Hampton Butte has long been a popular collecting site for rockhounds who are interested to find petrified wood with a unique green color. The 120-acre rockhounding area, located 12 miles northeast of Highway 20 near the unincorporated community of Brothers, is listed on the Central Oregon Rockhounding Map which is available for purchase.
The specimens here are white, gray, black, and yellow but the most prized ones range from turquoise to dark green colors that are probably caused by iron or copper inclusions. The wood appears as petrified wood or limb casts where original structures were replaced by agate, jasper, or common opal. Agate and jasper can be found here as well.
This site has been visited frequently by rockhounds in past years but you still can find tumbler-size materials on the surface. Digging one to two feet below the surface with a shovel or pick would yield larger pieces of wood. The soil is relatively soft. Avoid digging under trees and around tree roots.
Not every piece you find will polish pretty well, there are a lot of porous materials.
The site is surrounded by BLM lands on the north and east with private property on the west and south.
A beautiful Juniper forest covers Hampton Butte offering a great rockhounding and camping experience in the shady area. The site is extremely popular because of an easy access and great materials that found here. Please keep this place clean, pack out all your trash.
Hampton Butte Rockhounding Area | General Description
Open: Best time: May-October
Rocks & Minerals: Petrified wood, limb casts, agate and jasper,
Tools: Shovel, geology pick
Activities: Rockhounding, camping, and wildlife observing
Accommodations: Camping is allowed on BLM land
Distance from the parking: Vary
Road access: A high-clearance 4WD vehicle is suggested
Day-use fees: None
Popularity: Moderate to high
Elevation: 4,800 ft (1,463 m)
Hampton Butte is located:
- 23 miles northeast of Brothers
- 65 miles east of Bend
- 195 miles southeast of Salem.