Rockhounding is the collection of reasonable amounts of mineral specimens, rocks, semi-precious gems, petrified wood and invertebrate fossils. Invertebrate fossils are the remains of animals that didn't have bones such as shellfish, corals, trilobites and crinoids. The material collected must not be sold or bartered. Arizona has many localities and varieties of collecting material. Not all varieties are found on public lands.
It is a good idea to check land ownership when planning a rockhounding trip. A good place to begin is the local BLM office. If you can point to a location on a topographical map (available at BLM) we can determine if the site is on public lands.
In most instances, public lands are open to rockhounding although no collecting is allowed in National Monuments. BLM can help you make this determination.
Suction Dredging requires permission from the Army Corps of Engineers.  In Phoenix, please call (602) 640-5385.  In Tucson, call (520) 670-5021. Prior to conducting suction dredging on BLM administered lands in Arizona; you will need to file either a notice or plan of operations pursuant to 43 CFR 3809.
For further information, contact your local BLM office or the Phoenix Branch of the Arizona Geological Survey at:

3550 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix AZ 85012
Fax 602-771-1616
Toll free in Arizona 800-446-4259

Rockhounding Information