The Lake County rock hounding sites are known for their great deposits of rocks and minerals, attracting thousands of rock collectors each year. Some of the areas are located on the public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service. Also, there are privately owned mines, open to the public for rockhounding for fees.
Popular Lake County Rockhounding Sites
Glass Butte Obsidian - between Bend and Burns
Located off Highway 20 between milepost 75 and 81, Glass Butte and Little Glass Butte are the best place in Oregon to find gem-quality obsidian. There are numerous spots, several gravel roads in this area where you can find a variety of obsidians including exceptional gold, silver, rainbow, red, black, mahogany, lace, and fire sheen. Also, you can find large pieces of double-flow obsidian.
If you travel east on Highway 20, turn south to the dirt gravel Obsidian Road (BLM Road 6540) just before milepost 77 and drive for about 2-3 miles. The main Glass Butte Obsidian deposit is located on the left. On the right, you can find red, black, snowflake, lace and gold sheen. Continue driving on the dirt road, turn left and go around Little Glass Butte and then north. You can find excellent material along your way including red, midnight lace, silver sheen, and rainbow sheen.
If you head west on Highway 20, you can take the road between milepost 82 and 81 and travel south and then turn right toward Glass Butte Obsidian.
Rocks & Minerals: Obsidian varieties including Gold and Silver Sheen, Fire, Rainbow, Green, Midnight Lace, Leopard Skin, Double-flow, and Mahogany
Tools: Rock hammers, picks, and shovels
Warning! Edges of broken obsidian and chips are sharp. Use gloves and eye protection. Be prepared in the case if a brittle obsidian glass damages tires; have a spare tire or a tire repair kit.
Crane Creek Thunderegg Bed in the Fremont National Forest
A Crane Creek thunderegg digging area is hidden deep in the Fremont National Forest. This area produces nodules filled with blue agate sometimes tiny pieces of quartz crystals. The external layer is reddish-brown. The bed is not easily accessible because the forest road crosses the Crane Creek a few times and can be washed out in some places.
Rocks & Minerals: Thundereggs, agate, jasper, and petrified wood
Tools: Geology pick, hammer, shovel
Flook Lake - Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge
Rockhounding is permitted in the Hart Mountain Antelope Refugee for surface rocks collecting only. Do not to exceed seven pounds per person per day. Digging with any implement and blasting is prohibited. Always check up-to-date regulations and current conditions.
Other Hart Mountain rockhounding collection sites: the western side of the Warner Mountains, DeGarmo Canyon, and Arsenic Canyon.
Rocks & Minerals: Agate, Jasper, Obsidian, Fire Opal
Tools: Not allowed - surface collecting only
Free Oregon Sunstone Public Collection
Rocks & Minerals: Sunstones
Tools: Picks and shovels
Recognized as the state gem, Oregon Sunstones are unique transparent or translucent feldspar that contains small amounts of copper inclusions. Rare and beautiful Oregon Sunstones are found only in the high desert of South-Central and Southeastern Oregon.
Fee Oregon Sunstone Collection Sites
Fee Oregon Sunstone Collection Sites offer opportunities to find rare and prized colored sunstones. Currently, three mines are available to the public: Dust Devil, Spectrum Sunstone and Double Eagle Mines.
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The Oregon Rockhounding Map provides information about some of the many rockhounding sites of the state of Oregon. Information is subject to change at any time, and the Oregon Discovery team cannot guarantee that is either current or correct. Be aware that there are some mine claims and private lands near the public collecting areas. Determining the land status and minerals' collection rules at the site is your responsibility.
Currently, this map is incomplete but new rockhounding sites and related details will be added in the future.