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3 Best Places to Go Rock Hunting in the US

3 Best Places to Go Rock Hunting in the US

May 29, 201816646Views

Rock hunting is a favorite pastime for people all over the world, and the US is ripe with locations to find all kinds of gems and artifacts, ranging from extremely valuable on the market to valuable only in the eyes of the beholder. For our list we stuck with places that will yield unique rocks and stones, rather than the common rocks found elsewhere. Because the places to hunt for rocks are often remote and wild, they make excellent locations to organize a day hike or overnight camping trip, and are usually kid-friendly as well. Here are just 3 of the best places in the US to go rock hunting while enjoying a big dose of nature and fun with friends and family.

1. Crater of Diamonds State Park

Where: Murfreesboro, Arkansas

The Crater of Diamonds State Park is perhaps the most renowned rock hunting location in the US. As the name lets on, this place is hiding diamonds in its depths! It is also the only place in the world open to the public that is known to harbor diamonds. Prospectors begin their hunt by watching a video that explains hunting techniques, and gets to see and feel a raw diamond before heading out to find their fortune. Although visitors find more than 600 diamonds within this park annually, rock hunters also found amethyst, jasper, and garnet.

2. Juniper Ridge Opal Mine

Where: Lakeview, Oregon

Opals are sought after for their beautiful, shimmering colors within their opaque exteriors. But the Juniper Ridge Opal Mine, located in Southeastern Oregon holds something even more special: fire opals. These opals exude hues of gold, red, and orange, like the fiery sunsets of this rugged landscape. Pieces as large as baseballs are not unusual to find in this secretive location. Due to its wilderness location, the mine can sometimes be closed by the Forest Service during fire season or other natural disasters. It is important to plan your trip carefully and keep in close contact with your hosts.

3. Sheffield Mine

Where: Franklin, North Carolina

If glittering gems of red and blue are what really hold your fancy, you must visit the Sheffield Mine of North Carolina. All hunters receive 2 starter buckets of dirt with their entry fee. Everyone keeps whatever rubies or sapphires they may find on their dig. This mine prides itself on being 100% natural, which means a day’s dig could come out completely empty-handed. However, the experience is great fun and an easy thrill for people of all ages.

Featured Image from Franco Antonio Giovanella/Unsplash