There is no better place in the country to visit if you’re a rock hound fanatic than Arizona. It’s even better if you’re an amateur rock collector because you’re always guaranteed to collect a few gems, even along some roadways.
Keep in mind, though, that it is important to find out if the property is private and obtain permission or if the state has limitations on how much you can collect at a specific location.
Here are twelve exciting locations to go Rockhounding, including where to find geodes, near Phoenix
Where To Go Rockhounding Near Phoenix
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.
Phoenix, AZ (Everywhere)- Chalcedony, Agate, etc.
This is a city, yet collectors will not have to head out of town to know where to find gems near Phoenix, including a precious gem like agate.
Here are the ideal areas inside the city and its periphery to collect gems from Agate to Amethyst:
Black Canyon Highway – Chalcedony, Jasper & more
Skunk Creek – Pink Chalcedony
New River area – Jasper, Agate, Chalcedony
Rock Springs – Copper-stained minerals
Agua Fria River – Chalcedony, Agate, Jasper
San Domingo Wash – Placer gold The elevation is 2,799 feet, with the primary mineral being sand and gravel and the tertiary being platinum.
As you see, we have riverbeds and banks to mountain peaks.
Every location mentioned above is likely to reap success for you. Even if you’re not guaranteed a high-end gem, you’ll be able to gather a lot of beautiful pieces of all varieties.
Saddle Mountain – Fire Agate
If you want to know where to find rocks near Phoenix, then just outside the city, there is a common outdoor amusement and fire agate rockhounding locale.
The gem-type Saddle Mountain fire gates are a pleasant expansion to any mineral collection, as they are rare and hard to come by.
Please note that there are private mining assertions in this region; therefore, regard the estate privileges of landowners and refrain from collecting specimens from those claimed properties.
This fire agate mineral collecting site, located off I-10 near Tonopah, has some fire agate as well as an abundant supply of chalcedony and quartz specimens for the rock collector.
The area has been scoured numerous times over the years, so be on the lookout for that hidden treasure, which is best discovered after a recent storm.
Keep an eye out for brown and orange colored chalcedony everywhere from the paved street to the foot of the mountain.
Four Peaks – Amethyst
A helicopter tour of the Four Peaks amethyst mine is among the most spectacular gemstone adventures accessible in the United States.
The public is not permitted to visit this mine unless prior arrangements have been made.
A rockhound hopes to reach this massive geode 90 feet underground.
A commercial amethyst mine is located in the famous Four Peaks of the most rugged portion of the Mazatzal Mountains, about forty minutes north of Phoenix, Arizona.
Amid the third and fourth peaks is where the mine is situated. This mine has been in operation sporadically from the 1900s and produces a portion of the finest Amethyst globally, varying in color from dark purple to violet with a rosy undertone.
The Four Peaks Amethyst mine continues to operate in a primitive manner due to its challenging location.
At the mine, no flowing water or electricity is accessible, and all digging is done manually. The miners walk nine miles in total to and from work and reside there for a few weeks at a time.
Traveling to the mine, located at a cool 7200 feet elevation, is no simple task.
Although the miners take an all-terrain vehicle across the mountains then a strenuous walk, pre-arranged tours are only allowed into the mine a few times a year.
It’s not a good idea to hike there yourself! It’s private land.
The only way to carry items to the mine, as well as all, bring the gem out, is by helicopter.
Fortunately for gem hunters, the owner operators allow a small number of tourists to tour the facility and search for gems.
Unfortunately, getting there is a challenge because this mine is a private commercial mine in a remote area.
Fountain Hills’ Sami Fine Jewelry is one such choice.
Sami Fine Jewelry is not only one of the few fine jewelers who design jewelry with Four Peaks amethyst, plus give guests a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter expedition of the Four Peaks Amethyst Mine.
The tour is only provided twice a year, in the spring and fall, due to the remoteness and limited conveniences. The fast-selling adventure tickets cost 395 dollars.
The Sami Fine Jewelry Four Peaks Amethyst Mine Tour comprises transportation, lunch, a 30-minute tour of the amethyst mine with the workers and operators, and an Amethyst keepsake.
Kingman, AZ – Allanite, Tenorite & More
Speaking of where to find rocks near Phoenix, old mines and prospects clutter the area around this city in western Arizona. Mineral diversity is much greater here than in other parts of the state.
