BLM’s public lands offer amateur and aspiring geologists alike outstanding opportunities to explore unique landscape features and study the physical evidence of eons of earth’s processes. Scablands, badlands, cliffs, canyons, craters, pinnacles, arches, hoodoos—you name it, chances are you’ll find it on the public lands! There are also grand opportunities for rockhounding: at some BLM sites, recreational collectors may gather small numbers of rocks, semi-precious gemstones, and petrified wood specimens. (Note: be sure to contact your local BLM office for guidelines and restrictions before removing anything from public lands.)
In addition, the public lands are invaluable sources of non-energy solid minerals, such as metals, phosphate, and construction materials, which are critical to the vitality of our nation’s top industries.
Recreational Gold Panning and Rockhounding
Find out where you can go and what you can collect and learn about mining history in Alaska.
From semi-precious gems to invertebrate fossils to petrified wood—learn the do’s and don’ts of collecting in Arizona.
Links to sites in California where recreational rockhounding and gold panning opportunities are available.
Unique Geologic Landscapes