Round Mountain Rockhound Area

Map (pdf)

Visitor Information

The road beyond the registry station is not regularly maintained, and use by passenger car or travel trailer is not recommended.

Water is not available.  Livestock and wildlife water has been developed at several locations, but human consumption is not advisable.

Rockhounds, both as individuals and collectively as members of clubs, pride themselves on their good manners in the field.  They know that maintaining their good reputation is important in order to keep the welcome mat out at the many popular "digs."  Demonstrate individual and club pride by complying with the rules and practicing good rockhound ethics.

Fire Agate

Agate, probably the most common and variable gemstone available in this area, is a variety of silica formed by volcanic activity.  A multitude of shaped and colors are caused by mineral impurities in the silica.  It is these impurities which make the fire agate distinctive.  Fire agate is considered a gemstone because of the play of colors beneath its surface that is formed much as a pearl is formed in the oyster.  Volcanic water seeps into cracks and crevices below the earth's surface.  The impact of the water drops separate some minerals from the water; the mineral stays and the agate grows.  Fire agates are said to offer all the fiery color of gem opals, are less costly, are superior in hardness, and will not fade.

Be Careful With Fire

Although lightening causes many fires on public land, often the most disastrous and damaging fires to resources and property are those caused by careless persons.  Rangelands can be destroyed by thoughtlessness or indifference on the part of anyone - hunter, camper, local resident or traveler.  It is up to all of us to protect our lands from fire.  So, please crush out your smokes and drown your campfires.


Rockhounding, like most other outdoor activities, is not without certain hazards.  Rattlesnakes may be found in certain areas during the warm months.  Watch out for them in rock slides and around damp areas, under old buildings and ledges, etc.  Prompt medical attention is always advisable if bitten.

Rockhounds may unknowingly create hazards through careless digging.  Deep or steep-sided pits or trenches should be filled upon completion of digging, as they pose a hazard to both man and beast.

Rockhounding Rules

  • Restrict vehicular travel to the existing roads.  Damage to vegetation and soil will result from off-road vehicular travel.
  • Travel on dirt roads is not advised in wet weather.  Roads may become impassable and are very susceptible to erosion when rutted by vehicles in wet weather.
  • Leave all gates as you find them. 
  • Deposit refuse in litter barrels.  Do not bury it.  Coyotes and other wild animals dig up buried refuse and scatter it over the countryside. 
  • Please camp at the identified campsites, or at least 1/4 mile from water, to avoid conflicts with wildlife or livestock use (in accordance with State law).  Avoid contamination of wells, creeks, or other water supplies. 
  • Sanitary facilities are not provided.  Latrines should be at least 3 to 4 feet deep and located a compatible distance from camping areas and away from water or depressions where water may collect or run.  Cover them completely before leaving. 
  • Dumping sewage from self-contained camping units is prohibited.  This should be taken care of at appropriate facilities before entering, or after leaving this area. 
  • Obey all signs.  Respect private property and all improvements.  The land you travel over is used for many purposes other than recreation.  Avoid driving over surface pipelines.
  • Please do not molest wildlife or livestock.
  • Use firearms safely.  Dense vegetation hides livestock, wildlife and other rockhounders.
  • The use of explosives for digging purposes is not allowed.

  Safford Field Office
711 14th Avenue
Safford, AZ 85546-3337
Phone: (928) 348-4400
Fax: (928) 348-4450
Field Manager:  Scott Cooke
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., M-F

Rockhounding Information

fire agate