Rockhounding Shasta County, California: 10 Places To Hunt Rocks, Crystals, and Fossils  

Are you looking for a fun way to spend some time outdoors and find some beautiful rocks, crystals, and fossils in the process?

Then rockhounding in Shasta County, California, is perfect for you!

Here are 10 of the best places to go rockhounding in Shasta County.

Rockhounding Shasta County, California


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.

Castle Crags State Park

Located just 14 miles south of the city of Mount Shasta, Castle Crags State Park is a great place to find a variety of rocks and minerals, including quartz, sandstone, rhyolite, and obsidian.

The park offers over 28 miles of hiking trails where visitors can search for rocks and crystals.

The granite spires of Castle Crags State Park are over 170 million years old, and the areas where the Sacramento River runs through the park are some of the most popular spots for rockhounding.

Be sure to visit during the spring or fall months, as temperatures in the summer can reach excessive temperatures.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to a variety of volcanic rocks, including basalt, pumice, and obsidian.

There are several volcanoes within the park, and while the park is open daily, some areas may close without warning due to the unpredictable weather.

There are over 120 miles of trails where visitors can search for volcanic rocks and wheelchair-accessible facilities available.

There is no permit required to rockhound in the park, though one is required for fishing and backcountry camping.

McArthur-Burney Falls State Park

McArthur-Burney Falls State Park is an excellent place for rockhounds of all ages and skill levels, with over five miles of Lake Britton shoreline to explore.

The Burney Falls is the park’s main attraction, standing at over 125 feet tall.

Due to the heavy amount of volcanic activity that helped shape the park, visitors can expect to find different types of volcanic rocks.

It’s important to note that there is a fee to enter the park, and no vehicles over 30 feet are allowed in the park.

Redding Arboretum

The Redding Arboretum is a 200-acre section of the Turtle Bay Exploration Park located in Redding, California.

The park focuses on sustainability and harmony with nature, so 20 acres of the gardens are dog-friendly.

There is a one-mile trail where visitors can hike and search for rocks or minerals along the Sacramento River.

Some of the best places to find unique rocks are near the Sundial Bridge, which is used by pedestrians and bicyclists.

Shasta Dam

Located just nine miles northwest of Redding, Shasta Dam is open Monday through Friday for visitors to enjoy a self-guided tour of the area.

While it’s important for guests to follow instructions and stay out of restricted areas, certain spots near the dam and Shasta River are known to have quartz, serpentine, hematite, and antigorite.

Vehicles can drive over the Shasta Dam, though they are subject to inspection.

Shasta Lake

Just ten miles outside Redding, Shasta Lake is the largest reservoir in the state of California.

There are over 365 acres of shoreline where you can search for gems and minerals.

Guests are known to find quartz, copper, and agates along the water, as well as other various minerals outside the shoreline.

The park is one of the few in the area to allow camping near the water, though it’s important to watch for private property or restricted area signs.

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

With over 42,000 acres of land to explore, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is an excellent spot for rockhounds.

The recreation area is just an hour’s drive from Shasta County and offers several hiking trails, remnants from the California Gold Rush, and waterfalls that boast various gems and minerals.

There are over twelve different hiking trails for visitors to explore with historic mines and shoreline access.

Be sure to check the official site for details on each trail’s difficulty level and current conditions.

Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park

Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park is a unique location in Shasta County with over 13 miles of shoreline to search for rocks, gems, and minerals.

This park is located in an extremely remote section of Shasta County and is only accessible by boat.

There are no roads to the park, and guests should launch their boats from Rat Farm.

Nearly all of the state park is covered in rugged lava rock, making it a truly stunning experience for any rockhound.

Be sure to bring layered clothes if visiting in the fall, as temperatures and weather conditions can change with little warning.

Shasta State Historic Park

Located just a short six-mile drive from Redding, Shasta State Historic Park is a great choice for families of rockhounds or those who may be searching with small children.

The park has remnants of the old mining community and a small museum where visitors can learn about the area’s rich history.

Guests can self-explore the park, though it’s important to note the limited facilities and services available.

Temperatures can be excessive in the summer months, so be sure to bring enough water and light clothing.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Last but not least, Turtle Bay Exploration Park is a park that boasts over 300 acres of land for visitors to explore.

There is an admission fee to enter the park and specific hours based on the season.

The park has 10 miles of trails to search for rocks and minerals and free parking next to the Sundial Bridge Lot.

There are restroom and first aid facilities in certain areas of the park and lockers if you need to store any equipment while hunting for rocks.

Rockhounds under the age of 15 must stay with their parents throughout the park and hiking trails.

Wrap Up

Rockhounding can be a fun and rewarding activity for people of all ages.

In Shasta County, there are many great locations to find rocks, crystals, and fossils.

So, grab your hiking shoes, sunscreen, and water bottle, and get ready to explore some of the best rockhounding spots in Northern California!

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.

Wrap Up

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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Rockhounding Shasta County