Here at the Rockhounding Maps, we give you access and information to the best dig sites for crystals and minerals in Colorado. On top of that, we’ve created a resource page to assist with answering all of your gem and mineral collecting questions.
We hope you enjoy your time on our site and come back often because we’re always adding new dig locations and crystal collecting updates. This is a great resource for anyone who loves rockhounding, from beginners to experts alike!
Rockhounding in Colorado is a great way to discover the state’s diverse geology and fossilized wildlife. The number of potential collecting sites here makes it an excellent location for those interested not only in rocks, but also minerals that can be found within them!
Colorado is an excellent place for beginner and expert rock hounds alike. Thanks to the geographic shifts in the region, the State has a lot of variety to offer. Due to the volcanic activity millions of years ago, you’ll find plenty of metamorphic, sedimentary, and even a few igneous rocks.
When’s the best time to go rock hunting in Colorado? What kinds of rocks can you find here? We’ve found some of the best rockhound locations in this beautiful State!
The Rocky Mountains offer a host of crystals, minerals, and fossils ready for discovery. However, the mountain range is somewhat dangerous in winter, and you should avoid digging for minerals during these conditions. During harsher seasons, you can find plenty of rock varieties around Denver and Colorado Springs.
Where you choose to go rock hunting in Colorado depends heavily on the types of rock you seek.
Colorado has several varieties of metals, minerals, and fossils along waterways. Many folks report finding fairly large deposits of gold, silver, and even dinosaur bone fragments. Some of the most popular places include the Colorado River, South Platte’s River, and Arkansas’s River Valley.
This article will explore all of the best rockhound locations that Colorado has to offer. We’ll list the types of rocks you can find and the tools to bring. We’ll also discuss the available rock and mineral societies in Colorado that you can join and make your rockhounding experience a success!
Have you ever dreamed of going on a rock-hounding adventure in Colorado? There are quite a few locations to dig for crystals, gems, Petrified Wood, Fossils, and Agate. With its diverse landscape, Colorado can be a perfect place for you to hunt for rocks!
|Location Name||Longitude and Latitude||Rocks and Gemstones|
|Wolf Creek||37.487272, -106.820292||Amethyst geodes, Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Moonstone, Quartz crystals|
|Wolf Creek Pass||37.451401, -106.889473||Agate, Jasper, Chalcedony, Moonstone|
|Mine dump 3 mi. W of Gold Camp Rd||38.820381, -104.897852||Zircon crystals|
|S of Cook Mtn||38.760655, -104.917644||Amazonite, Smoky Quartz, Topaz|
|Eureka Tunnel, W side of stream||38.752717, -104.905160||Zircon, Fluorite|
|Howes Gulch||40.591110, -105.225000||Chalcopyrite, Gold, Pyrite, Copper|
|Wisdom Ranch||40.59778, -105.36444||Beryl, Chrysoberyl, Garnet|
|Sentinel Rock and Specimen Rock||38.804640, -104.917770||Amazonite, Fluorite, Goethite, Hematite, Quartz crystals|
|Specimen Mtn||40.442759, -105.808412||Calcite, Agate, Quartz, Topaz|
|Crystal Mtn area pegmatites||40.541783, -105.411371||Beryl, Fluorapatite, Muscovite|
|Sugarloaf Peak, Wigwam Creek||39.248687, -105.338700||Amazonite, Fluorite, Quartz crystals|
|West of Route 74||39.617131, -105.320742||Fluorite, Gold, Silver, Chalcocite, Sphalerite|
|Table Mtn||39.773985, -105.200943||Apophyllite, Aragonite, Calcite, Zeolite crystals, Stilbite, Zeolites|
|Summit of Mtn Antero||38.673821, -106.246671||Apatite, Aquamarine, Beryl, Calcite, Fluorite (white, green, purple), Pyrite, Smoky Quartz crystals|
Be polite wherever you explore. Always pack out what you packed in. Meaning if you stop for a snack while rockhounding at any site, clean up after yourself and pack your trash items back out with you.
Always do your research regarding laws and regulations, and don’t forget to ask for permission to access an area and collect specimens.