Mineral specimens such as bismuth, beryl, and microcline have been found in a number of pegmatite veins.
If you decide to visit some of these abandoned mines, be sure to obtain permission from the homeowners, avoid going underground, and exercise extreme caution at all times.
- Emerald Isle Mine – Tenorite and Gold-colored Chrysocolla
- BiMetal Gold Mine – Placer Gold
- Kingman Feldspar Mine – Allanite, Quartz crystals, and Microcline
- NW Kingsman, (Several Mines) – Dufrenoysite and Arsenopyrite
- Golden Gem & Vanderbilt Mines – Sphalerite Galena, Stibnite, and Pyrite
- Mineral Park & Cerbat areas – Turquoise and Kaolin minerals
Cave Creek – Quartz, Jasper, Agate & More
The Cave Creek region, merely northeast of Phoenix, does have some of the finest rockhounding you’ll encounter in a limited region in Arizona.
Additionally, jasper, agate, valuable metals, and sometimes even thundereggs are among the minerals and rocks found here.
This is a fantastic place to spend a day or two taking in the scenery whilst also building on your rock and mineral collection.
It should be noted that this region now seems to have lately been heavily expanded; therefore, a number of these sites might no longer be suitable or available.
- Red Rover mine – Chalcocite, Tetrahedrite
- W of Cave Creek – Red Jasper
- Go John Mine – Gold, Red Jasper, Silver, Blue Quartz, and Copper
- Cave Creek Town – Gold, Agate, Quartz, and Jasper
- Seven Springs & Bloody Basin Road – Jasper and Agate
- Near Bartlett Reservoir – Quartz and Fluorite
- Jeep Road Vicinity – Nodules and Thundereggs
- Horseshoe Dam Vicinity – Agate
Morristown, AZ – Garnet, Quartz, and More
When looking for where to find gems near Phoenix, the town of Morristown, located just northwest of Phoenix, is a great place to go rockhounding for a day. Garnet, Quartz, Calcite, Mica, Feldspar, Jasper, Tourmaline, and agate are among the rocks and minerals found.
However, be cautious when exploring this region because it is densely covered in cholla cacti. Be careful not to get pierced when you try to grab some lovely specimen that has your eyes glittering!
You need no digging gears, just lunch (if you plan to stay all day), water, gloves, and skin protection. You will have a whale of a time, especially since the variety of gems in this area is vast.
The Asarco Mines – Malachite & Azurite
Tours of a copper mine in general. The wide-open pits are littered with piles of malachite, azurite, among other copper ores.
A rockhound might go insane just gazing around, but at the end of the trip, the collector will scour through a tailings pile for samples. It’s an excellent tour.
To arrive there, take HWY 19 south from Tucson and exit at Pima Mine Road, exit 80.
If you haven’t seen the Tucson Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Shows in the first two months annually, you are missing out on a true gem enthusiast’s world of treasures. In Tucson, there is excellent prospecting.
The location is ideal for a mine tour, but the number of specimens available is restricted. Asarco, on the other hand, has excellent Azurite, Chrysocolla, and Malachite specimens.
Bring these things with you:
1. Just basic items
2. Digital camera
There is a good gift shop where you can buy high-quality specimens. A great photo opportunity location is adjacent to the shop.
Black Mountains -Fire Agate
Definition in general: Chalcedony fragments that have deteriorated from the matrix and rinsed down the gradients and washes can be found in the Black Mountains.
Collectors refer to some of the parts as “Fire Agate” because they have flashy gold and green flames.
The Black Mountains are located in close proximity to the town of Kingman in northwest Arizona. Travel along the Oatman road for approximately twenty miles from I-40. On your left, you can see the mountains.
The location is fantastic.
1. Buckets or a Rock Bag are useful to have on hand.
2. Rock & Roll
3. Picking with a small hand
The material is dispersed over a large area, so finding good pieces can take some time.
Bradshaw Mountains – Placer Gold
Amateur prospectors have found thousands of ounces of gold in the Bradshaw Range north of Phoenix. There are areas where you can metal detect, pan for gold, and sluice for gold.
Detailed description: How to get there is as follows: From Phoenix, Arizona, take Highway 17 north. The Bradshaw Mountains are bisected by Highway 17. From Black Canyon City south to Prescott.
