Black Hills Rockhound Area
This rockhound area makes a great day adventure for rock collectors. The principal attraction for rock collectors here is fire agate. Fire agate is a relatively new gemstone, only identified and formally recognized in the 1930s. It has the color play of precious opal with gem quality reds, greens, and blues.
The desert regions of Arizona, southern California, and central Mexico are the only areas of the world where fire agate is known to occur. Although its origin is unknown, it is always associated with volcanic deposits.
The site is open for digging by the public without fees or permits. Camping throughout the area is allowed for up to two weeks.
Black Hills rockhound area is located on the north side of Arizona route 191, between Safford and Clifton, about 18 miles north of Safford. Access is easiest from U.S. Highway 191, just east of milepost 141.