Rockhounding Near Seattle: 13 Places To Hunt Rocks, Crystals, and Fossils

Are there any rock, mineral, or gem enthusiasts out there?

Here are a few locations for those interested in rockhounding near Seattle during the summer.

Rockhounding Near Seattle (A Visitor’s Guide)

Disclaimer

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.

Sultan (Sultan River)

The mines and sand along the Sultan River offer the chance to find gold.

Gold is often near deposits of copper and lead. The river is located in the northwest region of the state in Sultan, Washington.

It is about 44 miles NE of Seattle via I-405 N and WA-522 E.

The exact GPS coordinates are 47.880312, -121.829620.

For trips longer than a day, there is lodging available in the town of Sultan.

The Dutch Cup Motel is around $120 per night.

Issaquah (Fifteen-Mile Creek)

There is amber along the east side of the Fiften-Mile Creek.

Amber is a gem that can come in colors like amber, blue, and green.

Amber that has plants or insects inside is worth more money than amber without them. 

The gem is also light and 1 carat of it can float in salt water.

The creek is located in the northwest region of the state in Issaquah, Washington.

It is about 23 miles southeast of Seattle via I-90 E. 

The exact GPS coordinates are 47.478728, -121.990537. 

For trips longer than a day, there is lodging available in the town of Issaquah.

The SpringHill Suites by Marriott is a 3-star hotel around $178 a night.

Granite Falls (Pilchuck River)

There is gold in the gravel and streams near the Pilchuck River.

The river is located in the northwest region of the state in Granite Falls, Washington.

It is about 44 miles north of Seattle via I-5 N. 

The exact GPS coordinates are 48.071682, -121.971291. 

For trips longer than a day, there is lodging available in nearby towns such as Marysville and Lake Stevens. 

Mansion Inn Lake Stevens is a Victorian-style bed-and-breakfast for around $159 per night, and the Village Inn & Suites in Marysville is a 3-star hotel around $99 per night.

Clay City (Twentyfive Mile Creek)

There is amethyst near Twentyfive Mile Creek.

Amethyst is usually purple or reddish purple.

It is worth the most when there is no visible color zoning and no inclusions.

The creek is located in the southwest region of the state in Clay City, Washington.

It is about 60 miles south of Seattle via WA-167 S. 

The exact GPS coordinates are 46.928434, -122.236806. 

For trips longer than a day, there is lodging available in nearby towns such as Eatonville and Ashford. 

Mill Village Motel in Eatonville is around $150 per night, and Paradise Village Hotel & Restaurant in Ashford is around $109 per night.

Hamilton (Skagit River)

There are hematite and placer gold near the south bank of the Skagit River.

Placer gold is a concentration of gold minerals in a secondary deposit.

The bank is located in the northwest region of the state in Hamilton, Washington.

It is about 85 miles north of Seattle via I-5 N. 

The exact GPS coordinates are 48.517063, -121.967882. 

For trips longer than a day, there is lodging available.

There is the Harry Osbourne Cowboy Campsite in Hamilton available to stay at.

There is also the 2-star Three River Inn Hotel in Sedro-Woolley for around $72 per night, as well as the 2-star Cascade Mountain Suites – Mt. Baker Hotel in Concrete for around $70 per night.

Darrington (Sauk River)

There is placer gold near the Sauk River.

The river is located in the northwest region of the state in Darrington, Washington.

Darrington is a small town with a population of 1,088. It has three wilderness areas, including Boulder River, Henry M. Jackson, and Glacier Peak. 

It is about 75 miles northeast of Seattle via I-5 N and WA-530 E/State Rte 530 NE. 

The exact GPS coordinates are 48.251973, -121.594149. 

For trips longer than a day, there is lodging available in Darrington at Darrington Motor Inn motel.

For exact prices, the motel must be contacted directly.

Skykomish (Money Creek)

There is gold near Money Creek.

The creek is located in the northwest region of the state in Skykomish, Washington.

It is about 60 miles east of Seattle via US-2.

The exact coordinates are 47.699511, -121.467792. 

For trips longer than a day, there is lodging available in Skykomish at Cascadia Inn.

For exact prices, the inn must be contacted directly.

