Rockhound Locations in South 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 South 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 South 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.

South Dakota Rockhound Locations

South Dakota is a paradise for rockhounds and I’ve done by best to provide multiple locations and dig sites for you to visit and collect Agates, Crystals, and Gemstones.

If you’ve never visited South Dakota or you’re just starting to research possible locations for rock collecting then you need to know South Dakota is rarely visited by out-of-state rockhounds and that’s a shame.

South Dakota has plenty of rocks and minerals for junior rockhounds and seasoned rock collectors to unearth and add to their collections.

Don’t forget to visit The National Rockhound and Lapidary Hall of Fame.

There are various places to explore throughout the state. That said, let’s get into some of the best rockhound locations in South Dakota.


South Dakota Agate Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Buffalo Gap43.488711, -103.434189Fairfield Agates
Fairburn area 43.771288, -103.359953Agate
Cheyenne River43.602830, -103.023032Fairburn Agate
Hell Canyon43.749351, -103.842053Agate, Jasper, Geodes
Pringle, S to Minnekahta43.552283, -103.627933Fairhill Agates
Pleasant Valley Creek43.555174, -103.721142Agate, Jasper, Geodes
Ardmore43.010701, -103.469124Fairburn Agate, Jasper, Chalcedony
Oelrichs43.125611, -103.166915Fairburn Agates, Jasper
Oelrichs43.201047, -102.880627Agates
Camp Crook45.552540, -103.965000Moss Agate, Chalcedony
Cheyenne River gravels43.674132, -102.899086Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper


Black Hills is a location every rock collector should visit because it has so many dig sites and gravel beds to collect in. This area is known for Fairburn Agates. However, they aren’t easy to find but they’re worth the effort. Their rarity is part of what makes Fairburn Agates so unique. 

Here is a short list of minerals you can collect:

  • Copper
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Feldspar
  • Beryl
  • Quartz Crystals

The TeePee Canyon Agate Beds are excellent places for rock collecting and geode hunting. While the Fairburn agate might expose itself to a lucky few, this rockhound location is an ideal place to find geodes.


South Dakota Gemstone Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Wagner, in road cuts43.111532, -98.105296Selenite Roses
Elm Creek43.565774, -99.305883Barite
November Mine43.837290, -103.543111Arsenopyrite, Fluorapatite
Tin Mountain43.755743, -103.720087Fluorapatite, Quartz crystals, Garnet, Tourmaline, Zircon
Tepee Canyon43.552808, -103.945381Beryl, Almandine Garnet, Lepidolite, Staurolite, Tourmaline
Broken Boot Gold Mine44.370711, -103.742323Galena, Pyrite, Sphalerite


If you’re interested in digging for Rose Quartz, Railroad Buttes is an ideal location for you. Agatized Wood, Quartz crystals, and Petrified Wood can be found in the beds along Highway 44. 

The Railroad Buttes location is incredibly stunning, with colorful hills throughout the terrain and the peaks of the Badlands as a stunning backdrop. Not only is rockhounding permitted here, but so is camping, which allows for multiple days of exploration.

There are various rocks and minerals to find at this location, including:

The Buffalo Gap National Grasslands is an excellent place for anyone interested in minerals, rocks, fossils, and gemstones. While rockhounding is permitted all over the National Grasslands before you head out, talk to park rangers or local park authorities to learn more.

Every type of Agate in South Dakota can be found in the Buffalo Gap National Grassland’s Agate beds but don’t forget about the Quartz crystals and rare fossils.


South Dakota Crystal Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Piedmont area44.232323, -103.368109Selenite crystals
Savoy area44.359857, -103.913828Gold, Fluorite
Spearfish Canyon44.347007, -103.924400Amethyst Geodes, Silicified wood
Whitewood Creek44.546481, -103.563935Amethyst Geodes
Meade Coutny44.239986, -103.151659Barite Crystals
Scenic area ravines43.752248, -102.496600Chalcedony, Carnelian, Aquamarine, Beryl, Garnet, Jasper, Agate
Pennington County44.107904, -103.024467Amethyst
Hill City43.933294, -103.594066Beryl, Cassiterite, Wolframite
Rattlesnake Butte44.949626, -101.859223Calcite crystals
Keystone area43.894977, -103.417345Tourmaline, Spodumene, Lepidolite, Beryl


Rush Mountain Adventure Park might not sound like a typical rock-hounding location, but it is.

The Gemstone Mining portion of the park features an area where people can sift through the sand and dirt in an actual sluice box. You’ll find various minerals, fossils, gems, and arrowheads. It’s more of a learning experience for young rockhounds.

They can compare their findings with photographs to identify their specimens.

It’s an excellent hands-on experience for the whole family. No worries, the treasures unearthed get to go home with you.

Big Thunder Gold Mine is a fantastic place to advance your knowledge and understanding of golding mining and panning for gold. It’s genuinely an excellent, rock-hounding experience for the entire family.

Big Thunder is located in Keystone, South Dakota and the mine tour allows visitors to pan for actual gold.

Regardless of where you go rockhounding in South Dakota, you’re bound to find some South Dakota Agates.

Knowing where to dig and explore for rocks and minerals will make your next trip a success. That is why I highly recommend you reach out to the local rock and mineral clubs. They’re an excellent way to meet people and learn more about rockhounding in South Dakota.


South Dakota Agatized Wood Map

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Mission, Little White River43.306566, -100.882797Opalized wood, Agatized wood
Mobridge45.520158, -100.412462Opalized wood, Agatized wood
Ardmore, badlands43.010701, -103.469124Agatized wood
Parker Peak43.405267, -103.675333Agatized wood, Silicified wood

Rock And Mineral Societies

South Dakota is a beautiful state with numerous rockhound locations to explore. They also have a couple of excellent rockhound societies in South Dakota worth looking into. Why go exploring alone when you could be with a group of incredible people?


Sioux Empire Gem & Mineral Society

The Sioux Empire Gem and Mineral Society is a family-friendly, non-profit organization that started in 1964. SEGAMS activities include educational outreach, monthly programs, public events, and club outings.

They’re members of the Midwest Federation of Mineralogical and Geological Societies and the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies. Members are eligible for scholarships, as well as other merit programs, through the two affiliated societies.

Individual memberships are $20, and family memberships are $30.


Western Dakota Gem & Mineral Society

The Western Dakota Gem and Mineral Society is a non-profit organization interested in education in mineralogy, geology, archeology, paleontology, and the lapidary arts. The club meets on the second Thursday of every month, with snacks and door prizes at every meeting.

Single memberships are $15, and family memberships are $20.

Becoming a member of rockhound clubs and societies opens the door to so much incredible information and experience. Whether you’re a newbie to the scene or if you’ve been involved with rockhounding for years, there’s something new to learn all the time.