Do you love collecting rocks and crystals? Do you live in Santa Clara County, California?
If you answer these two questions, you come to the right place.
In the following blog post, you’ll find the seven best places to go rock hounding in Santa Clara County, California.
Rockhounding Santa Clara County, California: Let’s Go
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.
San Jose: Alum Rock Park
In the city of San Jose, the first place to visit to collect rocks and crystals is Alum Rock Park.
At the foothills of the Diablo Range, the park is situated in the Alum Rock Canyon.
Some of the rocks and crystals people have found in the area are Albandite, Hausmannite, and Tephoroite.
There is a parking fee of $6.00 for every time you want to visit the area, but you can order hashtags and discount cards from the Leininger Community Center.
Unfortunately, the park is also undergoing reconstruction, so some areas may be off-limits for digging.
San Jose: Guadaloupe Creek, Guadaloupe Mine
The following two places on our list in San Jose are the Guadaloupe Creek and Guadalupe Mine.
The creek starts in Santa Clara County, California, east of the peak of Mount Umunhum, and runs for 10 miles.
The Guadalupe Creek Trail is part of this system and where many rock hound lovers go to collect crystals and minerals.
Some of the rocks and minerals found in this area are Agate, Dendritic, and Quartz.
The Guadaloupe Mine was once a part of the New Almaden Mining District but is now closed with no reopening plans.
The location of the mine is not precisely known, but on Google maps, you can check the location.
Some of the rocks and minerals found in the area are Apophyllite, Bornite, Cinnabar, Chert, Gyrolite, Mercury, and Stibnite.
If you plan on digging in this area, make sure you are not on private property, so you don’t want to get into trouble with the law while having fun.
San Jose: Coyote Creek, East of Madrone
In the city of San Jose is the neighborhood of Madrone, and east of the town is Coyote Creek.
The river starts in the northern parts of California and flows through the cities of San Jose and Morgan Hill.
If you need a place to park, you can park at Live Oak Picnic Area for free.
Once you find a spot to park, you can walk two miles east of the parking area and start looking for rocks or crystals to add to your collection.
The minerals people have found in this area are Agate, Siderite, and Tourmaline.
Morgan Hill: Mahoney Meadow Trail
In Morgan Hill, there is a 3-mile biking tail known as Mahoney Meadows.
It’s a popular trail in the area that takes about 14 minutes to complete.
People can visit the trail at any time of the day and during any season of the year.
If you prefer to go when there are fewer crowds, avoid the area during the summer.
Many people enjoy going camping in Mahoney Meadows during the summer as there are camping sites here.
You’ll have to be cautious during the winter and springtime as the heavy rain makes the creeks overflow into the trail.
The best time to visit the route is during the fall season.
The area is a great spot if you are looking to add Poppy Jasper to your rock collection.
Some of the other rocks and crystals are Lepidolite, Serpentine, Tourmaline, and Turquoise.
Lexington Hills: Hooker Creek Mine
The Hooker Creek mine is a copper mine situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains range in Lexington Hills.
On Google maps, you can find Hooker Creek Mine’s exact location.
Mining occurs underground, with mining operations currently ongoing.
Because there are currently mine operations in the area, you should be careful and aware of your surroundings when collecting rocks in this area.
Also, the mine is on private property, so you will have to dig for crystals on the outskirts of the mine.
But, don’t let that discourage you, as people have found gold, silver, and copper minerals scattered all over the area.
Pine Ridge: Pine Ridge Mine
Pine Ridge Mine can be found southeast of San Felipe Ranch.
It’s an old mine that was started in 1917 by Alfred Jackson and closed in 1974.
You can find the location of the mine at 2,100 feet of evaluation.
The most precious stone found at Pine Ridge Mine is a shaly brown chert with red and white colors blending together.
Other rocks and minerals people have seen at this location are Agate, Jasper, Moonstone, and Quartz. Magnesium is another mineral commonly found in the area.
Of course, since the location is in an old mine, remember to assume it’s on private property.
If you want to go digging in this area, try to ask for permission before going.
Santa Clara: Hubble Quarry and Mill
There is an old granite mine in the city of Santa Clara known as Hubble Quarry and Mill.
It was operated by the Piazza Construction Company and closed in 1974. Piazza Company, which ran Hubble Quarry and Mill, also operated a nearby sand and gravel operation.
You might have to contact a former employee or someone who worked for the company to obtain permission to dig on the land.
The local rocks of the area include marine deposits and quaternary alluvium.
Other rocks and minerals commonly found in the area are Aggregates, Calcite, Granite, Quartz, and Quartzite.
Also, remember, since this is a mine, ask for permission before you start digging for gems.
The spots described above are the some interesting places for you to check out to collect rocks and crystals.
Also, if you live in Santa Clara County, consider joining Gems & Minerals Society to find more rock hounding locations.
California 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 California: A Guide To The State’s Best Rockhounding Sites
Gem Trails of Southern California
Gem Trails of Northern California
Smithsonian Rocks and Minerals Identification Guide
Disclosure: These are links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
You might also like the following articles if you are interested in Rockhounding California: