Oregon, with its geographic and geologic diversity, is a unique state, offering a great gem-hunting experience. The land of the waves-washed coastline, high deserts, river valleys, towering volcanoes and mountain ranges are rich in mineral deposits.
Along the 300 miles of the Pacific Coast, there are a great number of excellent locations to find agate, jasper, petrified wood, and marine fossils. The Willamette River and its tributaries carry mineral materials from volcanic deposits of the Cascade Mountains. The high desert and forest of Central Oregon provide great opportunities to find high-quality thundereggs, geodes, agate, jasper, petrified wood, limb casts, and obsidian. Eastern and Southeastern Oregon are known to be the regions with the great source of agate, jasper, thundereggs, geodes, petrified wood, and leaf fossils.
The majority of rock and mineral collecting sites are lying on the federal lands managed by BLM (Bureau of Land Management) or U.S. Forest Service.
According to U.S. Forest Service and BLM, collecting rock and minerals as a hobby does not require any permits while the materials are for personal, non-commercial use. Hand tools (pick, shovel, jackhammer) are only allowed.
The U.S. Forest Service limits amounts of specimens up to 10 pounds. Some lands within the National Forest are closed for collecting due to wilderness designation. Contact the U.S. Forest Service for up-to-date information.
The BLM (Oregon & Washington) no-fee daily collecting limits of rocks and minerals except petrified wood are less 250 pounds. Petrified wood can also be collected for personal use — up to 25 pounds each day, plus one piece, but no more than 250 pounds in any calendar year. Check with BLM for the current regulations and specific locations to find out if there are any are mining claims in the area.
Rockhounding is restricted in Wilderness Area to the surface collection only.
Caution: Abandoned mine sites are unstable and extremely dangerous. Rotten timber, open shafts, poisonous gases, insufficient oxygen can be lethal. Never attempt to enter and explore abandoned mines.
The collection of agates on the beaches is limited to one gallon per day and three gallons per year.
Items May Not Be Collected
- Vertebrate fossils (dinosaurs bones, fish, - anything with a backbone), and shark teeth
- Any material remains of prehistoric or historic human life or activities
- Projectile points include ‘arrowheads’ and pottery
DISCLAIMER: 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.