Sunstone Collection Area
Overview:The Oregon Sunstone Public Collection Area allows visitors to enjoy collecting these rare and beautiful gems in their natural setting. Located in the remote Rabbit Basin, the Oregon Sunstone Public Collection Area is in the high desert habitat of sagebrush and open spaces of south-central Oregon.
Know Before You Go:
- The boundaries of the Oregon Sunstone Public Collection Area are marked by orange plastic posts that say ‘Oregon Sunstone Public Collection Area,’ and corners are marked with large Bureau of Land Management triangles on wooden posts.
- There are many private mining claims surrounding the public collection area and several within it. Collecting Sunstones from a private claim without permission is not allowed and may result in legal penalties. Please take the time to know where you are before collecting.
- Due to the isolated location, rock hounds visiting the collection area should be well prepared. The only facilities available at the site are a pit toilet, picnic tables, and a shade structure. You are welcome to camp anywhere within the Oregon Sunstone Public Collection Area.
Point of Interest:Sunstones are feldspar crystals that formed in lava. Thirteen to fourteen million years ago, a volcano in Steens Mountain erupted, pouring out massive amounts of lava. The lava flow was subsequently covered by a vast lake and remained underwater for thousands of years. As the lake gradually dried up, the exposure to weather caused the lava to decompose and reveal loose sunstones.
For southbound travelers on Highway 395: From Highway 395, turn left (east) onto Country Road 3-10 (the Hogback Road). Stay on the Hogback Road for 20.2 miles until you can turn left on County Road 3-11. Drive Ѕ mile and turn left onto BLM Road 6155. Remain on the 6155 road for about 8 ј miles then turn left onto BLM Road 6115. Follow the 6115 road for about 5 miles until you can turn right onto BLM Road 6195 and see the entrance sign for the Sunstone Collection Area.