As their tears fell upon the earth, they crystallized to form beautiful crosses. 

Location #2: The Allah Cooper Mine
General description: Examination of the mine dumps in January, 2003, revealed sphalerite, linarite, galena,gold, chalcopyrite, pyrite, pyromorphite, pyrophyllite, and wulfenite. Virginia Division of Mineral Resources How to get there: The mine is located in Louisa County, Virginia approximately 5.5 miles northeast of the town of Mineral on Blackwater Branch, a tributary of Contrary Creek Additional information can be found at: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Virginia Minerals publication
Handy to bring along:1. Rock hammer,2. Bucket,3. Shovel,4. Gloves,5. Safety glasses Helpful notes to newcomers:
The mineral specimens are found in the abandoned tailing piles. Be sure to get permission to collect on private property.

Location #3: Morefield Gem Mine
General description: The Morefield Mine is a highly mineralized pegmatite dike having a length of 2,000 feet and a depth of 300 feet. It produces over 70 different minerals, with more new ones being discovered. The mine produces mica, feldspar, beryl, phenakite for a few popular ones. It produces minerals of the tantalum/columbite series too. The mine is well known for finding Amazonite. It is truly a varied mixture of minerals. How to get there:
13400 Butlers Road - Amelia, Virginia
For more information check out:
Handy to bring along:1. Rock hammer & chisel,2. Rock pick,3. Bucket,4. small sledge hammer - 3 pound
Helpful notes to newcomers:Topaz and garnets and garnets can be found as well as amethyst.

Location #4: Visuvius Unakite Quarry
General description: Unakite is the Virginia State stone. Unakite is an altered granite composed of pink othoclase feldspar. green , and quartz.. It has various shades of green and pink and is usually mottled in appearance. It is an excellent lapidary gemstone that takes a high polish. How to get there: On I84 take the Steeles Tavern exit; Hwy 56. Drive east to Vesuvius. The quarry is on HWY 56 just east of town. 
Coordinates: 37° 53' 60'' North : 79° 10' 48'' West
Handy to bring along:1. Hard Hat,2. Rock hammer,3.Safety glasses
helpful notes to newcomers:This is a quarry and permission must be obtained to collect.

Location #5: Jack Gold Prospecting Supply
General description: Great prospectors store that carries both panning concentrates for those of us unable to go gold prospecting on a regular basis and prospecting supplies for those of us heading out to find gold!
, call to make an appointment:
Jack Gold Prospecting Supplies
1416 Dry Fork Road
Dry Fork, VA 24549

Location #1: Saddle Mountain
Bureau of Land Management
(General description: Great petrified wood. The Discussion Forum has a world of information about this site. Pictures can be found on the Photo Gallery. Rockhounders regularly come from as far away as British Columbia and the Oregon coast as well as other parts of the U.S. to converge on the Saddle Mountains in search of petrified wood that is abundant at several locations on the mountains. Elevation range from 486 feet to 2,700 feet. The fossil trees found at Saddle Mountain include: sycamore, sweet gum, live oak, alder, beech, elm, and Tetracentron types among other hardwoods and softwoods.  How to get there: Grant County in central Washington, 10 miles south of Interstate Highway 90. The southwestern portion of the Saddle Mountains can be accessed from Highway 24 via"R" Road, one mile east of the town of Mattawa and County right of way via O road, 4 miles east of Mattawa.The eastern portion can be accessed from Highway 24 via Corfu Road located at the entrance to the Wahluke Wildlife Recreation Area (about 20 miles east of Mattawa). This road crosses the mountain and eventually intersects Highway 26 at Corfu, Washington
Contact "washingtonian" on the Forum; or send me a message.
Parking area on the Mountain N 46°48.42 W 119°53.25  Lep-re-com Harvest Foods Grocery Store (a check) At Mattawa WA. West side of town just at the top of the hill off the highway, less than a 1/2 mile, on the right.N 46°44.24 W 119°54.61
Handy to bring along:1. Shovel,2.Pick,3. Rock hammer,4. Buckets or hand truck (I'm not kidding),5. Plenty of water,6. The Grandchildren
  Helpful notes to newcomers: I have added pictures of the petrified wood and the friendly folks on our site.

