Malheur & Owyhee Rockhounding Sites – Eastern Oregon

Malheur & Owyhee Rockhounding Sites
Owyhee Reservoir

 




Succor Creek Canyon

Rocks & Minerals: Thunderegg, Jasper, Agate, Leaf Fossils, Petrified Wood
Tools: Rock hammers, picks, and shovels
County: Malheur
Managed: Oregon State Park and BLM
Road Access: From Adrian - almost any vehicle; From Jordan Valley - a high-clearance vehicle is recommended. Wet weather conditions make Succor Creek Road impassable.
Locations & GPS: Succor Creek State Natural Area (43.45380, -117.1202), Succor Creek Canyon (43.4881, -117.1322), near Rockville School (43.319, -117.1175)

Succor Creek State Natural Area. From Adrian, take OR 201 south and follow 8.5 miles. Turn right onto Succor Creek Road and continue 15.5 miles to the destination. From Jordan Valley, follow 27 miles via US 95 north, turn left onto Mc Bridge Road in Idaho and go 8.5 miles to Succor Creek Road in Oregon, turn right and then again right, drive 11.5 miles onto Succor Creek Road to the destination.

The scenic rocky Succor Creek Canyon is known as a rockhound's paradise. The official state rock of Oregon, thunder eggs, filled with agates and other minerals, can be found in the Succor Creek State Natural Area. Cross the bridge and search on the hillside and gravel deposits along the creek. This deposit is a very large and, typically, thunder eggs are averagely sized up to apple. But some of the specimens can exceed hundreds of pounds! Typically, they are mostly filled with white and clear agate with inclusions of black dendrites, green moss or golden plume. Limited souvenir collecting is permitted in the State Park area.

At the site near Rockville School, you can find thundereggs, petrified wood, agate, and Jasper. There are other productive rockhounding sites along Succor Creek Canyon, where you can find petrified wood, agate, jasper, picture jasper, and fossils.



Leslie Gulch - Owyhee Reservoir

Rocks & Minerals: Agate, Jasper
Tools: Geology pick 
County: Malheur
Managed: BLM
Road Access: A high-clearance vehicle is recommended. Wet weather conditions make the road impassable.
GPS: 43.3217, -117.3257

From Jordan Valley, follow 27 miles via US 95 north, turn left onto Mc Bridge Road in Idaho and go 8.5 miles to Succor Creek Road in Oregon. Turn right and then again right, drive 1.5 miles to Leslie Gulch Road, turn left and follow next 14.2 miles to the destination.

Oregon Rockhounding Map

Oregon Rockhounding Map




Negro Rock - near Owyhee Reservoir

Rocks & Minerals: Petrified wood
Tools: Rock hammers, picks, and shovels
County: Malheur
Managed: BLM
Road Access: A high-clearance vehicle is recommended. Wet weather conditions make the road impassable.
GPS: 43.6946, -117.4161

From Harper, take US 20 east and drive for about 14.4 miles to Rock Canyon Road. Turn south onto Bishop Road and after 1.2 miles turn right onto Rock Canyon Road and go for 17.6 miles. Continue straight (ignore the two left branches), after 0.6 miles go slight left and follow 0.9 miles to the destination on the right.

This site offers petrified wood, scarce but of high quality. Diggings is located on the hillside.



Twin Springs - near Owyhee Reservoir

Rocks & Minerals: Agate, Jasper, Geode, Petrified Wood
Tools: Rock hammers, picks, and shovels
County: Malheur
Managed: BLM
Road Access: A high-clearance vehicle is recommended. Wet weather conditions make the road impassable.
GPS: 43.6946, -117.4161

This site is located 6.5 miles south of Negro Rock. Drive from Negro Rock 1 mile southeast to Twin Springs Road, turn right and continue 5.5 miles to the Twin Springs Campground on the left. From Nyssa, take OR 201 south and drive about 8 miles to Owyhee Avenue. Turn left onto Mitchell Butte Road and go 1.9 miles, turn left onto P Line, continue 3.4 miles onto P Line/Chalk Butte. Turn left and go onto Shell Rock for 2.9 miles to the fork, take right branch for next 2.4 miles to Twin Springs Road. Turn left and continue 12.7 miles to Twin Springs Campground on the left.



Haystack Rock - near Owyhee Reservoir

Rocks & Minerals: Petrified Wood, Agate, Jasper
Tools: Rock hammers, picks, and shovels
County: Malheur
Managed: BLM
Road Access: A high-clearance vehicle is recommended. Wet weather conditions make the road impassable.
GPS: 43.7077, -117.2541

From Nyssa, take OR 201 south and drive about 8 miles to Owyhee Avenue. Turn left onto Mitchell Butte Road and go about 8 miles to Haystack Rock Road, continue next 1.4 miles. GPS coordinates: 43.7077, -117.2541 This site has long been a favorite destination among rock collectors. Numbers of rockhound trails will bring you to collecting sites.