If you’re an active rock collector in Colorado then send us an email about your favorite locations and we will feature you on the site and we might sponsor you as well. That’s right, we will pay you to go dig for rocks and minerals.
|Location Name||Longitude and Latitude||Rocks and Gemstones|
|Willow Creek, mostly private||37.869965, -106.929236||Amethyst crystals, Chalcedony, Sphalerite|
|Willow Creek||37.868355, -106.927488||Turquoise|
|Last Chance Mine||37.884018, -106.936668||Jasper, Galena, Copper, Turquoise, Rhodonite, Sowbelly Agate|
|Colorado River valley and side canyons||39.205468, -108.913722||Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Opal, Petrified wood, Dinosaur bones|
|Goodman Point||37.371191, -108.775597||Petrified dinosaur bones|
|Dinosaur Hill||39.131294, -108.735356||Petrified dinosaur bones|
|Glade Park||38.993154, -108.739526||Opalized Wood, Agate|
|Black Ridge fossil beds||39.066065, -108.748886||Petrified dinosaur bone, Gastroliths|
|Austin Bluffs||38.907151, -104.797300||Agate, Carnelian, Chalcedony, Jasper|
|Opportunity Mine||38.517407, -106.667927||Albite, Beryl, Lepidolite, Mica, Tourmaline, Monazite|
|Centennial Cone pegmatites||39.755422, -105.360747||Aquamarine, Bertrandite, Beryl, Smoky Quartz crystals|
|Area W of Italian Mtn.||38.944249, -106.762422||Lapis Lazuli, Garnet|
|Cement Creek Rd.||38.931201, -106.769938||Albite, Ankerite, Chlorite, Diopside, Epidote, Garnet, Lazurite, Magnetite|
|Sedalia Copper Mine||38.603600, -106.030600||Actinolite, Almandine, Azurite, Beryl, Chrysocolla, Epidote, Kyanite, Pyrite, Quartz, Tourmaline|
So, if you’re ready to embark on a rock-hounding journey, read on to find out more!
|Petrified Wood||Florissant, Colorado, and surrounding areas in central Colorado|
|Lapis Lazuli||Northern region. North Italian Mountain and Crested Butte|
|Quartz||All over, but Mariposa County is the best place|
|Aquamarine||Mount Antero, Mount White, and Mount Princeton|
|Calcite||Sherman Tunnel Mine and Leadville Mining District|
|Amethyst||Creede District and Mineral County|
Protected archeological sites are not typically open to amateur rock hounds. Additionally, you probably won’t be able to collect large petrified wood samples from the petrified forest. However, according to the Parks Service, most spaces are open for rock hunting in the state as long as you’re not in protected lands.
Traveling with a group is the best way to stay safe rock hunting in Colorado. Finding a group of experienced people to travel with is ideal since they’ll be familiar with the landscape. Additionally, avoid rock hounding in the winter and late fall to avoid sudden snow storms.
List of Rock and Mineral Societies
The Colorado Mineral Society hosts meetings on the first Friday of every month. You can join them at their meeting hall located at 9200 W 10th Ave St Paul’s Episcopal Church Lakewood, CO 80215.
They also host field trips to various mineral-rich sites all over the State! Just make sure you do due diligence and get tested for Covid if you exhibit symptoms!
The Columbine Gem and Mineral Society is one of the prime rock-hounding spots! They’re located near Buena Vista, which is a keen place to pick up semi-precious gems!
You can join them every second Thursday of the month for an information-based gathering. They’re the perfect bunch to mingle with regardless of your experience since they’re composed of amateurs and experts.
The Four Corners Gem and Mineral Club meet on the first Monday of every month. You can join them as guests at 2351 N Main Four Corners Gem & Mineral Club Durango, CO 81302.
They host tours through mountain paths and valleys, which increases the diversity of rocks to collect. They also host a jewelry crafting club, in case you want to turn your findings into a beautiful trinket.
The Pueblo Rock Hounds meet every third Thursday at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 10 University Circle, Pueblo, Colorado. Although you can attend the meetings without a membership, you should purchase a yearly membership to join their expeditions.
They host field trips in the mountains and have a yearly mineral auction. They don’t allow guests on their field trips, so you’ll want to pay $15 for an annual membership!
The Western Interior Paleontological Society of Denver, Colorado, meets the first Monday of the month from May-September. They host fabulous rock auctions, so if you don’t have time to attend a field trip, check out the auction.
If you do have time for a field trip, though, they host field trips in the Spring and Fall. These trips typically take day trips searching for marine fossils. But they also have different trips which span several days!