The San Antonio area is rich in naturally occurring gemstones and there are dozens of prospective rockhounding locations you can explore.
If you are curious about the rockhounding sites near San Antonio, Texas, this article will reveal six popular options within two hours of the city that you can try out.
Rockhounding Near San Antonio (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.
1) Area 9 mi. NNW of Willow City – 1 hour 45 minutes – 30°31’29.3″N 98°44’48.9″ W
Here you can find Barite, Serpentine, Soapstone.
This place has good road access and is very open.
From San Antonio, you can get on I-10 W/I-35 N from S St Mary’s St, E César E. Chávez Blvd and W Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
From there, you follow I-10 W to US-87 N in Comfort, then take exit 523 from I-10 W, and follow US-87 N to Ranch Rd 965 in Willow City.
This is on the edge of Llano county.
You can search the entire area but focus on the riverbank for good gravel deposits with hidden treasures.
This site is by the Llano River, which has a variety of decent-sized rocks on the banks and creekbeds.
Rockhounders have found shist, mica, quartz, granite, and gneiss.
The water is ankle-deep in most places, so there are many opportunities to see beautiful, unique river rocks.
2) Stream gravels around the Fredricksburg area – 1 hour 26 minutes – 30°16’17.0″N 98°51’16.5″ W
Here there is an abundance of Almandine garnets.
From San Antonio, you get on I-37 S/US-281 S from W Market St and follow I-10 E to US-183 S/E Pierce St in Luling.
After that take exit 632 from I-10 E and continue on US-183 S. Finally, you take US-90 ALT E to Co Rd 353 in Gonzales County.
This site is next to Fredricksburg inside of Gonzales County.
Most of the Almandine garnets within this area will be covered in dirt and mud, so be prepared to sift through the stones thoroughly before confirming what they are.
If you are interested in any other activities within this area, there are three museums, a large State Park, and over 30 historic sites for you to visit.
3) Erdman Farm (small fee) – 53 minutes – 29°00’01.9″N 98°01’10.4″W
The stones in this area are petrified palm wood, opalized wood, and fossils.
When coming from San Antonio, you get on I-37 S/US-281 S from W Market St, and then follow I-37 S and US-181 S to FM887 E in Karnes County.
After that, turn left onto FM887 E, and after one mile the farm will be on the left.
This farm is located within Falls City, Texas.
In addition to the rockhounding opportunities, Erdman Farm is a place with lots of other activities and fun.
They have a large community garden for everyone to participate and enjoy.
They also sell unique preserves, fresh herbs like chives and oregano, eggs, and fresh greens like Lettuce and New Zealand Spinach.
4) Moulton creek beds, gravels, fields, etc. – 1 Hour and 35 minutes – 29°33’28.8″N 97°07’55.5″ W
The stones here are Agate and Petrified Wood.
When coming from San Antonio, go on I-37 S/US-281 S from W Market St and then follow I-10 E to US-90 E in Gonzales County for an hour and 20 minutes.
After that, take exit 653 from I-10 E and follow US-90 E and State Hwy 95 S to Co Rd 532G in Lavaca County for 20 minutes.
The stones within this area will be relatively easy to find but will require careful observation on your part whether the stones are within the creek or in the fields.
This is a great place to bring your children or large groups because you won’t have to worry about any injuries or many dangerous spots.
5) Mathis area stream gravels and road cuts – 1 hour and 38 minutes – 28°02’17.8″N 97°51’35.3″ W
This is one of the only places in Southwestern Texas that you can get Moss Agate in high quantities.
When coming from San Antonio, drive along I-37 S/US-281 S from W Market St and follow I-37 S to Mathis for 1 hour and 29 minutes.
Then take exit 34 from I-37 S and turn on TX-359 W for 7 minutes.
Then you’ll arrive at La Fruta Park, which is in Mathis, Texas.
La Fruta Park is 100 acres along the Nueces River covered by beautiful Hackberry, Elm, Oak, and Cypress trees.
If you are searching for other activities besides rockhounding, this park also offers campsites, nature trails, a wildlife pond, BBQ and picnic areas, RV spaces, a fishing pier, and kayaks.
6) H.D. House Ranch area (fee) – 1 hour and 10 minutes – 28°27’59.4″N 98°13’33.0″W
At this site, they have Jasper, Chalcedony, and the unique treat of Agatized fern buds.
When coming out of San Antonio, get on I-37 S/US-281 S from W Market St and then follow I-37 S to US-281 S in Live Oak County for 59 minutes.
Take exit 72 from I-37 S, and after that continue on US-281 S and turn onto TX-72 W for 8 minutes until you reach H.D. House Ranch.
This area is in Three Rivers, TX.
This H.D. House Ranch has lots of hidden treasures.
This beautiful country home has a pool, a large outdoor entertainment area, and lots of beautiful scenic places for sightseeing.
They also have performances regularly that are very popular and well attended.
It’s perfect for large groups of kids and adults alike.
7) Amethyst Hill on Althaus Ranch – 1 hour 19 minutes – 30°18’24.0″N 98°26’43.9″ W
Hence the name, this place is one of the best places to get Amethyst and Citrine from in the state of Texas.
When coming from San Antonio, get onto I-37 N/US-281 N from W Market St and then drive US-281 N to Towhead Valley Rd in Blanco County for around 1 hour.
After that, then continue on Towhead Valley Rd and take a left on Double S Trail.
This area is in Johnson City, TX.
This place is literally out of a fairy tale!
This area is next to Hairston Creek, and there are multiple springs for picking up stones or playing in.
There is also lots of wildlife, such as whitetail deer, wild turkeys, feral hogs, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, and white wing doves.
The Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge is also located around 20 miles to the east.
Most parts of this area are accessible via miles of caliche, dirt, and gravel roads.
These are just 6 of the many rockhounding sites to explore in the San Antonio, Texas area.
Here are some general rockhounding tips to keep in mind no matter what location you are finding specimens.
- Remember that rock collecting locations are constantly changing. Specimens may become depleted, and sometimes the location may have been built on or altered.
- Always make sure you know who the property owners are and ask for permission to search their property for specimens.
- Always take gear according to the type of environment you’ll be working in.
- Never go underground. Not only is it not safe to do unless you are prepared, but it is also unnecessary to get specimens in this area.
The San Antonio area has lots of productive rockhounding sites within a two-hour radius that are mostly free to access.
Most of these areas are also great tourist stops with killer scenery, historical monuments, and swimming holes, so you and your family can make the most of the occasion.