Location #2: Adna
General description: Carnelian (Orange and Blood Red), petrified wood, and fancy jaspers can be found at this site.
The following report on collecting was posted by: (syonix) on the "Discussion Forum"
Park on the west side and take the logging road on the right (west) to the split in the trail 50 yards, and then right on the trail about 200 yards to another small trail on the right. A little trail goes down to a creek from here. I've pulled all the material out of the first 100 feet or so.. I could work this place for years and never cover it all lol.. it seems under every rock is something red and pretty. On each successive trip I've managed to get a bigger and bigger deep blood red clear agate..
 How to get there: Take I-5 to exit 77 (Highway 6 Exit)
Head West on 6 for 4.4 miles. Turn right onto Bunker Creek Rd. for 3.6 miles.
Turn left onto Ceres Hill Rd. for 1.7 miles.
For more information visit :
/adna.htm#greenwaterHigh Resolution Detailed Topo Map Available Here
Site 1: Diggings
On the east and west sides of the parking spot are diggings for 100 yards in every direction. pick and spot and go.
Site 2: Creek
On the west side there is an old logging road that is blocked by debris. follow this road for about 0.3 miles, staying right, to some flagging. At this point there is a faint trial to the right. follow this trail down to the stream (about 350 ft) and then head upstream for an additional 0.15 miles.
Site 1: Diggings: Grade B
Site 2: Creek: Grade B
Parking on Road at 46°37'31.82"N 123° 6'36.36"W
Handy to bring along:1. Shovel,2. Pick,3. Buckets,4. Bucket,5. Bug Spray
Helpful notes to newcomers: hit an area not picked over by the people who visit the site. This site is very well known and is usually packed on the weekends.
Don't be afraid to just start digging anywhere here, the most impressive finds are found in the ground not in the creek. It does take much more effort in the ground, but it will be worth it.
Avoid digging on wet days, the clay is very tough,sticky and hard to get out of clothes.
Avoid going up the creek too far, you will hit private property.
Avoid the creek after lots of rain it is a drainage for a large area and tends to turn into a river quickly.
Visit the lower sections of the creek frequently a week or so after rains stop to check for new material.
Location #3: Any recently burned areas in the forests.
This was up the Entiat River Valley
general description: Find recent forest fire burned areas, last couple of year maxed, or any other area of recently disturbed areas and walk! How to get there: 
Grade this location: (A to F): B GPS coordinates: It is always changing
Handy to bring along: 1. Good shoes,2. Mushroom bag,3. Lots of water
 Helpful notes to newcomers: Never pick or eat any mushroom unless you have gone to schooling about mushrooms or are collecting with someone with a lot of experience. Don't pick or eat any mushrooms unless you are absolutely certain it is safe to eat.

Location #4: Hansen Creek
General description: Quartz, Chrysocola ,Goethite and Amethyst can be found at this site.The geology of the area is an uplift and erosion of the Old Cascade Volcanic Arc exposed plutonic rock of the Snoqualmie Batholith near Snoqualmie Pass.
For more information visit:
Photos courtesy of Jeff Schwartz at Washington Minerals: How to get there:
Hansen Creek is on the south side of the Interstate going east to the Pass. Get off at either Tinkham road access and circle back along the interstate until you reach Hansen Creek road. Go up, go under the trestle, up a little ways more, and there is a dirt road going off to the left. If you have a good rig and don't care about your paint job you can drive in, but the trees and brush are thick on both sides and they will scrape your car. I've parked here and walked in; it's about a mile and change. Take the road all the way until it becomes a trail, and follow it to the diggings. Bob Jackson's old guidebook showed more material way up top, but if I remember you had to etch the calcite away from the quartz
 GPS coordinates:47°23'29"N , 121°31'46"W
Handy to bring along:1. Hand pick,2. Shovel,3. Rock hammer,4. Back pack
Helpful notes to newcomers:There are camps down along the river. Be sure to pack up any litter you can, as it all gets blamed on rockhounds

Location #5: Greenwater
General description: Black and red agates can be found at this site.
How to get there:
From Enumclaw follow Hwy 410 for about 19.1 miles.
Turn left onto Forest service rd. 70 for 5.8 miles.
Turn right onto FR 72 for 0.7 miles
Turn left onto FR 7220 for 1.0 miles
Turn right onto FR 7222 for 1.1 miles
Bear right onto 7222 (210) for 1.1 miles
Turn right onto a small dirt road 8017.8 for about 0.1 miles to a large flat area. This is a good camp site.
Site information can be found at:
 GPS coordinates:N 47.101167  W 121.52205
Handy to bring along:1.Shovel,2.Rock hammer,3.Bucket Helpful notes to newcomers:
The forest road is good up to the last 1/4 mile, then a ATU is required or you can walk. 