Petrified wood, jasper, agate, and jasper with agate can be found here.

Beulah Reservoir - near Juntura

Rocks & Minerals: Leaf and Fish Fossils, Agate, and Jasper
Tools: Rock hammers, picks, and shovels
County: Malheur
Managed: BLM
Road Access: A high-clearance vehicle is recommended

From Burns or Juntura, drive onto US 20 to Beulah Road (the western end of Juntura). Turn north onto Beulah Road and drive 14.5 miles to Agency Mountain Road (the south edge of the reservoir). Turn left onto Agency Mountain Road and cross the dam. The parking area is on the right.

Beautiful Beulah Reservoir near Juntura is famous for its great fossilized leaves. Here also you can find fish fossils, agate, and jasper. The collecting site is located on the southeastern shore of the reservoir.



McDermitt - Oregon | Nevada Border

Rocks & Minerals: Petrified Wood, Agate, Opalized Wood
Tools: Rock hammers, picks, and shovels
County: Malheur
Managed: BLM
Road Access: A high-clearance vehicle is recommended. Wet weather conditions make the road impassable.
Locations & GPS: Agate Hills (42.0245, -117.8675), Agate Flat (42.0249, -117.8676), Cottonwood Spring (42.0271, -117.9277), White Hill (42.0614, -117.9469), Gopher Holes (42.0615, -117.9628)

 Agate Hill. From McDermit, follow west onto Cordero Mine Road for 4.3 miles and then turn onto Disaster Pick Road. Continue onto Disaster Pick Road west for 4 miles. Take a dirt way just before the cattle guard and drive uphill for next 0.3 miles or leave your car downhill.

 Agate Flat. From the cattle guard, drive 2.2 miles west along Disaster Pick Road to a flat parking area on the left.

Cottonwood Spring. From Agate Flat, continue for 0.8 miles west on Disaster Pick Road to a dirt Archie Myers Ranch Road, turn left and go 0.2 miles to the parking area just before the creek.

White Hill. From Cottonwood Springs, follow 2.6 miles onto Archie Myers Ranch Road. The White Hill collecting site is on the right.

Gopher Holes. From White Hill, continue 1.2 miles onto Archie Myers Ranch Road. Collecting sites are located along the road.

The hilly areas near the town of McDermitt on the Oregon side have numerous productive rockhounding sites. There are several petrified wood deposits including  Agate Flat, Cottonwood Spring, White Hill, and Gopher Holes. White and tan agates with black dendrites can be found on Agate Hill. Agatized wood can be collected at the Agate Flat site. Opalized wood is found at the Cottonwood Spring site.



Graveyard Point - Oregon | Idaho Border

Rocks & Minerals: Plum and Moss Agate, Angel Wing Agate
Tools: Rock hammers, picks, and shovels
County: Owyhee | Malheur
Managed: BLM
Road Access: A high-clearance vehicle is recommended. Wet weather conditions make the road impassable.
Locations & GPS: Graveyard Point Marker (43.5597, -117.0104), Sage Road (43.574, -117.0218)

Graveyard Point Marker. From Homedale in Idaho, take US 95 south and drive 2.5 miles to Graveyard Point Road. Turn right onto Graveyard Point Road and drive 4.5 miles then turn left and you will see a footbridge. Park your car, walk across the bridge. The trail will bring you to the collecting area.

Sage Road. From Homedale in Idaho, take US 95 south and drive 2.5 miles to Graveyard Point Road. Turn right onto Graveyard Point Road and drive 3.9 miles, then turn left onto Sage Road. Continue onto Sage Road for 0.9 miles to the bridge, cross the canal and take the second left branch. Find the parking area.

Graveyard Point rockhounding sites are known for excellent plum agates with pink yellow, and red inclusions. Moss, dendritic, angel wing and other varieties of agate can be found here as well. Beware of private claims.




Marli B. Miller. Roadside Geology of Oregon. 2014. Mountain Press Publishing Company Missoula, Montana.
William A. Kappele. Rockhounding Nevada: A Guide to the State's Best Rockhounding Sites. 2010. A Falcon Guide.
Lars Johnson. Rockhounding Oregon: A Guide to the State's Best Rockhounding Sites (Rockhounding Series). 2014. A Falcon Guide.
William A. Kappele. Rockhounding Nevada: A Guide To The State's Best Rockhounding Sites (Rockhounding Series). 2011. A Falcon Guide.
Dan R. Lynch, Bob Lynch. Rocks & Minerals of Washington and Oregon: A Field Guide to the Evergreen and Beaver States (Rocks & Minerals Identification Guides). 2012.




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