U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Barstow Field Office|
California's geological forces have created one of the widest varieties of rocks and minerals found in any state. This rock and mineral wealth has long been recognized by rockhounds even before the gold rush days.
By the 1930s, interest in rockhounding increased significantly and it was during this period that rockhounding groups were formed and collecting areas in the desert were publicized.
Visitors to the Mojave Desert often ask where they can rockhound. Perhaps the best source of information is rock, gem, and mineral groups found in communities throughout southern California. Libraries, bookstores, and "gem and mineral shows" are also very good sources of published information. Although any hill, mountain, or wash can provide some wonderful rock and mineral discoveries, the following listed areas are some of the well-known sites visited by rockhounds in which good samples can still be found.
Many rockhounding sites require hiking or driving to remote areas on sandy or rocky roads where there is a possibility of getting stuck. It is always a good idea to travel in a group and to bring plenty of drinking water with you when traveling in the desert. If you must travel alone, be sure to let someone know of your plans. Remember to stay on designated open roads. Cross country travel is illegal, as is driving in designated Wilderness Areas.
Rules and Regulations
Regulations do not allow collecting on "developed recreation sites and areas," or where otherwise prohibited or posted. Care should be exercised not to collect minerals on mining claims. Most claimants will allow rockhounding if the individual interested in rock collecting first asks permission. Remember, it is your responsibility to determine if an area is open to collection or if you are on private land.
Rock for Decorative Purposes
California Desert District Office, 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos,
Barstow Field Office, 2601 Barstow Rd., Barstow, CA 92311 - (760) 252-6000
Needles Field Office, 101 W. Spikes Rd., Needles, CA 92363 - (760) 326-7000
Ridgecrest Field Office, 300 S. Richmond Rd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555 - (760) 384-5400
Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office, 1201 Bird Center Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262 - (760) 833-7100
El Centro Field Office, 1661 South 4th, El Centro, CA 92243 - (760) 337-4400
2. Mule Canyon - 3 miles north of Yermo . Agate . Borax . Celestite . Jasper . Olivine . Petrified Wood . Satin Spar . Silver . Travertine . Olivine
3. Alvord Mine - 7 miles north of Manix via dirt road . Agate . Calcite . Chalcedony . Jasper . Pyrite
4. Pisgah Crater - 1 mile south of Interstate-40 off of Historic Route 66 . Lava . Volcanic Bombs
5. Cady Mountains - 6 miles north of Pisgah via dirt road . Agate . Chalcedony . Geodes . Jasper
6. Afton Canyon - 1 miles southeast of Afton off ramp via dirt road . Agate . Calcite . Chalcedony . Jasper . Nodules
7. Broadwell Dry Lake - 6 miles north of Ludlow via Crucero Road; west to hilly area . Banded Agate . Moss Agate . Geodes . Jasper . Onyx
8. Halloran Spring - Turquoise Mountain North of Halloran Springs . Azurite . Turquoise