The Hauser Geode Beds near Blythe, California are a site of pilgrimage for rockhounds who want to find geodes rich in quartz. Located in the remote Californian desert, this rugged site is a field of volcanic ash where untold mineral riches are still buried.
In this article, we’ll look at how to make the best of your trip to the Hauser Geode Beds.
Hauser Geode Beds (California): 7 Tips For A Successful Trip
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.
Take the Right Vehicle
The Hauser Geode beds are located in the Mojave desert, and to get to most of the best spots you’re going to be going offroad. Leave your electric sedan at home and get a 4-wheel drive vehicle with decent clearance if you want to access all of the best areas.
Even with the right vehicle, a map, and the GPS coordinates of the area you are looking for, it can sometimes take people hours to find the area they are looking for in the desert.
With the wrong vehicle, you won’t be able to reach the best areas and you could even put yourself in danger by getting stuck in an area where there are no roads and no easy rescue.
Give Yourself Enough Time
An afternoon at the Hauser Geode beds just isn’t enough for most people.
First, it usually takes people longer than anticipated to get to the areas they want to explore. Most people are used to roads and standard directions. You need to drive much slower in the desert, and it is very easy to get lost.
Even in a location that is as abundant in geodes as the Hauser beds, you’re not guaranteed to find anything exciting immediately and some of the more popular areas have been worked over. If you don’t allocate enough time, you might be disappointed even though you are surrounded by a wealth of geodes.
Give yourself the right amount of time by allocating at least a full day for the Hauser geode beds, and several days if you intend to visit the rich geode beds in the same area.
Find the Right Accommodations
The Hauser Geode Beds are located on BLM land, which is open to backcountry camping, but setting up a campsite in the desert will not be the best option for everyone.
If you are happy roughing it, you can set up a campsite in the desert. If you’d prefer proximity to other people and some minor conveniences, you can stay at a nearby campground, like Coon Hollow Campground or Wiley’s Well Campground, both of which are located close by.
If you want to get a good night’s sleep in a hotel, the best option is to drive to Blythe, which is the nearest city, or Indio, which is also nearby. There are many good options for accommodation in both cities.
The environment in the Mohave desert is hot, sunny, and dry.
Heatstroke and dehydration are real dangers in a desert environment. If you’re not used to working in these conditions, you should be aware that it’s more than a comfort issue – it can be unsafe to go without adequate rest and water.
You will need protective clothing and/or sunscreen, and at least a gallon of water per person, per day.
It’s also a good idea to prepare for a worst-case scenario and bring extra food and water, just in case you run into problems with your vehicle and need to spend more hours or even an extra day in the desert.
Bring the Right Gear
You’ll need the following equipment to make the most of your trip to the Hauser Geode Beds:
- Safety goggles
- First aid kit for emergencies
- Extra water
- Blanket for sitting on
- Folding shovel
- Masonry chisel
- Knife for prying
- Full-size pick
Where to Dig at the Hauser Geode Beds
There are 3 places you can find geodes in the Hauser Geode Beds.
The volcanic ash beds used to be full of geodes, although it is harder to find them at the surface now. Sifting through the ash can be time-consuming, but it is still possible to find geodes at the surface level.
Washes are a great place to search. The creek beds and low areas often contain geodes that have settled below larger rocks. You’ll find great things by digging down.
Hillsides are still probably the best place to dig. You’ll have to dig down to reach nodules that are entwined in matrices, but patience is rewarded. There are rich deposits.
Technically, you could spend all of your time in the Hauser Geode Beds themselves, but there are so many great locations immediately surrounding them that it would be a waste not to explore further – especially since some of these spots are less trafficked and may contain larger geodes.
There are even more great spots if you are willing to travel a little further. This region of California is a dream for rockhounding.
1. The Potato Patch
The potato patch is south of Wiley’s Well Campground on the Hauser Geode Bed road. You just need to keep an eye out for the sign and take a left. The road is rough, so you’ll need a vehicle with four-wheel drive.
This area was so rich that, for the first few years after it was discovered, no one even bothered to dig since there was so much on the surface.
At this point, you’ll probably need to get out a shovel, but there is still an impressively rich density of geodes beneath the volcanic soil.
2. The Cinnamon Geode Beds
This area is even harder to find than the Hauser Geode Beds and the potato patch – you’ll need a capable four-wheel-drive vehicle and GPS coordinates.
It’s an adventure that is worth it for determined rockhounds. The geodes here are typically larger than in other areas, which does make them prone to breaking due to the large cavities that can develop.
You can find black calcite here, buried inside quartz geodes.
3. The Northern Black Hill Geode Bed
This area is even more remote, located about 11 miles down the road. Don’t expect to see anyone else out there in the middle of the desert. This site is off the beaten track, and if you run into any trouble you will be on your own, so take safety precautions.
There are lots of geodes here, but you can find some other great stones as well: namely jasper and black-seam agate.
Making the Best of Your Trip
This region is truly a bucket-list item for passionate rockhounds. Despite its popularity, there is still such a richness of geodes in this volcanic ash field that you can dig and find them almost everywhere. You can expect to bring back some amazing specimens.
The greatest danger is simply the desert itself. To avoid a bad situation, go in the right vehicle with lots of water, protective glasses, and the appropriate gear. Allocate lots of time so you’re not in a rush and know where you’re going to be staying in advance.
By following these tips, you can make your trip to the Hauser Geode Beds an unforgettable experience that yields plenty of interesting geodes.
California Rockhounding Resources
If you like to have a physical book in hand (like when there’s no cell service), here’s a few popular options:
Rockhounding California: A Guide To The State’s Best Rockhounding Sites
Gem Trails of Southern California
Gem Trails of Northern California
Smithsonian Rocks and Minerals Identification Guide
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