Rockhounding North Dakota: 10 Places To Hunt Rocks, Crystals, and Fossils  

North Dakota has such beautiful prairie land where wildlife can roam freely. But, with so much untouched land, unique crystals, rocks, and fossils are bound to be underneath it all.

Well, of course, it is! And if you’re going to go rockhounding in the state, you’ll need to know where you can go collecting. So here are 10 best places to help you get started rockhounding in North Dakota.

Rockhounding North Dakota


The information provided in this article by 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. Hettinger County

Hettinger County is an excellent spot to go rockhounding in North Dakota. For example, north of Thirty Mile Creek, you can find many treasures along the banks. Some of the minerals you can find are chalcedony, selenite crystals, jasper, agates, and silicified wood.

Another great spot to go rockhounding within the county is Cedar Creek. There you can find agatized wood, jasper, and quartz.

2. Sheyenne River

One of the most significant tributaries of the Red River is the Sheyenne River. It’s also one of the best places to go rockhounding in North Dakota. The river runs 591 miles across eastern North Dakota, and the spot you want to go rock collecting is the lower end of the river, around the area of Lisbon.

There you can find agate, jasper, and teredo petrified wood. The Sheyenne River is known to be abundant in the special teredo petrified wood. Fossilized trees and tiny clams form this unique species of petrified wood. So, if you’re looking for this type of mineral, be sure to visit the Sheyenne River near Lisbon.

3. Turtle Mountain

The Turtle Mountains are located in the north-central parts of North Dakota, close to the providence of Manitoba, Canada. These mountains are full of oak, ash trees, lakes, and sloughs, making them a beautiful place to visit, especially in the fall.

Some of the minerals you can find are quartz, agate, and chalcedony. There are campgrounds around the area, so you can park there and walk on the trails to find a place to go digging.

If you go rockhounding during winter, be cautious when driving on the roads. The area can be dangerous due to the condition of the roads.

4. Cannonball River

A tributary of the Missouri River, the Cannonball River, runs through the southwest part of North Dakota. It runs 135 miles across the state and runs through the cities of New England, Mott, and Butt.

Near the banks of the river, you’ll find the most beautiful crystals you have ever seen. Some of the minerals you can find are different kinds of jaspers, agates, silicified wood, and chalcedony.

It’s best to go to the river during the summer when the water is low. The fall season is also a great time to go rock-hounding in this area, as the scenery is stunning at that time.

5. McKenzie County

McKenzie county is located within the western part of North Dakota, close to Montana. The county has various physical features: sugarbeet fields, rugged badlands, large prairie land, gently rolling terrain, and rocky terrain. There are also two major rivers running through the county.

Also, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Little Missouri National Grassland are located within the county. The best areas to go rockhounding through the county are the rivers, which are the Missouri and Little Missouri Rivers.

(Just remember that it is illegal to collect items (rocks, wildflowers) from National Parks).

There you can find the famous Montana moss agate and other agates too. Other minerals you can find are jasper, silicified wood, selenite, and calcite. You may also be able to find dinosaur fossils in this county too.

6. Tongue River

The Tongue River is a tributary of the Pembina River in the northeastern parts of the state. Near the Canda border, the river drains the prairie country within the watershed of the Red River.

The river also flows through the Icelandic State Park, where you can go hiking and find spots to look for rocks. If you go through the park to reach the river, it’s best to take the Bluebird Trail.

It’s an easy trail that lets you see the area’s wildflowers, birds, and badlands. Some minerals you can find in the area are jasper, fossils, agate, calcite, and quartz.

7. Williams County

Williams County is located on the western border of North Dakota, right next to Montana. Within the county are plenty of streams and gravel where you can go rockhounding. The place you want to visit to find minerals is Williston, a mid-sized city with a population of 29,160.

You have the best chance of finding Montana moss agate on the city’s outskirts. Also, throughout the county, you can find halite, chalcedony, red and yellow jasper, and quartz.

8. Killdeer

The city of Killdeer is a small city in North Dakota with a population of 939. Running through the city are the mountains that have the same name. Killdeer mountains are the area you want to visit to find a unique mineral that’s hard to find anywhere else.

Knife River Flint is a coffee-colored, translucent color with many purposes since Native Americans lived there. During their time, they used the stone for hunting and preparing food.

The stone was popular to use due to its sharp edges and how easy it was to sharpen it. If you want to add a stone with history to your collection, visit Killdeer city or Killdeer Mountains to find the knife river flint stone.

9. Minot

The city of Minot is located in Ward County within the north-central area of the state. It is the fourth largest city in North Dakota and has a rich aviation history.

The city is also a great place to visit to go digging for rocks, crystals, and fossils. The city is mostly land, with only 14% of the water going through it. Some of the minerals you can find within the city’s limits are agate, jasper, quartz, chalcedony, and dinosaur fossils.

10. Souris River

The Souris River, also known as the Mouse River, runs through the Northern Parts of North Dakota. The river passes through the cities of Minot and Velva and goes back up into the southern parts of Canada. Some of the minerals you can find in the area are jasper, agate, quartz, chalcedony, and fossils.

Wrapping Up

There you go! The best places to go rock hounding in North Dakota. When you’re ready to go searching for minerals in this state, keep this list in mind to know which areas are best to go.

If you’re looking for other states to go rockhounding, search through our website to find the best places to visit.

Rockhounding North Dakota