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Rockhounding and Other Recreational or Hobby Collecting Oregon/Washington BLM

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

Rockhounding and Other Recreational or Hobby Collecting

The following rockhounding sites are shown in detail on the Central Oregon Rockhounding Map. Access is often on primitive roads that may be impassible during wet or wintery conditions.

Petrified Wood

Bear Creek (Petrified Wood)

Road Access: Not Maintained
Site Information: Muddy when wet; 4-Wheel Drive vehicle is recommended

Directions: Take Hwy 27 (Main Street) south from Prineville 33 miles to Bear Creek Road. Be careful not to confuse this road with the nearby Little Bear Creek Road. Turn left on Bear Creek Road, travel 5.2 miles and turn left again on a primitive road. At 0.1 miles, the road will fork. Go to the right, through the gate and travel 0.2 miles to the next fork in the road. Go to the right 0.5 miles to the first collection site or go to the left 3.2 miles to the second collection site.

Historic Agate Collecting

Eagle Rock (Various Agates)

Road Access: Not Maintained
Site Information: Seasonal Road Closure (Road closed May 1 through November 30)

Directions: Take Combs Flat Road (Hwy 380) out of Prineville and travel 14.5 miles to Eagle Rock. Just past Eagle Rock, turn right on a gravel road, go about 100 feet and turn left just past the cattle guard. Follow this road 1 mile to where it splits. Stay to the right and continue 0.4 miles to the next split in the road. Go to the left and park at the base of the hill. The road is closed beyond this point. Follow the road on foot up the hill about 0.25 miles to the collection site.

Hampton Butte (Petrified Wood)

Road Access: Maintained County Road
Site Information: Hike-in access off the County Road

Directions: Take Combs Flat Road (Hwy 380) east from Prineville and drive to Camp Creek Road between mileposts 43 and 44 and turn right. After traveling a distance of 11.4 miles, there will be a fork in the road. Stay on Camp Creek Road by keeping to the right and travel another 3.7 miles to where the pavement ends. Continue 1.5 miles to Van Lake Road, turn left and drive 8.7 miles to SE Price-Twelve Mile Road. Turn left and travel 2 miles to the collection site and park. Material can be found on both sides of the road for the next 0.5 miles.

Jaspar

North Ochoco Reservoir (Agate and Jasper)

Road Access: Hike in access
Site Information: Park away from Highway edge

Directions: Take Hwy 26 east from Prineville and turn left on a gravel road just a few hundred feet before milepost 26. Once on the gravel road, travel about 50 feet and turn left again on a dirt road. After the first few hundred feet, the road widens into an area to park. From the parking area, hike west toward the east-facing cliffs. When at the base of the cliffs, follow them north while looking in the talus (rockfall) piles for jasper and quartz.

Limb Casts

Congleton Hollow (Limb Casts)

Road Access: Not Maintained
Site Information: Muddy when wet; 4-Wheel Drive vehicle is recommended

Directions: From Prineville, follow Combs Flat Road (Hwy 3800 to milepost 51 and turn right on Congleton Hollow Road. At a distance of 3.9 miles, a primitive road to the left leads to one of the collecting areas. Drive on this road 0.4 miles and find a place to park. Material can be collected from the hill to the right (south) and the slopes across the creek to the left (north). To get to the next site, travel another 0.3 miles on Congleton Hollow Road and there will be a turnout just past the small concrete bridge. Material can be found on the slopes on both sides of the road. To get to the last site, take the left fork of the road just past the turnout and follow it 0.4 miles to the top of the hill where additional material can be obtained.

Fisher Canyon (Agate, Jasper and Petrified Wood)

Road Access: Not Maintained
Site Information: Muddy when wet; 4-Wheel Drive vehicle is recommended

Directions: From Prineville, travel 30.7 miles south on Hwy 27 (Main Street) and turn left on a primitive road. This road is 0.1 miles south of Salt Creek Road. Drive about 0.2 miles to the collection site. Agate, petrified wood, jasper, and calcite can be found on the mesa north of the road.