Skykomish is tiny with a population of less than 200 people and a history of being a railroad and logging town.

Snoqualmie Pass (Denny Mountain)

There is rock crystal on the west side of Denny Mountain near the creek.

Rock crystal is silica mineral quartz that is colorless.

The creek is located in the northwest region of the state in Snoqualmie, Washington.

It is about 64 miles east of Seattle via I-90 E.

The exact coordinates are 47.433238, -121.448629. 

For trips longer than a day, there is lodging available in Snoqualmie at the 2-star Summit Inn hotel for around $67 a night.

Cle Elum (Curry Canyon)

There is blue agate near Curry Canyon.

Blue agate is a version of banded chalcedony and a quartz mineral. 

Chalcedony is a form of microcrystalline quartz.

The agate is located in the central region of the state in Cle Elum, Washington.

It is about 80 miles east of Seattle via I-90 E.

The exact coordinates are 47.205511, -120.935447. 

For trips longer than a day, there is lodging available in Cle Elum at the 2-star Timber Lodge Inn hotel for around $66 a night.

Cle Elum (Middle Fork Teanaway River)

There are agate and chalcedony geodes near Middle Fork Teanaway River.

The river is located in the central region of the state in Cle Elum, Washington.

The river is 12 miles long with 17 river crossings, which can make traveling difficult – especially when the water is high. 

It is about 100 miles east of Seattle via I-90 E.

The exact coordinates are 47.297134, -120.962279.

A Washington State Discover Pass is required at the Middle Fork trailhead.

The Discover Pass was created in 2011 to increase revenue towards parks and recreation across Washington State.

There is a day pass for $10, or a yearly pass for $30, which can cover up to two different vehicles.

It is a motor vehicle pass only, and is not needed for boats, or non-motorized methods like walking or horseback-riding.

There is a $99 penalty for failure to present the pass. 

For trips longer than a day, there is the Indian Camp Campground just a few miles away.

Duvall (Cherry Creek)

There is petrified wood, calcite, stilbite, and mordenite by Cherry Creek.

Petrified wood is a fossil that is formed from plants that are protected from decaying from soil.

Groundwater then replaces the plant material with inorganic material.

Calcite is a common mineral that is the primary component in limestone and marble.

Stilbite is a mineral that belongs to the zeolite group, and its crystals are usually pointed and tabular.

Mordeite is a mineral that also belongs to the zeolite group, which often appears as white needles within cavities of rock. 

Cherry creek is located in the northwest region of the state near Duvall, Washington.

It is about 30 miles east of Seattle via WA-520 E.

This route also requires tolls.

A toll can be paid with exact change, or with the use of a Good To Go Pass.

The pass is $5 which will stick to the windshield of a car. It allows billing of tolls to be paid online later on. 

There are no exact coordinates known for the rock locations, only that they can be found near the creek. 

For trips longer than a day, there is lodging available in Monroe at the 2-star hotel Best Western Sky Valley Inn for around $104 per night.

Snoqualmie Falls

There is black petrified wood around Snoqualmie Falls, which is a waterfall.

The wood is black because it contains carbon.

The waterfall is located in the northwest region of the state in Snoqualmie, Washington.

It is about 30 miles east of Seattle via I-90E.

There are no exact coordinates for the fossil.

For trips longer than a day, there is lodging available in Snoqualmie at the 2-star Hotel America for around $135 per night.

Port Ludlow (Quarry)

There are agates, jasper, petrified wood, and jade located in quarries near Port Ludlow.

Jasper is a microcrystalline chert, which is usually a red or brown color.

It can often be found near iron bands.

Jade is considered two different types of gems.

The first one is jadeite, which can come in many different colors which are often streaked.

The other is nephrite, whose colors are often more muted than jadeite.

Port Ludlow is located in the southwest region of the state.

There are no exact coordinates available for the minerals’ location.

It is about 40 miles west of Seattle via WA-305.

It also requires tolls and a ferry ride to reach the location.

The ferry costs $9.25 per person for one ride. For trips longer than a day, there is lodging available in Port Ludlow.

The 3-star Resort At Port Ludlow costs around $199 per night.

For anyone up for an adventure, these locations are sure to be great options for rockhounding.

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