Where To Find Chrysocolla In Arizona: A Guide To Getting Started

Some of us can’t get enough of those unique minerals we can find all over the world.

To satisfy those cravings, we also have to equip reliable knowledge in addition to geological tools.

In this article, we’ll look at three locations in the state of Arizona that could contain deposits of chrysocolla for personal collections.

Where To Find Chrysocolla In Arizona (A Guide)


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.

Old mine dumps, Twin Buttes area, and south of Tucson

This area is a bit remote and near Keystone peak.

Depending on where you start, you’ll eventually need to drive on highway I-19, which crosses through the city of Tucson, and the town of Green Valley.

The ideal site is closer to Green Valley, so make sure you head there first and foremost.

From Green Valley, head westward on Duval Mine Road until you are in-between two large quarries, with the left side having a large pool of water in the center, and on the right, your intended destination is full of artificial valleys and gravel piles.

From Duval, you’ll turn right onto S Mission Road.

Keep driving until you reach an intersection with W McGee Ranch Road, and turn right onto it. Drive on until you see a ranch to your left.

Before you start walking around searching for chrysocolla, be sure to contact the mining company Freeport-McMoRan, as they were the last ones to buy the area around 2009.

This may have changed since then, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask locals in Green Valley about who owns the place today (if anyone).

For public lands, mineral collection is okay just as long as you don’t use heavy industrial equipment or disturb the natural landscape too much.

It’s recommended that you call the local Bureau of Land Management office in Arizona (800-446-4259) if you’re unsure if the land you’re on is public.

Private property is a different matter, and that depends whether a person and/or company currently owns the area (online sources are obscure on anything after 2009).

The Arizona BLM office might be able to point you in the right direction.

If it is private land, you’ll need to contact the owner for permission to collect any Chrysocolla.

So, it’s highly recommended that before you even head out there, make sure you establish whether private or public land is involved.  

Should you get the green light to collect minerals, park near the ranch and proceed in a south-eastern direction for about 950 feet to the destination listed to have chrysocolla.

You should see two large grey steppes with a few small, ascending artificial hills in front of you.

That is your ideal dig site.

At this time, you’ll need to have all of your equipment ready to go. Such equipment can include, but not limited to, a 22oz steel rock pick, a steel chisel, a field shovel, and a hiking backpack.

The area has been subject to open pit mining for over a century, so the chrysocolla might not be far underneath the surface.

This mineral can be a by-product of copper ore mining, so it can be present in solid rock, meaning some digging and chiseling will be required.

Chrysocolla is most commonly cyan (blue-green) in color, but can also be brown, blackish blue, and yellow (rarely).

The texture depends on what’s mixed into it, as its Mohs hardness ranges from 2.5 – 7.

This means whatever you find can either be very brittle, or hard as glass.  

Another thing to consider is dangerous wildlife.

Arizona is known to have rattlesnakes, bees, gila monsters, and black widow spiders.

Watch out for any snakes or brightly colored critters wandering out there, as a single bite could mean an immediate hospital trip.

Coronado Trail, North of Morenci

This second location won’t require much walking.

From the town of Morenci, starting from Burro trail, travel northwards on U.S. Highway 191, a.k.a Coronado Trail for approximately 6.5 miles.

Again, make sure you contact the BLM office of Arizona (800-446-4259) to make sure the land you’ll be going to isn’t privately owned.

Much of the area has been subject to mining activities in the past, so you may have to ask around the town of Morenci to see if any company or person owns the place you’ll be going to.

Also, be aware that dangerous wildlife could be there as well.

Make sure your equipment is with you.

Similar to the first location, it’s not guaranteed that the chrysocolla you’re looking for is close to the surface.

You may need to dig down into solid rock to see any of that cyan mineral.

There should be a small patch of land for parking off the highway beyond the fenced-off area that contains the site you’re going to.

From that particular place, you’ll need to proceed southwards on foot for about 740 feet to the area where chrysocolla have been found.

This site itself is only about 65 feet from the highway, so don’t venture too far into the pits and hills.

To get very specific, there should be an electric pole only 30 feet away from the place you should try digging. And again, snakes and spiders, watch out.

Emerald Isle Mine, North of Kingman

This third location is north of the city of Kingman, near the Mohave County Landfill.

You’ll need to drive northwards on highway US-93, a.k.a W Beale Street if you start your journey from within Kingman.

Further ahead, turn right onto Mineral Park Road and keep going until you reach a 5-way intersection.

Turn left (Google maps label it as “125”), and drive for about 1.5 miles before banking right.

You should see a small mining pit to your right. If you do, head towards it.

Again, make sure you contact the local BLM office in Arizona (800-446-4259) before starting your journey.

Sources online list the area having been owned by several private companies in the past, and the BLM office should give you an up-to-date explanation of whether the area is private or public. Also, be sure to have your handy tools!

Once you arrive in the immediate area, search for a few rusting cylindrical towers.

From there, head about 300 feet in a southward direction to the ideal digging site, which should be amongst various artificial structures.

There is a small chance that you won’t have to dig deep, but keep in mind that the mineral you’re looking for usually needs heavy mining equipment just to get to it.

However, the area has been mined in the past, which could mean digging won’t be too much of a burden.

What can be a burden, however, are snake and spider bites that require a hospital trip. Tread the area carefully.

This area is noted to have “gold-colored” chrysocolla, meaning you might not find that common cyan color.

As mentioned at the first location, the mineral can sometimes be a bit yellowish, so keep an eye peeled for that type during your dig.

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:

Rockhounding Arizona: A Guide To 75 Of The State’s Best Rockhounding Sites

Gem Trails of Arizona

Southwest Treasure Hunter’s Gem and Mineral 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 state of Arizona contains many wonders in its deserts.

Should you consider a couple of trips to find chrysocolla, be sure your activities are legal, equip the right knowledge and tools, and keep away from any wildlife that can send you to the hospital with a single bite.

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Where To Find Chrysocolla In Arizona