Where to Go Rockhounding

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U.S. National Parks

This table shows a list of US National Parks where you can gold pan, fossil collect, metal detect, or rockhound. The first link goes to the park website and the second to various ranger divisions within the park with more information.

National ParkClosest TownStateForest ServiceActivitiesTypes
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National ForestDillonMontanaCrystal Park Picnic and Mineral Collection AreaGold Panning
Rockhounding
Quartz (clear, cloudy, white, gray, purple)
Chequamegon-Nicolet National ForestRhinelanderWisconsinLakewood - Laona DistrictGold Panning
Rockhounding
Agate
Almandine
Copper
Diamond
Jasper
Kyanite
Gila National ForestSilver CityNew MexicoApache Creek CampgroundRockhoundingAgate
Banded Agate
Bloodstone
Bytownite
Calcite
Chalcedony
Crystaline
Fire Agate
Geodes
Golden Luna Agate
Halite
Hematite
Hypersthene
Jasper
Labrodorite
Lava's
Luna Blue Agate
Obsidian
Perlite
Plume Agate
Quartz Crystals
Spotted Agate
Thunder Eggs
Idaho Panhandle National ForestCoeur d'AleneIdahoCoeur d'Alene River Ranger DistrictRockhoundingGalena
Idaho Panhandle National ForestClarkiaIdahoEmerald Creek Garnet AreaFossil Collecting
Rockhounding
Star Garnets
Klamath National ForestSeiadCaliforniaI. Portuguese Creek River Access
There are several ranger districts along the river
Gold Panning
Rockhounding
Actinolite
Aegirine
Albite
Blueschist
Chlorite
Crossite
Cubic-Pyrite
Cymrite
Deerite
Epidote
Ferrobarroisite
Ferroglaucophane
Phengite
Quartz
Spessartine Garnet
Stilpnomelane
Malheur National ForestPrairie CityOregonVinegar Hill Indian Rock Scenic AreaRockhoundingAgate
Jasper
Oolitic Agate
Petrified Wood
Mark Twain National ForestPotosiMissouriPotosi/Fredericktown Ranger DistrictGold Panning
Rockhounding
Barite
Druzy Quartz
Lace Agate
Modoc National ForestAlturasCaliforniaGold Panning
Metal Detecting
Rockhounding
Obsidian
Modoc National ForestAlturasCaliforniaDevil's Garden Ranger DistrictGold Panning
Metal Detecting
Rockhounding
Assorted Gemstones
Obsidian
Obsidian Needles
Petrified Wood
Modoc National ForestTulelakeCaliforniaDoublehead Ranger DistrictGold Panning
Metal Detecting
Rockhounding
Obsidian
Obsidian Needles
Petrified Wood
Assorted Gemstones
Nebraska National Forests and GrasslandsChadronNebraskaBuffalo Gap National GrasslandRockhoundingFairburn Agate
Nebraska National Forests and GrasslandsChadronNebraskaOglala National GrasslandsRockhoundingFairburn Agate
Nebraska National Forests and GrasslandsHot SpringsSouth DakotaHot Springs, South DakotaRockhoundingFairburn Agate
Nebraska National Forests and GrasslandsFairburnSouth DakotaFrench Creek Camping AreaRockhoundingFairburn Agate
Ochoco National Forest & Crooked River National GrasslandMadrasOregonWhistler CampgroundRockhoundingAgate
Amethyst
Amygdaloid Nodules
Calcite
Cinnabar
Jasper
Limb Casts
Obsidian
Opal
Petrified Wood
Selenite
Thunder Eggs
Ouachita National ForestMount IdaArkansasCaddo/Womble Ranger DistrictRockhoundingQuartz
Ouachita National ForestMount IdaArkansasCrystal Vista TrailRockhoundingQuartz
Payette National ForestMcCallIdahoBurgdorf/French Creek Area, McCall Ranger DistrictGold Panning
Fossil Hunting
Rockhounding
Petrified Wood
Pike-San Isabel National Forests & Cimarron and Comanche National GrasslandsPuebloColoradoMount AnteroGold Panning
Rockhounding
Amazonite
Smoky Topaz
Topaz
Prescott National ForestPrescottArizonaBradshaw Ranger DistrictGold Panning
Park WebsiteCamp VerdeArizonaVerde Ranger DistrictFossil Collecting
Rockhounding
Garnet
Park WebsiteChino ValleyArizonaChino Valley Ranger DistrictFossil Collecting
Rockhounding
Garnet
Superior National ForestDuluthMinnesotaGunflint Ranger DistrictRockhoundingBasalt
Breccias
Granite
Iron Ore
Rhyolite
Stromatolites
Superior National ForestDuluthMinnesotaTofte Ranger DistrictRockhoundingAnorthrocite
Tongass National ForestKetchikanAlaskaWrangell RD
There are a number of camping areas within the park
RockhoundingGarnet
Umpqua National ForestCottage GroveOregonCottage Grove Ranger DistrictFossil Collecting
Gold Panning
Metal Detecting
Rockhounding
Agate
Carnelian
Jasper
Quartz
Petrified Wood
Umpqua National ForestIdleyldOregonDiamond Lake Ranger DistrictFossil Collecting
Gold Panning
Metal Detecting
Rockhounding
Agate
Carnelian
Jasper
Quartz
Petrified Wood
Umpqua National ForestRoseburgOregonNorth Umpqua Ranger DistrictFossil Collecting
Gold Panning
Metal Detecting
Rockhounding
Agate
Carnelian
Jasper
Quartz
Petrified Wood
White Mountain National ForestStonehamMaineLord Hill Mineral Collecting AreaGold Panning
Rockhounding
Feldspar
Quartz
Topaz
Phenakite
Garnet
White Mountain National ForestConwayNew HampshireMoat Mountain Mineral Site TrailheadGold Panning
Rockhounding
Granite
White Mountain National ForestCamptonNew HampshireSaco Ranger DistrictGold Panning
Rockhounding
Granite
Rockhounding sites within the US Forest Service's area of operation.