The gold can be found around a wide region and in many locations.
Bring the following items with you:
1. Metal Detector
2. Pan for gold
3. Digging Instruments
Placer gold in the Bradshaw Mountains
Fluorite, Malachite, and Other Gemstones in Tucson, Arizona
If you want to go rockhounding, the Tucson area is a fantastic place to go. Azurite, Fluorite, Pyrite, Copper minerals, and calcite are only a few of the minerals that can be found if you know where to look.
The Twin Buttes area, just southwest of Tucson, is a particularly promising locale for rockhounds, primarily if you want to try your hand at nighttime fluorescent mineral hunting.
- South of Yuma Mine – Willemite crystals
- Twin Buttes Region (Old Mines) – Copper, Azurite, Chalcocite, Marcasite, Malachite, Chrysocolla, Calcite, fluorescent minerals, Pyrite, and more.
- Sierrita Mts(Old Mines)- Pyrite, Copper, and Melanterite
- Neptune Mine close to Grays Spring – Fluorite,
- Esperanza Mine – Molybdenum, Copper
Clifton, AZ – Turquoise, Chalcedony, and More
Clifton, Arizona, is a little town northeast of Tucson in proximity to the New Mexico border with promising rockhounding prospects.
If you ask around in your neighborhood, you may be able to learn about some potential search sites.
Still, we have compiled a list of historically recognized locations below that have provided specimens of agate, nodules, turquoise, chalcedony, fire agate, geodes, and jasper, among other minerals for enthusiasts going rockhounding near Phoenix.
- Mulligan Peak – Purple Agate and Nodules
- Ward Canyon – Red Agate
- Coronado Trail ( Old Mines) – Turquoise and Chrysocolla
- Three-Way drive-in theater – Chalcedony and Fire Agate
- Mule Creek Road (everywhere) – Geodes and Chalcedony
- York Region – Banded and Fire Agate, Jasper and Carnelian
- Sunset Peak(Foot of the hills) – Blue and Black Jasper and Agate
- Canyon to N of road one mi. S of Apache Nat. Forest Blue Agate, Carnelian
Congress, AZ – Garnet, Fluorite, and More
A top-notch area in Arizona to gather rocks and minerals is near Congress Junction.
Mineral specimens such as Fluorite, Agate, Garnet, and Jasper can be found in excellent condition.
Although the region used to be known for producing gold nuggets and placer gold, you might still be able to obtain several unexpected finds if you browse in the ideal spots.
Numerous ancient mines and mining camps have private owners, so ask permission before searching and collecting their land.
- Old Stanton mining camp – Fluorite, Garnet, Gold, Pyrite
- Rich Hill – Gold nuggets
- Old Octave Mining Camp – Gold
- Congress Mine – Gold, Pyrite
- Beneath Burro Creek Bridge, Hwy 93 – Pink Agate
- Date Creek Region – Garnet, Limonite, Agate, Jasper, and Quartz crystals
Payson, AZ – Quartz, Jasper, and More
Payson is a good spot for rock hounds to search when they want to know where to find geodes near Phoenix.
They can spend a bit of time looking for fossils as well because it is right in the center of Arizona and enclosed by the National Forest.
Jasper, Agate, Quartz, Fluorite, and even geodes are among the rocks and minerals to be discovered.
While many of these sites are on National Forest land, several (particularly the mines) are potentially private property, so do your investigation and get approval before venturing on any property for rockhounding near Phoenix.
- Silver Butte and Oxbow Mines – Copper minerals, Epidote, Fluorite, Dioptase
- North Creek Trail,(everywhere) – Jasper, Agate, Nodules and, Septarian
- Diamond Point Lookout – Rock crystal (quartz)
- Ellison Creek Area – Jasper, Agate, and Geodes
- Natural Bridge Area – Gem Serpentine
Overall, rockhounding near Phoenix, Arizona, is a big deal because the availability of locations and actual gems is mind-blowing.
You, however, have to be mindful of claimed properties and keep in mind that information at some places may have changed recently, so always seek permission before rockhounding.
Never leave your essential gears and supplies like drinking water, a small shovel, gloves, a fully charged cellphone, and a bucket.
Arizona 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 Arizona: A Guide To 75 Of The State’s Best Rockhounding Sites
Southwest Treasure Hunter’s Gem and Mineral Guide
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