Central Oregon just east of the Cascade Mountains is known to be a popular rock and mineral collecting area. Productive sites of Crook, Jefferson, and Deschutes Counties offer a variety of gem-quality minerals including famous thundereggs, petrified wood, limb cast, agate, jasper, and opal. Opal is found at Opal Butte in Morrow County but this area is closed to public diggings.
- Jefferson County has popular minerals collecting sites including fossils, petrified wood, geodes, thunder eggs, agate and jasper.
- Deschutes County is well-known for petrified wood.
- The Warm Spring Reservation in Wasco and Jefferson Counties produces black and white colored agate.
- Crook County is the most productive area with minerals such as petrified wood, limb casts, thunder eggs, agate, and jasper.
A wide variety of minerals, semiprecious gemstones, and rocks is available on 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 fee digging. There may be private claims in some areas. Check it before you go.
Rock & Mineral Collecting - Central Oregon
Here is a list of the most popular sites, available for recreational rockhounding. But before accessing the sites and collecting any rocks, contact the local government agency to find out the most up-to-date information and regulations.
From Prineville, head southwest via Highway 380 to a free standing Eagle Rock, between milepost 14 and 15, and turn right just beyond the rock. Pass the cattle guard and turn left. Travel on a gravel road 1 miles to a fork. Bear right and go 0.4 miles to the next split of the road. Take a left and park your car. Hike up the hill 0.3 miles to the collection site. The Eagle Rock area produces beautiful but scarce red and black plume, dendritic, moss agate in a rhyolite base.
Rocks & Minerals: Agate
Tools: Rock hammers and chisel
Road Access: Not maintained; a high-clearance vehicle is recommended; seasonal road closure
Oregon Rockhounding Map
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 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 primary responsibility.
Currently, this map is incomplete but new rockhounding sites and related details will be added in the future.