Other Locations

This table shows locations outside of the National Park system to look for rocks.

LocationNearest CityStateTypeCostNotes
Avant MiningMount IdaArkansasQuartzAdult: $25
Senior (59+): $20
Child (7-15): $10
Board Camp Crystal MineMenaArkansasQuartzAdult (16 and up): $35
Repeat visitor: $25
Must make reservation
Brushy Creek Mine and Hoot Owl MineSpruce PineNorth CarolinaAquamarine
Tourmaline
Garnet
Quartz
Morganite
Golden Beryl
Feldspar
Mica
Emerald
Adult: $90
Child (11 and younger): $45
Must make reservations and have at least 6 people
Coleman (Jim) Crystal MineMount IdaArkansasQuartzAdult (10 and over): $10
Cherokee Ruby and Sapphire MineCowee ValleyNorth CarolinaRuby
Sapphire
$25 per person
5 and under: free
$5 per additional bucket
Must bring cash
Crater of Diamonds State ParkMurfreesboroArkansasDiamond
Quartz
Amethyst
Agate
Jasper
Garnet
Adult: $10
Child (6-12): $6
Must make reservations
Emerald Hollow MineHiddeniteNorth CarolinaEmeraldAdult: $20
Child (4-11): $10
Fossil Butte National MonumentKemmererWyomingFossilsFree
Garnet HillElyNevadaGarnetFreeManaged by BLM
Gem Mountain Sapphire MinePhilipsburgMontanaSapphire$22 per bucket (multiple bucket discount)Must make reservations
Can also purchase online for $60
Hauser Geode Beds
Palo VerdeCaliforniaGeode
Agate
FreeIn the desert, not run by anyone
Herkimer Diamond MinesHerkimerNew YorkHerkimer DiamondAdult: $14
Child (5-12): $12
Sluice Mining also available
Lake HuronAlpena to Roger's CityMichiganFossils
Puddingstone
FreeNot run by anyone
Lake MichiganTraverse City to Petoskey
Leelenau Peninsula
MichiganFossils
Conglomerate
Slag
FreeNot run by anyone
Lake SuperiorKeweenaw Peninsula, MI
Grand Marais (one each in Michigan and Minnesota)
Whitefish Point, MI
Michigan
Minnesota
Agate
Jasper
Yooperlite
Greenstone
Conglomerate
Slag
Thomsonite
Garnet
Quartz
Marcasite
Pyrite
FreeNot run by anyone
Lindsay RanchMasonTexasTopaz
Limestone
Granite
Tourmaline
Sandstone
Quartz
Garnet
Schist
Petrified Wood & Bone
Fossil
Arrowheads & Hand Axes
FreeMust make reservation
Mona Lisa Turquoise MineMenaArkansasTurquoisePocket Dig: $1000Need to email to set it up: [email protected]
Rainbow Ridge Opal MineDenioNevadaOpalTailings: Adult: $100
Child (9 and under): $50
Virgin Ground Loads: $700 (2 adults)
Must make reservations
Ron Coleman MiningMt. IdaArkansasQuartzAdult: $35
Senior (55 and up): $20
Child (7-15): $5
Royston Turquoise MineTonopahNevadaTurquoiseAdult: $100
Child (14-18): $50
Sweet Surrender Crystal MineMt. IdaArkansasQuartzAdult: $25
Child (10-14): $10
Wegner Quartz Crystal MinesMt. IdaArkansasQuartzCrystal: $18 per person for 2 hours
Phantom: $40 per person for 4 hours
Tailings Pile: Adult: $10.50, Child (2-1) & Seniors: $6.60
There are a number of different activities availble
The information in this table is current as of posting and is subject to change (especially prices).