Rockhound Locations in Iowa

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Here at Rockhounding Maps, we give you access and information to the best dig sites for crystals and minerals in Iowa.  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 Iowa 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!

We are here for any questions or concerns that might arise about your adventures in mineral collecting.

Iowa Rockhound Locations

Iowa is home to some of the most interesting geological formations in the Midwest and is an ideal destination for rockhounds. Some of the best areas for rockhounding in the state include Keokuk Geode Beds, Muscatine, and Bells Mill Park. You can also rockhound in Maquoketa Caves State Park for various Quartz crystals and fossils.

Have you ever dreamed of going on a rock-hounding adventure in Iowa? Rockhounds can find Agate, Geodes, and many other Gems. With its diverse landscape, Iowa can be a perfect place for you to hunt for rocks!

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.

This article will discuss the top rockhound locations in Iowa and the different types of rocks and minerals you can collect. Don’t forget to make it to the bottom of the page because we list out the best rock and mineral societies in the state. If you’re serious about collecting rocks then you’ll want to join one of these amazing clubs.

If you’re an active rock collector in Iowa 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.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a rock-hounding journey, then grab your rock hammer, and let’s get started!


cut and polished geodes


Dig For Geodes

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Riverview Recreation Area42.476580, -92.300841Geodes
Brandon42.316437, -91.990224Geodes, Fossils
Chapin towards Sheffield42.854262, -93.220280Geodes
Sheffield area42.921663, -93.177780Geodes
Eldora area stream42.363149, -93.117517Geodes
Steamboat River42.409850, -93.072553Geodes with Quartz crystals
Union42.254017, -93.058116Geodes
Skunk River40.898692, -91.556473Geodes, Petrified coral, Limonite
Donnellson40.627519, -91.569757Geodes
Farmington40.623397, -91.736272Keokuk geodes, Coral
Keokuk40.387493, -91.451754Keokuk geodes, lined with Amethyst, Calcite
Farmington40.637475, -91.752707Geodes with Quartz crystals
Bentonsport40.705368, -91.864852Keokuk geodes
Lowell in Mud Creek40.841183, -91.420137Keokuk geodes


The Keokuk Geode Beds are located in Lee County, Iowa, and are a popular destination for rockhounds. The most common geodes in the area are Quartz, Amethyst, and Calcite. 

The best locations to dig for geodes will be the road cuts along Highway 61, the Mississippi River banks, and the Des Moines River hills. 

Muscatine is the perfect place to explore if you’re looking for a unique rock-hounding experience. With its rich geologic history, the area offers a variety of specimens to collect. Here, you can find a variety of Agates, Chalcedony, and Quartz crystals.

The best spots to find these stones are along the banks of the Mississippi River and the surrounding woodlands. If you’re looking for Agates, try hounding near the Muscatine Slough. Finally, Chalcedony and Quartz crystal hunters can find a variety of specimens in the wooded areas near the Muscatine River.


Dig For Agate

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Orient area41.247287, -94.353843Agate, Quartz crystals, Petrified wood
Nevada in Indian Creek42.008292, -93.381873Agate
Emmetsburg43.130218, -94.702724Agate, Jasper, Petrified wood
Graettinger43.236680, -94.741371Agate, Jasper, Petrified wood
Black Hawk County42.521779, -92.254941Agate
Bremer County42.822486, -92.327253Coldwater Agate
Benton County42.135892, -92.126507Coldwater Agate
La Porte City42.321531, -92.187540Agate
Shell Rock gravels42.726563, -92.586322Lake Superior Agates
Guttenburg42.772285, -91.094046Jasper
Dubuque in river gravels42.576156, -90.682394Lake Superior Agate, Moss Agate, Oolitic Agate, Moonstone, Jasper, Petrified wood
Fayette County42.947001, -91.775090Lake Superior Agate
Bellevue, in Mississippi River42.231302, -90.401664Lake Superior Agate, Moss Agate, Carnelian, Moonstone, Jasper
Burlington40.832040, -91.098363Lake Superior Agate
Burlington creek area40.852054, -91.149314Lake Superior Agates, Quartz crystals
Skunk River gravels40.947351, -91.571898Agate
New London40.879881, -91.390638Agate, Jasper
Muscatine41.318523, -91.156103Lake Superior Agate, Moss Agate, Sagenitic Agate
Keota, area quarries41.343471, -91.942435Agate


Bells Mill Park is a great rock-hounding location in Iowa if you want to find large black Calcite crystals. Bring proper safety equipment and rockhounding tools, such as a pickaxe, shovel, and hammer.

