Rockhound Locations in North Dakota

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

North Dakota Rockhound Locations

North Dakota is a prime location for the traveling rockhound because it’s known for Geodes, Agates, Petrified Wood, Fossils, and gemstones. It’s home to the Badlands and other natural wonders. This can make it a hotspot for tourists, but it’s also a prime location for rockhounds!

There are a couple of downsides to digging for rocks in North Dakota. One of them being the distance between dig sites. You can spend most of your day driving to your dig location so make sure you budget plenty of time.

If you’re an active rock collector in North Dakota 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.

Here are the best rockhound locations in North Dakota!


North Dakota Agate Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Cannonball River46.359562, -100.943060Agate, Chalcedony, Silicified wood, Jasper
Hettinger County, area to N along Thirty Mile Creek46.511677, -102.317031Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Selenite crystals
Richardton, broad area to S46.803138, -102.309746Agate, Chalcedony, Agatized wood, Jasper, Selenite crystals
Hettinger along Cedar Creek46.188261, -102.580192Agatized wood
Medora, Badlands area46.923258, -103.492096Agate, Chalcedony, Silicified wood
Bismark along Missouri River46.759662, -100.835550Agate, Chalcedony, Silicified wood, Jasper
McKenzie County47.982414, -103.839103Montana Moss Agate, Jasper, Silicified wood
Little Missouri River47.523954, -103.452108Montana Moss Agate, Jasper, Agatized wood
Mandan area gravels46.817356, -100.935263Agate, Chalcedony, Silicified wood
Dickinson area46.870607, -102.692408Agate, Chalcedony
Williams County48.115395, -103.707911Montana Moss Agate, Red Jasper, Yellow Jasper


Cannonball River is located near the Sioux Nation and Badlands National Park. It’s a small tributary of the Missouri River, which is a mineral-rich spot with a lot of variety.

Rock hunters can find Agate, Chalcedony, and Quartz in this small river.

Lisbon City is a small, rural city in Ransom County. It’s at the halfway mark between southern and central North Dakota.

Petrified wood is plentiful here, and you can also find Quartz and Agates!

Hettinger is a small county located on the border of South Dakota. It has a municipal airport and several of the main highways crossing through it.

You can find Petrified Wood, Jasper, and Chalcedony.

Turtle Mountain Plateau is located on the border of Manitoba to the north. The mountains are rather extensive and stretch up into Canada.

Rock hunters can hope to find Quartz, Chalcedony, and Agate.

The Little Missouri River flows through the Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The river carries heavy loads of sediment down from the mountains, which is great for rock hunting.


Red and Yellow Jasper


Rockhounds should find Agate, Jasper, and Petrified Wood.

Williams County borders Montana to the West. It’s a fairly large North Dakota county with over 40,000 residents.

This is a good spot to find spotted Agate and Red Jasper.


North Dakota Fossil Maps

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Sheyenne River47.831840, -98.935349Petrified wood, Fossils
Tongue River48.739915, -97.931848Fossils
Souris River48.114986, -100.801942Fossils
Tappen area46.879594, -99.456907Fossils


Southern North Dakota is a good place for fossil enthusiasts. This is home to the Badlands and fossil-rich outcrops.

There are laws regulating what kinds of fossils you collect. However, collectors are able to take small quantities of fossils from these sites.

Northern North Dakota is the most mountainous region of the State. The Blue Mountains, Devil’s Lake Mountain, and Lookout Buttes exist throughout the northern region of the State.

It’s a good spot to find quartz, fossils, and other metamorphic and igneous rocks.

Western North Dakota houses many national and state parks. These open spaces are great for finding fossils and other rare specimens.


North Dakota Gem Mining Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Stanley48.403310, -102.480826Glauberite, Halite, Thenardite
Tongue River48.739915, -97.931848Calcite crystals
Turtle Mountain48.815549, -99.921653Quartz gemstones


The Souris or Mouse River actually starts up in Canada. It’s known by both names but is usually called Mouse River in the USA and Souris in Canada.

Quartz, Jasper, and other crystals are the most abundant gems found here.

The Tongue River borders Minnesota to the East. There are several Native American reservations near this area, so be careful not to trespass.

You can find Calcite and Agate in this region of North Dakota.


fairburn agate rough


Is It Legal to Collect Fossils in North Dakota?

Hobby and scientific collecting are permitted in North Dakota. However, if you’re collecting large quantities for research, you must get a permit at the local government office. Commercial collecting is prohibited since the Parks Department forbids collecting large quantities from quarries.

How Do You Travel Safely Through The Badlands?

The safest way to travel through the Badlands is in a vehicle. But this can make rockhounding a little difficult. Your best bet is to find the locations you wish to explore and plot out your trip before leaving.

The Badlands can be dangerous if you explore them without proper planning. They’re large, and you don’t want to get lost while traveling.

To be safe, travel with a group, use a car, and plan your trip. Bring a paper map as well since your GPS might not work in some areas.

Rock And Mineral Societies


Central Dakota Gem & Mineral Society

The Central Dakota Gem and Mineral Society don’t have its monthly meeting dates listed on its website. If you want up-to-date information on upcoming events and meetings, check out their Facebook page


Paul Broste Rock Museum

The Paul Broste Rock Museum isn’t a mineral club. However, it is an excellent place to visit to gain a better understanding of the local geography.