Location #6: Stonerose Interpretive Center
General description: Visit Stonerose and search for your own fossils in our Eocene fossil beds.
The picture is an actual fossils found at the site. Truly amazing fossils.
 How to get there: Stonerose Interpretive Center is located at 15-1 N. Kean Street, on the corner of Kean Street and Highway 20 W., across from the city park in beautiful Republic, Washington.
Visit this link for more information:
Handy to bring along:1. Hand tools,2. Rock hammer,3. Bag for your fossils,4. Cold Chisel,5. Tools can be rented Helpful notes to newcomers
The Stonerose Interpretive Center is handicapped accessible. Only a limited number fossils can be taken home. The Interpretive center is an educational opportunity for the whole family. The fossils you find will be identified by the staff. Bring the kids and watch their eyes light up.

Location #7: Lucas Creek
General description: Lucas creek is well known for agate, jasper, and petrified wood.
Nice 4lb piece of agate from the creek
 How to get there:
Take I-5 to exit 71 (508 Exit)
Head east on 508 for 2.4 miles.
Turn Left onto Jackson Hwy for 1.8 miles.
Turn Right onto North Fork Rd. for 4.9 miles
Turn right onto Lucas Creek rd. for 4.1 miles to just before it turns into a gravel road. On your right you will see a gated road.
Keep going another .25 miles on the gravel road, you will see the creek on either side and parking.
Keep going another .25 on the gravel road to parking on your right and a gate on your left. .5 mile up this gate is the below pictured diggings
Visit the following site for more information: ://
Handy to bring along:1.Bucket,2.Good shoes for wading,3.Small hand tool Helpful notes to newcomers
1. The collecting materials are found on the gravel bars, in the stream, along the banks and at road cuts in the area.
2. This area is picked over heavily. If you want to find good material find a place and dig.
3..One half of a mile up gate #722 is a clearcut (pictured above). Behind the "Lone Tree" at the top the entire hill consists of diggings. There is very pretty material here on the top 2 feet of the soft clay.

Location #8: Cherry Creek
General description: The site is known for multicolored jaspers and black petrified wood with marcisite.
 How to get there:
Head north out of Duvall on 203.
Turn right onto NE Cherry valley road for 4.2 miles.
Stay Right at the Junction of Mountain View Rd. This will turn into Kelly Rd. Follow Kelly road for 2.4 miles.
Turn left onto NE Stossel Creek Way for 1.4 miles to Macworth Stat forest sign.
Continue straight on Stossel Creek Rd NE. for about 5.0 miles to a bridge crossing a small creek.
A map is available at the following link:
Handy to bring along: 1.Shovel,2.Wading shoes,3.Bucket
Helpful notes to newcomers:The creek has to be low enough the collect at the site.