Maury Mountains (Moss Agate)

Road Access: Maintained
Site Information: Snow may temporarily block access

Directions: Take Combs Flat Road (Hwy 380) east from Prineville and drive to milepost 33. From there, turn right on Forest Service Road 16 and drive approximately 4.3 miles to Road 1690 and turn right again. Proceed 0.5 miles to a fork in the road. Stay to the right and continue 0.2 miles to the collection site. There will be a Forest Service sign marking the agate beds.

Thunder Eggs

Whistler Springs (Thunder Eggs)

Road Access: Maintained
Site Information: Snow may temporarily block access

Directions: Take Hwy 26 from Prineville to milepost 49 and continue another 0.3 miles. Turn left on Forest Service Road 27. Continue about 6 miles and turn left on Road 2700-050. Travel a few tenths of a mile past the campground to the collection site. Diggings from previous rock collections will be visible on both sides of the road. Watch for the Mill Creek Wilderness signs at the south end of the collection area.

Dendrite Butte (Limb Casts)

Road Access: Not Maintained
Site Information: Muddy when wet; 4-Wheel Drive vehicle is recommended

Directions: From Prineville, take Combs Flat Road (Hwy 380) to Camp Creek Road between mileposts 43 and 44. Turn right on Camp Creek Road and travel 9 miles to road 6574 and turn left. Note that there is a rock quarry a few tenths of a mile before this turn-off. Continue 1.9 miles on road 6574 to a junction, and stay to the left. Travel 1.7 miles to a fork in the road and proceed to the right. Drive 0.5 miles to the next fork in the road and go to the left. Continue 1.1 miles to the first collecting site. There will be diggings visible from both sides of the road at this location. To get to the next collecting site, drive another 0.7 miles and turn left on a primitive road. Follow this road 0.5 miles to a gate and park. Material can be gathered on the gentle slopes north and west of this location.

Glass Buttes Obsidian

Glass Butte (Obsidian)

Road Access: Not maintained
Site Information: Very muddy when wet. 4 wheel drive vehicle recommended. During wet conditions, these roads may be impassible. The naturally occurring glass in the area increases the possibility of flat tires on these roads. For more information on Glass Buttes (link to specific Glass Buttes info and Map)

Directions: Glass Butte is located on the south side of State Highway 20 between Bend and Burns. The best way to reach the area is by turning south off Hwy 20 at mile post 77 (13 miles past Hampton). For directions to specific collection sites, refer to the Central Oregon Rockhounding Map. Dispersed camping is permitted; however, there are no developed facilities. All accessible springs in the area are located on private land. When visiting the area, practice "leave no trace" camping techniques including packing out your trash, burying human waste (6" to 8" deep), and staying on existing roads and in existing primitive camping areas. Check with the Prineville District BLM for current fire restrictions before you plan your visit.

Glass Butte is a Rhyolitic Dome created approximately 4.9 million years ago. Elevations range from 4,700 feet near State Highway 20 to 6,400 feet at the top of Glass Butte. Juniper, mountain mahogany, sagebrush and a variety of grasses and forbs are found in the area. Wildlife such as mule deer, antelope, elk, golden eagles, Canadian geese, rabbits and snakes are all seen in the area. Cattle graze on the buttes during certain times of the year.

Approximately 36 square miles of BLM-administered lands surrounding Glass Butte are designated a rockhound recreation area. As the name implies, this butte is associated with obsidian.

There are a few obsidian claims in the Glass Buttes area that were grandfathered in prior to 1966. For the exact location of a claim, look for the claim markers on the ground. Digging on other people's claims, even if you are interested in other minerals than those in the claim, requires the mining claimant's permission. The claimants in this area have been receptive to people removing obsidian from their claims, as long as the claimants aren't actively working their claims with heavy equipment.

White Fir Springs (Jasper Thunder Eggs)

Road Access: Maintained
Site Information: Snow may temporarily block access

Directions: Take Hwy 26 east out of Prineville and drive 0.3 miles past milepost 41. Turn left onto Forest Service Road 3350 and drive approximately 4.8 miles to the collection site. Turn right on Road 3350-010. Drive or hike this road about 100 yards to the collection site.