Amethysts have a bit of a royal look to them with their crystal-like composition and their purplish color.
It’s no wonder that rockhounds go in search of these gems.
If it’s amethysts that you’re after, head to the Tok and Northway regions of Alaska to start finding them.
Amethyst in Alaska (A Visitor’s Guide)
The information provided in this article by YesDirt.com is for informational purposes and is subject to change. Laws are updated. Accessibility guidelines and restrictions change. Be sure to confirm the land status and collection rules before you travel to an unfamiliar location or collect any material.
Tok River State Recreation Site
Begin exploring along the banks of the Tok River at the Tok River State Recreation Site.
This campsite is popular with boaters because of its proximity to the river.
The riverbank is a great place to look for rocks of all kinds, including amethysts and other crystals and geodes of all kinds.
Look around gravel and rocky deposits to seek out the gems you want to find.
There can be some pretty challenging hiking spots along the river.
Be sure you’ve got the proper gear and a reliable phone.
Always use care when hiking and remember to keep your eyes on the ground if you’re looking for rocks!
Denali National Park
Not only is Denali National Park home to Alaska’s tallest peak, but Mount McKinley is also in an area that’s rich in naturally-occurring amethyst, compared to the rest of the state.
So while you’re doing sightseeing around the mount, keep your eyes peeled for interesting rock formations that may be harboring some glittering amethysts gems.
This is a rocky, mountainous region so there are plenty of rocks to see here.
Also, Denali is absolutely huge.
This park covers six million acres.
Make sure at all times that you are dressed for the weather and you have reliable communications equipment with you.
Be prepared for anything. Alaska is famous for its natural beauty but there is no shortage of dangerous wildlife here.
It is also easy to get lost in the Alaskan wilderness.
Stay within sight of marked trails at all times and make sure you have a phone that is charged and working, so you can call for help when needed.
Finally, confirm the rules for yourself about whether you can take home any amethyst you find within the confines of the park.
Generally, it is illegal to take specimens out of national park lands, though we see reports from many active hikers who have stuffed their pockets.
If you have questions, reach out to a rep from the national park itself.
Horseshoe Lake Trail
Follow the Horseshoe Lake Trail outside of the Denali National Park.
This is a popular hiking trail and it’s in an amethyst hotspot.
This is a great trail to see wildflowers and to go bird-watching as well.
The only problem is that this is a very popular trail, so you may encounter many other people while you’re out looking for rocks.
However, the trail is easy enough for all skill levels. You’ll get the best weather from April to September.
Bring along some snacks and some sturdy shoes and keep your eyes sharp while you look for gravel and interesting rock formations that just may literally be hiding some gems.
The Bison Gulch trail is seven miles long and that’s lots of opportunities to find some rocks.
It’s located near the Denali National Park but it’s still outside the protected area, so you’re free to look for interesting rock formations and possibly harvest some amethysts while you’re on the trail.
However, this is not an easy trial.
Wear good, sturdy hiking shoes and be prepared for a difficult hike, even if you’re experienced with hiking.
The trail is best from May to September. Be prepared for any sort of weather.
And if you carry any food with you, keep it in sealable plastic bags so as not to attract any curious wildlife that may smell your goodies.
The Donjek River in the Yukon area of Alaska is a great place to go in search of geodes.
This is in the amethyst-rich region of Alaska, so you may find some of these rocks while you comb the riverbank.
The river gravels here are a great source of amazing rocks.
Be sure to wear waterproof hiking boots because you will find yourself wading into shallow areas to get a closer look at the rocky riverbank.
Mine for all the rocks you want at Prospector John’s.
You can find a big variety of gems and minerals here, including amethysts and other crystals.
You get a gemstone bag and you get to sift the sand and look for buried treasure.
You might even find a fossil while you’re sifting.
Prospector John’s is open every day from May 15 to September 15.
Moon Lake State Recreation Site
The Moon Lake State Recreation Site stretches along near the river and the Alaska Highway.
The riverbed is a great place to go in search of cool rocks geodes and gems.
This is also a pretty good campsite that has lots of campsites, no size limit on RVs and facilities.
There’s even a beach area. People come here to swim and camp in the summer months and there are local planes that come and land on the lake, so this area can get a little bit busy.
It is in a rock-rich region of the state and this is a good place to hunt for interesting finds.
You can collect rocks by hand here and you can probably get away with a little digging and some light mining but don’t go too overboard or you will run afoul of park officials.
Tanana Valley State Forest
The Tanana Valley State Forest is more than 1.8 million acres of land, most of which is in the Tanana River Basin.
That means it’s a good spot to go collecting rocks.
This is not an easy area to go looking for rocks.
Elevations reach over 5,000 in some areas, so this is a lot of serious hiking.
The river flows through the forest, so this is where you should focus your rock hunting efforts.
You will feel pretty isolated out here but never fear.
Most of the forest is within 20 miles of a state highway.
There’s some mining activity in the area, so this is a good place to hunt around for rocks. People also come here to pan for gold.
Amethysts in Alaska
Anyone can go to a jeweler and buy amethyst jewelry.
But when you make the find yourself, gems are just worth a lot more…even if they were actually free!
Design your rockhounding trip to Alaska to include some amethyst hotspots and maybe you’ll walk away with a King’s ransom in gems.
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