The main quarry produces large black calcite crystals while the smaller crystals can be found on the north side.

Maquoketa Caves State Park is another great place for rockhounds to explore and find interesting specimens. This park is located in Jackson County, Iowa, and is home to numerous caves and sinkholes, giving visitors access to an abundance of geological features.


purple chalcedony cabochons


The park is home to various fossils, including trilobites, brachiopods, and crinoids. Limestone and dolomite are common, as the park is part of the Ordovician-age Maquoketa Formation.

You will also find a variety of other specimens, such as Quartz, Agate, and geodes.


Dig For Crystals

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Fremont County40.751072, -95.677165Fossilized coral, Stromatoporioids
Ames42.033614, -93.631833Chalcedony, Fossils
Bells Mill Park42.340564, -93.891692Black Calcite
Fort Dodge42.456071, -94.159192Gypsum
Clayton County42.867291, -91.128904Galena, Limonite, Pyrite, Sphalerite
Pershing41.262908, -93.006878Calcite crystals
Centerville area quarries40.765835, -92.915252Gypsum
Centerville mine dumps40.710578, -92.848385Pyrite, Selenite


Where Can I Go Rockhounding in Iowa?

The five best places you can go rockhounding in Iowa are Keokuk Geode Beds, Muscatine and Bells Mill Park, Orient, and Mount Pleasant. These locations are excellent rockhounding spots and worth visiting.


Where Can I Dig for Geodes in Iowa?

The best place to dig for geodes in Iowa is Keokuk Geode Beds. These beds contain large concentrations of an array of geodes, ranging from small to large sizes. This makes it one of the best spots in Iowa.


Condor Agate Rough

Rock And Mineral Societies

Black Hawk Gem & Mineral Society

The Black Hawk Gem & Mineral Society is a non-profit organization that encourages the development of skills in the earth sciences and provides educational opportunities for members.

The society offers educational programs and field trips and hosts annual shows and auctions. It also provides members with access to a variety of resources. Through their activities, the society strives to promote an understanding of the earth sciences and the collection, study, and handling of gems, fossils, and minerals. The membership fees are:

  • Individual $15
  • Individual Senior $10
  • Senior couple $12
  • Family $20


Cedar Valley Rocks & Minerals Society

The Cedar Valley Rocks and Minerals Society offers its members a wide range of activities. The activities include field trips to collect samples, educational lectures from experts in the field, and hands-on workshops for geology and lapidary arts.

The club provides a great opportunity for members to learn more about the fascinating geology, mineralogy, and paleontology science. Members also get to interact with like-minded individuals. The society charges an annual family membership fee of $15.


Mid-America Paleontology Society (MAPS)

MAPS is a regional paleontology organization based in Iowa. The organization strives to provide a forum for exchanging ideas and information among its members. The society promotes public awareness of the importance of paleontology and the study and preservation of fossil records.

Annual membership fees are $20 for individuals or $25 for museums.


Chicauqua Rockhound Society

The Chicauqua Rockhound Society is a long-standing organization in Iowa dedicated to studying and appreciating rocks and minerals. The society meets monthly to discuss mineral identification, rock collecting, and lapidary arts.

Additionally, the society hosts numerous field trips throughout the year. These trips allow members to explore and collect specimens from various geological sites in the area. You can send them an email for more membership information.

Central Iowa Mineral Society (CIMS)

CIMS provides members with educational opportunities and various resources, including field trips, lectures, and workshops. CIMS also hosts an annual show featuring displays of rocks, minerals, and fossils from amateur and professional collectors.

You can send them an email for more membership information.