• Graveyard Point is famous for its unique plume agates
Tucked away in the rugged landscapes of easternmost Oregon in Owyhee Canyon, Graveyard Point beckons with its unique blend of history, mystery, and, of course, rocks! The name comes from the small cemetery in the town of Homedale in Idaho. The Graveyard Point stone monument sits not far from the route to the collecting site.
The area is well-known for its extensive deposit of seam agate found throughout a few hundred acres of high desert and hills. Numerous agate veins formed in basalt cracks can be up to 18 inches thick and up to 40 feet long. The cavities in the cracks are filled with clear chalcedony, plume-like inclusions, and potential black dendrites. Typically, the chalcedony background is clear or light blue but sometimes light amber, reddish, or dark gray specimens can be found.
Most of the area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and open for rock collecting but there are many mining claims. So, watch for posted signs marked by PVC pipes or wooden posts and follow BLM rules and regulations.
Though this site has been very popular for many years, rockhounds can still find excellent specimens.
There are a lot of floats on the surface but for larger and better quality pieces you need to find a vein, grab your geological pick, and do your mining work.
Look where other rockhounds have been digging and check hillsides or veins exposed after closed mine operations.
Besides plume agates, rock collectors can find other varieties of agates, quartz, petrified wood, limb cast, picture jasper, and jasper.
Graveyard Point Camping and Lodging
Primitive camping is allowed throughout BLM land. If you're looking for accommodations near Graveyard Point, you may need to consider options in nearby towns or cities since Graveyard Point itself is a remote and primarily natural area with limited lodging options. Here are some towns and cities nearby where you can find accommodations:
Graveyard Point Rockhounding Area | Facts
Best time: May through October
Managed by: BLM
Rocks & Minerals: Plume agate, other varieties of agates, quartz, petrified wood, limb cast, picture jasper, and jasper
Tools: Shovel, geology pick, hammer, and chisel
Activities: Rockhounding, camping, and wildlife observing
Distance from the parking: Vary
Road access: A high-clearance 4WD vehicle is suggested
Day-use fees: None
Elevation: 2,600 - 2,800 ft (792 - 853 m)
Graveyard Point is located:
- 8 miles southwest of Homedale, ID
- 48 miles west of Boise, ID
- 282 miles east of Bend
- 400 miles southeast of Portland.
Directions to Graveyard Point
Do not rely on Google Map Driving Directions. To get to the public collection area you should drive through Homedale in Idaho.
From Bend in Oregon,
- Take Highway 20 and travel 242 miles east to Glenn Street in Vale
- Turn right onto Glenn Street which becomes Lytle Blvd and follow it for 12.5 miles to Grand Avenue
- Turn left onto Grand Avenue and go 2.9 miles east to Fairview Drive
- Turn right onto Fairview Drive which becomes OR-201 or Succor Creek Highway and travel 17.3 miles to Highway 19 in Idaho
- Continue 5.2 miles east to Highway 95 in Homedale and continue your trip according to the directions listed below.
From Homedale in Idaho,
- Take Highway 95 and follow it 3 miles south to Graveyard Point Road
- Turn right onto Graveyard Point Road and follow for about 4 miles west to Nielsen Lane which becomes Sage Road; for the stone monument, continue 0.5 miles on Graveyard Point Road straight to the monument on the right
- Turn left onto Nielsen Lane (Sage Road) and continue 0.9 miles to a bridge across South Canal
- Cross the bridge; two right and left roads are private drives, so choose the second left dirt road and continue for 2 miles on the main track.
From this point, you can go straight and then northwest along Succor Creek or on the left (south). Explore the desert along the road for floats and old diggings and also check hills and ridges.