Location #9: Jones Creek Quarry
General description: The location seems to be a starting point for people who want to ride their dirt bikes around this area so when I got there I found a few families unpacking their ATVs and Bikes.. No one seemed to care about the mountain of rock behind them. I quietly got my gear and slipped behind the mountain of rocks. To my surprise I found some large supporting boulders on the back side holding up the pile. There is a dug wall at this site that yielded that large crystal chunk i have a picture of in the album. I also found when breaking some of the large rocks, a deposit of various minerals layered in the rock .. After a few trips to this location I've managed to get a nice collection pretty stones. The trick here is to go behind the large rock piles (and i mean large) and work the wall or the supporting rocks at the base. The crystals are in the wall, and the base boulders have some nice surprises as well. How to get there: From either northbound or southbound I-5, take I-205 exit towards Vancouver, WA. Use Hwy 500 East (Exit 30-Orchards Exit). Go east on Hwy 500 to Fourth Plain (1st light) and turn right continuing on Hwy 500 East (Camas). Go 6.3 miles, turn left on 53rd St. Go 3.2 miles, turn left on Ireland Rd. Go .3 miles turn left on Lessard Rd. Continue on Lessard Road for 4 miles and follow signs to Jones Creek OR
From parking lot, go straight ahead up the hill. got approx 1-1.1 miles to the top of the hill, when you come to a three way intersection take a LEFT. 100 feet or so you will have a HARD LEFT again that will go UP the hill a a good steep angle. this takes you to the quarry.
 GPS coordinates: W122-18'39.13" N45-40'0.39" 
Handy to bring along:1. Rock hammer,2. Buckets,3. Sledge hammer (3lb and 8lb),4. Safety glasses,5. Gloves Helpful notes to newcomers
There are lots of ORV riders in the area, be careful on the drive up.
Avoid this place in the winter the roads can get muddy and you can get stuck.
Location #10: Red Top Mountain
General description: This is a mountain of basalt which you can find Blue Agates, Geodes blue and clear (quartz), and various colored Jasper with red and blue/green being the most common. You can either use pick and shovel to dig into the ground or hammer and chisel to actually pick the goodies out of the basalt.
This area has been picked over pretty heavily over the years. But there are areas unsearched to this day. A lot of the digging is getting farther and farther away from parking areas so do be prepared to walk a bit. It is a fun place to go and hunt for treasures.
 How to get there: There are several ways to get there. The best way is on highway 97. Take the Blue creek Exit which is located just north of Mineral Springs Restaurant on Blewett Pass. Not more than a 1/4 mile. Be careful exiting or entering the highway as the exit is on a sharp corner with not much visibility in both directions. This road is a gravel road in good shape. Passenger cars can make but it is easier if the upper portion of the road has been maintained a bit. Stay on the main road until you come across a Y in the road. The main road continues on to the Teanaway and the left fork to Red Top. This intersection is marked with good signs. This section of road is narrower than the main gravel road you first came up on. It is not graveled and is rough and rocky in several places. Passenger cars can male it, but they may have to be very careful in a few spots. It seems that people like to drive quite fast on this road so take it easy driving up and down.
There are a few place to narrow for 2 cars to pass each other so be prepared to back up a little is need be. Be sure if you park at the main parking lot on top of the mountain that you have the Forest Service Parking Pass.
There is a route from the west side of the mountain up the Teanaway River but I am not familiar with it. Check a local map for more info.
NOTE: Forest Service Parking Pass no longer required here as of Summer 2008.
Handy to bring along:1. Insect repellent,2. Extra water or fluids for drinking and washing off treasures.,3. Shovel,4. Pick,5. Rock Hammer and chisels,6. A bucket or bag to pack out treasures,7. Forest Service Parking Pass- no longer needed here as of Summer 2008 Helpful notes to newcomers: Just keep digging! Find areas that are recently worked and find a place that looks like it hasn't been disturbed. Start digging looking at each and every rock closely. Sometimes it is just a little piece of agate or jasper lurking under the dirt that may catch you eye. A spray bottle is a must. Best of all have fun.

Location #11: Cedar Ponds
General description: This lake is one of the great places here in the Northern Cascade Range. Camping at Cedar Ponds Lake is magnificent fun. Colorless quartz, amethyst scepters (to several inches). Crystals are typically gemmy and exhibit hoppered faces.
Link to minerals: How to get there: From Sultan take 311 Ave south to Ben Howard Road turn right (west). Turn south on Cedar Ponds Road. Turn right south on 299 Street to
Dugger Lake Road and turn left. Arrive at Cedar Pond.
Grade this location: (A to F):

Photo courtesy of Jeff Schwartz at Washington Minerals:
Photo Copyright © 2007 Jeffrey M. Schwartz GPS coordinates:
Latitude: 47.80611 Longitude: -121.80417
Handy to bring along:1. Hand Tools, 2. Bucket,3. Rock hammer
Helpful notes to newcomers:To clean quartz soak in hot oxalic acid.

Location #12: Money Creek
General description: Money Creek has plentiful amounts of picture jasper. The jasper came in many colors with brown or tan being the most prominent and some reds and blues. How to get there:
From Skykomish, Travel west on U.S. Hwy. 2 approximately 2.5 miles to the campground on the left. 
Handy to bring along:1. Rock hammer,2. Rock bag,3. Small pick - maul
 Helpful notes to newcomers:Money Creek Campground, located east of Skykomish, features 24 RV/Tent sites, picnic tables, grills, potable water, garbage, and toilets.

