Garnets in Alaska: A Get Started Visitor’s Guide

When one thinks of rockhounding and gem hunting, the state of Alaska may be one of the last places that comes to one’s mind.

When most people think about Alaska, they think about a frozen winter wonderland. 

Many would be surprised to discover that this land is an ecological paradise which undergirds a natural habitat for many important stones! 

Garnets in Alaska: A Get Started Visitor’s Guide


The information provided in this article by 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.

Imagine the potential to enjoy using garnets for cosmetic purposes.

Envisage the possibility of gifting these luxurious gems to that special loved one. 

Embracing the power and illustriousness as you sell them to others for profit.

The possibilities are endless and there is always a large number readily available for travelers who seek adventure.


Wragnell is one of the most prominent and well favored areas within southeastern Alaska.

Like many seaside towns, it is crowd-pleasing and the countryside can be a real treat for miners-and tourists alike. 

However, obtaining sumptuous Garnets can be considered a mainstream event. 

Surrounded by lush grass and a rather large lake; this  inconspicuous township is home to several of these glossy maroon-covered gems that come in many shapes, cuts and sizes.

The first recorded appearance of Garnet in Wragnell was in the Stikine river in 1862.

They were unearthed by none other than treasure hunters looking for gold at the time.

Their journey was exceptionally advantageous when they discovered garnet instead. 

After this series of fortunate events a modest supply of Garnet was able to be ascertained from the town.

The Wrangnell Garnets were unveiled and in 1912 the locality of Wragnell was proudly added to the United States Mineral survey 951. 

These acquiescent Garnets are usually found in small mounds or clusters. 

The Garnet deposits can be divulged near the entrance of the Stikine River, 38.2 miles north from the city itself. 

Garnet hunting will entail much more effort than meets the eye.

Treading along the sandy riverbanks in pursuit of treasure may evoke emotion and excitement.

The idea of discovering the illusive deposits of Garnet may seem like an easy task to accomplish and subjugate. 

However, there are austere rules and regulations that you must follow if you plan to harvest these vibrant stones. 

Treasure hunts usually require time, planning, resources and research. 

Time: Any trips to see the garnet deposits must be accompanied by an adult who was born and raised in Wragnell. 

Planning and research: The young inhabitants of Wragnell are currently the only people who are allowed to obtain legal licenses and or permits to mine the gems.

The idea of this ordinance was to  essentially save frustration and eliminate the need for tourists to register first. 

Resources: This order of business was enacted to encourage the idea of entrepreneurship among the local citizens and the thirty-eight acre spot is owned by a local church.

This area near the church  is only accessible by boat. 

To obtain more information about the acquisition of a mining permit: one can contact 907-874-3534 or 907-874-2203 during regular business hours.

They will be more than happy to provide the necessary information to assist miners, treasure hunters and tourists.

The Tongass National Forest

Petersburg, Alaska has ecological treasures and fun finds for tourists and treasure hunters alike.

The Tongass National Forest  is located in Petersburg, Alaska.

It is also the largest forest in the United States.

Therefore, it has a unique flavor to satisfy various tastes and palettes.

Hungry souls will be curious to know that The Tongass National Forest Produces 25% of all wild caught salmon in the Northeast Pacific; that’s approximately fifty million salmon each year. 

Thrill seekers can experience the rustic animals and  wilderness of the aromatic and country-like terrain.  

Those that are hungry for adventure can experience the thrill of discovering their own gem in the rustic wilderness of the Tsongas National Forest.

The Bella Vista Mine Transportation is available; surreal delight will be the order of the day as they embark upon the seasonal tours of the Garnet Mine.

The Garnet Mine is  located on Mitkof Island.  

Those who want to participate in the upcoming events should register in advance. 

The tours of the mine will be available with prior notice beginning from June 1st to September 1st.  

Almost every person who attends this tour is guaranteed to find at least one garnet.

Almandine Garnets are pretty common and they will range from 1/8 inch to roughly one inch in diameter and are dark red in color.

There are also different colored garnets that are available for sale.

They may be sold in different capacities, such as loose stones or possibly in a Mica Schist Matrix.

Garnet Ledge Cabin

From a distance, south-central Alaska may seem like a calm, simple rocky mountain area that is located by the Gulf of Alaska, which interfuses into the Pacific Ocean.

Do not  be deceived by its classical and laid back appearance.

The current population is  less than 3000 people.

Since the area is neighbor to many nearby glaciers, Garnet and other vibrant stones can still be discovered in the mountainside.

Young children in the area are known for selling garnets that are native to the area.  

Despite the scarcity of neighbors, there is still plenty to do in Wrangell Alaska. 

Nature lovers can rent the Garnet Ledge Cabin in Wrangell.

You can only travel to the cabin by Float Boat or Kayaking. 

The cabin does not have running water or electricity. 

You would have to bring in your own food and gather your own firewood as well.

The cabin does have some perks. There is a private back trail that you can use behind the cabin which will take you to the Wrangell Garnet Mine.

You can look for garnets during your stay. Visitors can call 907-874-2323 to get the current rates.

Wrap Up

Whether you are a seasoned rockhounder looking to add another notch to your belt, or a brand new gem seeker looking for another hobby to explore, these places should help you immerse into your journey with ease.

Allow yourself to speak with the locals, take in the rich views and gather the lovely Garnet gems  in the process.

Let this trip be one to remember for years to come.

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garnets in alaska