Rockhounding is the perfect hobby if you’re looking for a fun and family-friendly activity!
San Bernardino County is a great place to start your rockhounding journey, as there are many different locations where you can find rocks, crystals, and fossils.
Here are ten of the best places to go rockhounding in and around San Bernardino County, California.
Rockhounding San Bernardino County, California
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.
Cajon Pass is a great place to find a variety of rocks and minerals, including quartz crystals, agates, jasper, tourmaline, and more.
The area is located east of the city of San Bernardino and can be reached by taking the 15 freeway.
This mountain pass is thousands of years old and boasts an incredible landscape for those with an interest in geology.
Cajon Pass is best visited in the spring or fall, as the summers can be quite hot.
There are many different places to pull over along the route to stop and search for rocks, so keep your eyes peeled.
Mojave River Forks State Park
Mojave River Forks State Park is a great spot for finding fossils, as the area is rich with ancient history.
The park is located north of the city of San Bernardino and can be reached by taking Highway 18.
In addition to fossils, you may also find petrified wood, obsidian, and jasper in the park.
The best time to visit is during the cooler months, as the summers can be very hot with unpredictable temperatures.
There are full amenities at the park, including restrooms, showers, and RV hookups.
Red Mountain is a great place to find various rocks and minerals, including opals, tourmaline, and more.
The area is located east of the city of Barstow and can be reached by taking Highway 15.
Formerly called Odick, Red Mountain has a five-and-a-half-mile trail that reaches nearly 2000 feet of elevation above the surrounding desert.
Red Mountain is best visited in the spring or fall, though it’s recommended to bring extra water and supplies for rockhounding on this strenuous hiking trail.
Rainbow Basin is a great spot for finding a variety of colorful rocks and minerals, including jasper, agate, and different types of fossils.
Rainbow Basin is located eight miles north of Barstow and is affiliated with the Owl Canyon Campground.
The Rainbow Basin trail loop is one of the best areas to search for rocks and minerals, which is nearly an eight-mile hike.
Some visitors have trouble finding the location, so be sure to take exit 58 off of I-15 northbound before driving to Fossil Bed Road.
Panamint Valley is a great place to find a variety of rocks and minerals, including quartz crystals, borate minerals, and more.
The area is located west of the city of Ridgecrest and can be reached by taking Highway 190.
The Panamint Valley dunes are a top spot for rockhounding, so be sure to take the time to explore the area.
Be sure to remember that the round trip distance to and from the dunes is around seven miles.
Afton Canyon is a great place to find a variety of rocks and minerals, including jasper, petrified wood, and incredible fossils.
The area is located east of the city of Barstow and is one of the most unique locations in the area due to the surface water.
Often referred to as “The Grand Canyon of the Mojave,” it’s extremely important to note that this area is filled with wild animals, rattlesnakes, and unpredictable weather.
Temperatures are known to exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months, so be sure to bring plenty of supplies.
Rasor Road is a great place to find a variety of rocks and minerals, including quartz crystals, agates, and jasper.
The area is located east of the city of Victorville and is best for those with an off road vehicle. This area has incredible dunes, rolling hills, and remote areas where visitors can take time and search for rocks.
The rocky hills and rock climbing areas are some of the most popular for rockhounding, be sure to note that street vehicles are only allowed in the preserve area.
Johnson Valley is a great spot for finding fossils, rocks, and other gems, due to the rich history of this desert area.
The small community is located off Highway 247, with the best entrance for rockhounding at Old Woman Springs Road or Camp Rock Road.
In addition to fossils, you may also find petrified wood, obsidian, and jasper in Johnson Valley.
If you plan to visit, you must have an off-road vehicle or four-wheel drive, as the terrain is extremely difficult to navigate.
The Trona Pinnacles are a great place to find a variety of rocks and minerals, including quartz crystals, agates, jasper, and more.
The area is located east of the city of Ridgecrest and is home to some of the most stunning geological formations in the area.
Pinnacles throughout the area are more than 140 feet tall and provide an excellent location for finding fossils, gems, and other agates.
Please note there is no running water or toilet facilities available in this area.
Bailey Canyon is a great place to find a variety of rocks and minerals, including agates, jasper, petrified wood, and more.
The area is located east of the city of Azusa and has numerous trails available for rockhounds to search for gems.
Most of the hike is of moderate difficulty, with the first two miles of the trail having a steep incline.
Four-wheel drive should be used if you plan to visit the location, though the road is maintained year-round.
Rockhounding in San Bernardino County, California, is a great way to spend time exploring the outdoors to find a variety of rocks, minerals, and fossils.
The county is home to many different rockhounding sites, so there is sure to be a spot that interests you.
Be sure to check out some of our favorite locations listed above, and happy hunting!
California Rockhounding Resources
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The desert and mountain region is one of the best places to rockhounding.
We have a trip to go rockhounding near Sacramento planned soon, we’ll let you know how it goes!
Let’s start digging!
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