Dig for Geodes in Dugway, UT
The Dugway Geode Mine in Dugway, Utah is known for producing high-quality geodes filled with druzy quartz crystals. This mine has been written about in rock & mineral magazine and there are multiple YouTube videos showing ordinary rockhounds unearthing unique geodes.
This location is excellent for families, junior rockhounds, and old-timers.
Geodes can be found approximately 1 to 2 miles north/northeast of the turnoff. There are two main collecting areas where geodes can easily be found. Keep in mind, that you’re not limited to these areas so feel free to look around.
Keep reading below to learn more about what to bring, clothing types, and driving directions.
Types of Geodes
Using the right tools when digging for geodes can help you extract the nodules with minimal stress on your hands and fingers! You’ll be digging and collecting two types of geodes.
- Geodes with crystals – You can crack them open with your hammer or take them home to saw them in half with a lapidary saw. You’ll find druzy Quartz crystals and the occasional calcite crystal.
- Geodes (solid) – all is not lost if you don’t have a geode filled with druzy. The solid ones will have banded agate mixed with a brown matrix.
The geodes are fairly easy to recognize due to their spherical shape and lightweight. Most geodes are 2 to 3 inches in diameter and are typically lined with small quartz crystals known as druzy quartz. Some collectors compare it to a sugary appearance.
If you’re diligent and lucky you might take home larger geodes, in the 6-10 inch range.
Tools For Collecting Geodes
If this is your first rock collecting trip then I’d advise you to find an area where previous rockhounds have dug or excavated geodes.
A geode connoisseur will want to pack a variety of tools for this trip. They should have snacks and drinks in case they get thirsty or hungry, as well as buckets for whole and broken geodes collected onsite. Don’t forget about the weather and make sure to dress appropriately.
Must-Have Tools and Accessories
- Big wheeled carts
- 5-gallon buckets
- Thick cardboard trays (Find these at Costco)
- Newspaper for packing
- Hat or sombrero
- Estwing rock hammer
- 3 lb hammer
- Small hand rake
- Small hand shovel
- Small garden tools
- Long pants
- Long sleeve (depends on weather)
- Towels for drying off
- Fresh clothes (you’re going to sweat)
- Functional spare tire
- High-clearance vehicle preferred
Services are nonexistent and bathrooms are nowhere to be found. So, you’ll want to bring everything you need or visit Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge and the gas station in Dugway, Utah before you venture out.
Camping is allowed and free but please be courteous to other people. Avoid camping in the excavation pits.
Most importantly, have fun collecting!
From Salt Lake City take I-80 westbound until you reach the Tooele turnoff (exit 99). Travel south on Highway 36 for about 40.5 miles to the Pony Express Road (which is the dirt road just past Faust). Turn west (right) and proceed 50.1 miles on the Pony Express Road to the Dugway geode bed turnoff. Turn north (right), proceed up the dirt road, and look for recent diggings.
Look for signage as you drive in for pit locations. You will be digging in a soft, unconsolidated material that is susceptible to caving, so please be careful!
Type or copy the GPS coordinates below into your Google or Apple Maps.
Additional dig site information can be found here
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