Location #13: Salmon Creek
General description: Copralites, Agate, Jasper and petrified wood.
Link: How to get there:
Take I-5 to exit 63 (Pikes Hill Exit)
Head east on 505 (Winlock-Toledo Rd) for 5.3 miles.
Turn Right onto Kangas Rd. for 1 mile.
Turn Left onto Toledo-Salmon Creek Rd. for 0.5 miles
Turn right onto Salmon Creek rd. for 0.8 miles to a Y in the road.
Bear right onto 1571 for 0.1 miles to Site A. (see detailed map below for more sites This site is located at the first bridge you cross on Salmon Creek Rd. Look in the gravel bars both up and down stream from this point. (upstream seems to have better gravel bars).
 GPS coordinates: N 46.411667 W122.800833
Handy to bring along:1.Bucket,2. Hand Tools,3. Helpful notes to newcomers:
Search the gravel bars and banks for materials. Some digging and screening may produce better material.

Location #14: Deer Creek
General description: Jade and Travertine can be found wading in the stream.
 How to get there:
63.1 mi (about 1 hour 58 mins)
1. Head west on Arlington-Darrington Rd/Seeman St/WA-530 toward Commercial Ave
Continue to follow WA-530 27.3 mi
2. Turn left at N Manhattan St  0.1 mi
3. Continue on N High St  0.1 mi
4. Turn left at E 5th St  0.2 mi
5. Turn right at N Stillaguamish Ave  0.2 mi
6. Turn left at E 3rd St  174 ft
7. Turn right at N Stillaguamish Ave  0.7 mi
8. Continue on Burn Rd/Burn Hill Rd
Continue to follow Burn Rd 7.6 mi
9. Turn left at 116th St NE  0.2 mi
10. Turn right at 159th Ave NE/Burn Rd
Continue to follow Burn Rd 2.7 mi
11. Turn right at Jordan Rd  0.3 mi
12. Turn left at 96th St NE/WA-92
Continue to follow WA-92 0.6 mi
13. Turn left at N Alder Ave/Mountain Loop Hwy
Continue to follow Mountain Loop Hwy 23.0 mi
 GPS coordinates: Latitude 48.084 and Longitude -121.5554
Handy to bring along:1. Bucket,2. Rock hammer ,3. Wading shoes Helpful notes to newcomers
Deer Creek Campground is positioned in an area with a number of great attractions.Wallace Falls State Park is too great to leave out of a trip to Deer Creek.

Location #15: Denny Creek
General description: A very steep canyon with large boulders which can roll at any time. High walls from which rocks fall frequently. Not a good place for kids, or for anyone who is not familiar with rock climbing.  How to get there:
From Seattle, take I-90 east to Exit 47 (before Snoqualmie Pass). Turn left at the stop sign, and cross to the north (left) side of the freeway. At the "T," stay right on Road No. 58, and pass Denny Creek Campground at about three miles. A short distance past the campground, turn left onto a .2-mile road (No. 5830). For Franklin Falls, park in the lot near the bridge. If you are starting from the Wagon Road Trail, park at Franklin Falls, walk back to Road 58 and look for the trail head on the opposite side of the road. For Denny Creek or Melakwa Lake, continue to the end of Road No. 5830 and parking at 2,300 feet. Road No. 58 continues to Snoqualmie Pass, but the road is narrow and winding. 
Handy to bring along:,1. Rock hammer,2.Cheisel,3. Rock bag Helpful notes to newcomers:
Contact the Snoqualmie Ranger District at North Bend at 425-888-1421. Be sure to fill out a wilderness permit at the trailhead if you are heading to Denny Creek or Melakwa Lake. Collecting in the wilderness is limited to surface material. The prime quartz zone is on private land.

Location #1: Flambeau mine
General description: A copper mine in Ladysmith, Wisconsin where a varity of mineral specimens have ben collected including:CHALCOCITE, CUPRITE , ANKERITE , AZURITE, KOLBECKITE, SIDERITE. and others. How to get there: The mine is located in in Ladysmith, Wisconsin. Ladysmith is on US HWY 8 east of Minneapolis. Currently the mine has been reclaimed and turned into a hiking trails. 
Helpful notes to newcomers:Over the course of the mining operation, about 1.9 million tons of ore containing about 9.5% copper and 0.175 ounces of gold per ton were mined and shipped from the site. The mine produced approximately 181,000 tons of marketable copper, 334,000 ounces of gold, and 3,300,000 ounces of silver

Location #2: Big Bay State Park
General description: The 1.5-mile beach is a great place to rock hunt for Lake Superior Agate, Jaspers and other colorful rocks. Big Bay State Park is on Madeline Island, the largest of Lake Superior's 22 Apostle Islands
 How to get there:
Ferry boats operate on regular schedules between Bayfield and La Pointe from April to December.
County Highway H loops around Madeline Island from La Pointe. To get to Big Bay State Park, take Highway H counterclockwise (Middle Road) from La Pointe about 4 miles to Hagen Road and continue east on Hagen Road about 2 miles to the park entrance.
For more information see:
Handy to bring along:
1. Rock bag
Helpful notes to newcomers: The best time to collect is after a storm that washes new material on shore.

