Are you looking for the best places to go rockhounding near Colorado Springs?
Look no further as we provide the best areas within Colorado Springs to find rocks, crystals, and minerals for your collection.
Find out which mineral or crystal you can find and where to go rockhounding near Colorado Springs.
Rockhounding Near Colorado Springs, Colorado (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.
Austin Bluffs Open Space
It lies in the Northeast part of Colorado Springs, a short distance from the University of Colorado.
There are 584 acres in the Austin Bluffs Open Space.
The United States Forest Service has classified this open space as “unique” in its National Feature Inventory for its distinctive rock formations.
Which makes it the perfect spot to go rockhounding near Colorado Springs.
The kinds of rocks and minerals you can expect to find within the area are listed below:
Assuming traffic is light, you can expect to drive for about 10-12 minutes from downtown Colorado Springs.
The Open Space is conveniently close to Interstate 25, so it’s a quick and straightforward drive.
The park is free to enter, and many visitors enjoy rockhounding in the open areas near Pulpit Rock.
Visitors and hikers are welcome to the park daily, all year long.
However, the best time to visit Austin Bluffs Open Space is during late spring, summer, and fall, since the weather is warm and there is no snow on the ground.
Sentinel Rock and Specimen Rock
Three miles west of Colorado Springs are two prominent granite outcrops located at the intersection of High Drive and Gold Camp Road.
Some of the rocks and minerals found around Sentinel Rock and Specimen Rock are as follows:
Sentinel Rock Minerals
- Green Fluorite
- Quartz crystals
- Smokey Quartz
Specimen Rock Minerals
Within the Specimen Rock area, most of the minerals listed above can also be found.
You can also find these below in the area:
When you reach The Midland Terminal Railroad Tunnel, make sure to slow down as there is overflow parking on the other side of the road.
Since the area is a part of the Pike National Forest, there are no fees to enter.
Keep in mind that a portion of this area is private property.
Stay on established trails to avoid it. There are posters indicating where private land is closed off.
You can climb Sentinel Point at any time of year, but the trails are impassable during winter and early spring due to snow.
Near the Eureka Tunnel, you’ll find a perfect spot that flourishes with fluorite on the west side of the stream.
Below are some of the other minerals rockhounding lovers can find:
Getting there is easy along Old Stage Road, where it meets Gold Camp Road as you head out of Colorado Springs.
If you’re uncertain about which road leads to the mine dumps, you can park in the parking lot for St. Peter’s Dome and walk 200 yards.
You should assume land ownership of mines is on private property.
This is because the land ownership field consists only of identifying whether the mine is on public land or if it is on private land.
There is no indication of the property status, nor is there a statement about whether a particular area is prospective.
Cookstove (Stove) Mountain
The Stove Mountain or Cookstove Mountain in El Paso County, Colorado, is a prominent peak.
Some of the minerals and crystals you can find in this are listed below:
The peak can be challenging to reach, but you should be fine if you follow the Pikes Peak Atlas.
Just remember, when you get to Gold Camp Rd, you will have to park in that parking lot. The left side of the parking lot is only for hikers and bikers.
There are no permits or fees to enter the area, and you come at any time of the year.
However, it’s best to avoid the area during the summer due to thunderstorms.
During winter and early spring, you will have to be careful of the deep snow.
So, it seems like the best time to go rockhounding at Cookstove Mountain is during the fall.
Helen Hunt Falls
A short distance from North Cheyenne Canon Park is Helen Hunt Falls.
When driving from Denver, take Interstate 25 south and then West Cheyenne Road for 2.5 miles.
Below are the minerals and rocks you can find around Helen Hunt Falls:
There’s a small parking area near the waterfall, and it is advised to park there when it is close to opening time.
The parking lot gets full quickly, and if you get there during busy times, you will have to drive further up into the canyon for a parking spot.
There is no fee to enter the waterfall or the surrounding trail, and it is open all year long.
You can also visit our hike here for free.
Just about 1.5 miles directly west of Helen Hunt Falls is Kineo Mountain for you to rockhounding some more.
After pasting the left fork to Seven Falls Park and following the road past Helen Hunt Falls.
There is a large gravel parking lot, and on the left of it, you will find the park.
Below are some of the minerals you will find around Kineo Mountain:
- Smoky Quartz
There are no permits or fees to enter the area, and it’s dog-friendly.
Make sure to check for the park hours, but you can usually go between dawn and dusk.
You can climb the mountain any time of the year, although it’s best not to during the winter months.
This is because snow can be pretty deep during this time, especially on some of the off-trail portions.
Crystal Park is located 2 miles south of Manitou Springs and 6 miles from the Pikes Peak summit.
It’s a private community, and you’re not allowed to collect minerals within the area.
Although there’s an available collection of minerals on the National Forest land.
So, be sure to check where in the area you can go rockhounding.
Below are some of the minerals you can find around Crystal Park:
- Smoky Quartz
For those new to rockhounding, it is not advisable to go into Crystal Park by themselves.
Due to most of the land being private, most roads lead to closed gates.
An excellent way to go rockhounding within the region is to know someone who lives there or to join the Colorado Mineral Society.
Carry With You
If you are planning a hike where there will be rocks to pick through, consider packing one of the following:
- National Audubon Society Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals (small book with pretty colored pictures to help identification)
- National Audubon Society Field Guide To North American Fossils (small book with pictures)
- Gemstone & Crystals Properties (durable fold-up guide)
- Small UV Flashlight
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Now You Know Where You Can Go Rockhounding in Colorado Springs
Before you go looking for these minerals, there is something for you to know.
You might need permission to be allowed to go rockhounding in Colorado Springs.
Remember it is your responsibility to obtain permission from the landowner before entering private land.
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