Arizona is a beautiful place from top to bottom, has a stunning array of climates within its state borders and is one of the best states for rock hounding.
Sedona is one of Arizona’s many hallmark locations and offers a plethora of activities to keep even the most active outdoor enthusiast busy.
In the following section, you’ll discover five places to go rockhounding near Sedona.
Rockhounding Sedona (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.
With so many rock hounding options in and around Sedona, coupled with all of the natural wonders to explore and enjoy, it can be hard to decide where to begin your adventures.
Whether you are from the area or visiting for a weekend or longer, you will have no problem finding plenty to keep you busy.
Let’s start you off with a few recommended locations for rock hounding.
Here are five places worth rock hounding in, or near Sedona, Arizona:
Gray Mountain (Jasper, Agate and Petrified Wood)
Gray Mountain is an hour and a half north of Sedona along US-89.
This is a great place to do some hiking and search for Jasper, Agate, and Petrified Wood.
There are plenty of stones and wood samples to be found on the surface, but for the more adventurous, bringing your Lapidary tools to do a little digging may yield even greater results.
The best part is that you can find what you are looking for just off the main road leading out to the Little Colorado River (6728 off US-89), so access is pretty good for almost everyone.
The drive out towards the Little Colorado River is great for a scenic drive as well, just to see some of the fantastic natural sandstone sculptures out there.
DoBell Mineral & Excavations @ The DoBell Ranch (Rainbow Petrified Wood)
The owners of the ranch charge a fee of $50 to dig for your own piece of petrified wood.
The ranch borders the Petrified National Forest and is well worth the fee.
You get a wonderful day out and are pretty much guaranteed to find a piece of ancient history to take home.
The pieces found in and around the ancient forest area date back hundreds of millions of years.
While it is a bit longer of a drive from Sedona (roughly two hours and twenty minutes along I-40E out of Flagstaff), it is well worth the trip.
If you want to make a weekend of it, plan a stay nearby and visit the Petrified National Forest while you are out there as well.
It’s a magnificent thing to see and you will not regret it one bit.
Check out the DoBell Mineral & Excavation website for more information on what they do or to contact them about a visit.
Apache Tears Mine (Apache Tears)
While this location is the furthest away from Sedona, down near Superior (roughly three and a half hours), it is worth putting on the list for its unique offering of Apache Tears, which are rounded rocks of volcanic glass.
The old mine has plenty of Apache Tears just lying on the ground, but if you want to try finding larger pieces, bring your rock hammer with you.
You can access the area by driving part way and then a short hike along a dirt path.
There are a number of side paths along the route so you will want to know the route ahead of time or download the map and have it with you when you go.
You can find the trail map here.
The trail is open all year round and is a beautiful hike in its own right.
You can see some old Native American ruins, like rock shelters.
Make sure to wear appropriate footwear for hiking and bring plenty of water.
Congress (Garnet, Pink Agate, Gold, Quartz Crystals and Pyrite)
Congress is just over two hours from Sedona, but the drive between Prescott and Congress has a lot of locations to explore.
The landscape around Congress has a rich mining history and is considered one of the top spots for rock hounding in Arizona.
There are many old mines that are still privately owned, so be sure to contact the owners for permission before planning a trip to any of them.
The mines, while mostly depleted, may yet yield a lucky find or two if you know where and what to look for.
Jerome (Quartz Crystals, Azurite, Malachite, Chrysocolla and Gem Silica)
This is an old mining town along AZ-89A that has plenty of veins of neat secondary copper mineralization visible as you drive into Jerome from the Cottonwood side.
It’s roughly a forty minute drive from Sedona, making it a great day trip destination if you are from or staying in the area.
Lots of mining history to take in as well if you are into that sort of thing.
The hills around Jerome offer some great hiking trails and views and are filled with treasures to find, such as Azurite and Gem Silica.
Bring your hiking shoes and your Lapidary tools, sun protection and your water jug and prepare for a great rock hounding journey into the hills.
If you are lucky, maybe you will spot some big horned sheep or wild burros.
Some of the shops in town sell feed for the burros that you may come across as they are often hungry.
Arizona 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:
Disclosure: These are links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
In closing, be mindful and respectful of private property and state and federal laws while out rock hounding and before taking any samples with you from any of these areas.
Some places may require a permit, so check ahead of time whenever you are heading to a new location.
This is mostly in park land areas or protected reserves.
Fill in your divots and close the gates behind you if you open them. Know the rules and collect within them!
You might also like: