Rock hounding buffs might wonder where to find geodes in Texas, a state not known for geodes.
You can find the geologic formation geodes in Texas although the unique formations typically develop in deserts.
This article covers the most likely locations and some tips for a good hunt.
Where To Find Geodes In Texas
These round or oval-shaped rocks contain a hollow, crystal-lined center comprised of stones such as agate, chalcedony, or jasper.
When you embark on your hunt for them, don’t confuse them with nodules, the solid geologic formation that develops in the same manner.
The name geode comes from the Greek word Geoides meaning “earthlike.”
While you can find geodes in many areas of the world, most concentrations of them occur in deserts, limestone deposits, or volcanic ash beds.
If you hail from Arizona, California, Iowa, Nevada, or Utah, where geodes proliferate, never fear.
You can geode hunt in many locations in the great state of Texas.
Your rockhounding will likely turn up geodes containing agate, barite, blue topaz, chalcedony, jasper, petrified wood, or quartz.
Geodes come in a range of sizes from about walnut-sized to bigger than a basketball.
Within that range, you’re most likely to find geodes about the size of a baseball size.
Rather than take a hammer and chisel to your rocks, take them to a geologist to have them cut open with a diamond saw.
This method reduces potential damage to the crystals that may be inside.
You won’t know if you found a regular rock, a geode, or a nodule until you cut them open.
Rockhound for Blue Topaz in Central Texas
Your best bet for blue topaz geodes lies in central Texas.
If you want to find agate geodes, focus your search on West and South Texas where you can unearth bouquet and pompom varieties of these rock formations.
You must uncover the proper type of rock formation to find a trove of these stones.
Geodes start in sedimentary rock as mud balls or tree roots, as animal burrows, or as bubbles in volcanic rock.
It takes millions of years for the geode to develop and as its outside hardens, the silica-containing water forms inside the geode’s hollow.
Whatever minerals permeate the area, enter this water and develop inside the geode.
In Texas, quartz and calcite develop most commonly, but in other locations, you can also find amethyst and calcite.
Rockhound for Calcite in Central Texas
Head to central Texas to unearth calcite (KAL-site) geodes.
This formation of crystal often referred to as dogtooth spar typically appears fluorescent white.
If you place it beneath ultraviolet light, the stones appear red or pink.
If these geodes had other minerals seep into the silica water before hardening the outer shell, those impurities can add tint to the white crystal.
Head to the Central Texas limestone formations or explore the Edwards Plateau, located at the juncture of Central, South, and West Texas.
Specific areas to target include Rio Grande River gravel beds, Big Bend, Mason County.
When hiking in south-central Texas, explore the stretch of land that borders Louisiana.
Much of the land for the best hunting is private, so obtain the landowner’s permission first, or risk getting arrested for trespassing and theft.
In some areas of this geode-rich region, the state or federal government cut highways and Interstate through limestone to provide a more direct automotive route.
This benefits you since the right-of-way on either side of the highway is public land, as are the areas known as scenic turnouts.
Explore these areas without fear of reprisal.
Rockhound for Celestite West of Austin, Texas
You might think that geodes containing brittle celestite (sa-LESS-tite) would make gorgeous jewelry, but although celestite is gem quality, it can rarely be faceted due to its brittle nature.
These crystals appear colorless or white at the base, but their tips take on a clear blue.
Nab a cushy hotel room in Austin, Texas, and drive to the west to visit the small towns of Brownwood, Lampasas, and Mount Bonnell.
You can find solid white geodes in the counties of Coke, Fisher, and Nolan.
Rockhound for Quartz in Far West Texas
In rural Hudspeth County, near the Mexican border, you can find a treasure trove of quartz geodes.
This area contains a multitude of amygdules tucked away in natural gas cavities that developed in volcanic rock in the region.
These geodes contain quartz, calcite, and chalcedony.
Frequently, you can find geodes with banded agate chalcedony.
These develop in a smaller size than typical geodes with some seemingly microscopic developments.
The largest has measured eight inches in diameter.
While in Hudspeth County, explore the southern face of the Quitman Mountains for best results.
Be careful of your wandering.
If you explore southern Hudspeth County, you could unknowingly cross the US/Mexican border into Northern Mexico near Ciudad Juárez.
The federales look unfavorably on illegal entry to their country just as the US does.
Hudspeth County only has a population of less than 5,000, so there won’t be anyone around to warn you.
Head to the Texas panhandle to explore Palo Duro Canyon and its surrounding region.
You can find the rare geode. You will likely come across some agatized wood, alabaster, or flint.
While you are in West Texas, don’t miss the areas of Alpine, Big Bend, Sierra Blanca, and Van Horn.
You can find many quartz geodes, specifically agate, jasper, and petrified wood.
You might find a non-geode cache of turquoise.
The west face of the Glass Mountains of moss and plume agate, chalcedony, jasper, and quartz crystals.
Head to the area six miles southwest of Alpine and explore the valley.
The lava flow 16 miles south of Alpine offers agate, chalcedony, jasper, and quartz.
Head to Terlingua Creek to rockhound its banks and beds for agate, amber, chalcedony, and jasper geodes.
The area’s mines at Terlingua also provide the rare pompom agates.
At Seven Hearts Gap, you can find barite geodes in its limestone.
The Lobo Valley area proves a rich source for Texas plume agate, while the Bishop Ranch, just south of Marfa offers Texas bouquet agate.
The Bishop Ranch is private land, so request permission.
The Chinati Mountains offer nearly every manner of geode, but you must hunt for them.
If you’re brave and in a group (for safety’s sake), you could rockhound in the mine dumps of the mountains.
For something a little less dangerous, search the sides of the road of US 67 from Marfa to Presidio for Texas bouquet agate.