Location #3: Middle Ordovician Fossils
General description:. Middle Ordovician fossils are found in abundance and with variety on this very long road cut. How to get there:
On US 61 about two or three miles south of Fennimore is a cut cut that is an excellent fossil site. 
Handy to bring along:1. Small hand tools,2. Rock hammer,3. Rock bag
Helpful notes to newcomers: Park in a safe location - not on the shoulder.

Location #1: Douglas Creek and surrounding drainages.
General description: How to get there: Take 230 out of Laramie towards the Medicine Bow Mountains, turn right on 512 (34 miles - Fox Park) and go 7 miles to Douglas Creek.
Handy to bring along:
1. stream sluice, goldpan, or dredge (3" legal - no permit - new for 2008) Watch for claim signs -- stay off active (the ones with new makers and active dates on the markers) claims -- not hard to do, this is a vast gold-bearing area.
Helpful notes to newcomers: Plentiful camping, all primitive - you are 40+ miles from the nearest store-bought sandwich or medical care - plan accordingly.

Location #2: Fairburn Agates
General description: One of the world's most prized and valuable agates are found in southeast Wyoming in the Black Hills region. One well formed museum quality nodule was priced at $13,000 at the Crawford, Nebraska Gem Show. . Quite a find.
A good resource for information is "Fairburn Agate" by Roger Clark available at How to get there:
Take HWY 18 & 20 from Lusk to Manville Then turn north on Lance Creek Road - HWY 270. Lance Creek is 18 miles north.
Handy to bring along:1. Collecting bag or back pack,2.Rock Hammer,3.Water,4. Hand pick Helpful notes to newcomers:
The agate is found in the creek beds in the surrounding area around Lance Creek community. The typical nodule still has the matrix material (light tan chert) and shows little signs of weathering. Quartz crystals lining the cavities are common. The agate resembles the famous Tee Pee canyon site.
Roger Clark

Location #3: Palmer canyon in the Laramie Mountains
General description: The site has yielded sapphire, ruby, kyanite and a new gem material cordierite; a transparent blue minerial. The host vermiculite schist, gneiss, and mica schist contain up up 20% corundum. (Wyoming State Geological Survey). This site was discovered by Dr. Hausel ( like nearly everything else in the state related to minerals.
 How to get there: Take Palmer Canyon Road west of Wheatland to the
Roff vermiculite prospect. Wheatland is on I 25 north of Cheyenne, Wyoming
 MAP coordinates: sec. 18, T. 24 N., R. 70 W.
 Handy to bring along:1. Rock bag,2. Rock hammer,3. Pick shovel,4. dry screens Helpful notes to newcomers:
The following link gives information on river adventures in the area and places to stay.
Link to the discovery of the world's largest Iolite gemstone discovery:

Location #4: Ulrich’s Quarry
General description: Ulrich's Quarry is renowned for museum quality fossil fish. One of the very few places you can collect truly magnificent fossils. These fossils bring a premium price and Ulrich's Quarry is well worth the trip. How to get there:
located off Highway 30, 10 miles West of Kemmerer.
Follow the signs to Fossil Butte.
The link provides information on the site and cost to dig:
Handy to bring along:1. Sunglasses,2. Sun screen,3. All tools provided,4. The staff will supervise the dig and instruct in proper collecting techniques  Helpful notes to newcomers:
The quarry is located 7200 feet and does not open until June. Children are welcome.

Location #5: Green River Formation
General description: The Green River Formation has a abundance of fossils. In my private collection are fantastic Green River fish that reviel a complete animal down to the tiniest detail. If you are looking for a sure thing, I recommend a fossil guide service such as Fossil Safari.  How to get there:
The following link gives details on how to get there plus where to stay in the area:
Handy to bring along:1.All tools provided,2.Hat and sunscreen
 Helpful notes to newcomers: This is a family friendly adventure.