Located in the Central Oregon desert near the ghost-town of Ashwood, Priday Polka Dot Agate Beds produce beautiful orbicular agates featuring round dots of various colors.
The translucent agate as its name suggested has a polka-dot pattern. The dots are sharp or spherical and vary in size and color. The size ranges from slightly visible to 1/4 of an inch. The specimens may have white, pale beige, or blue base colors with red, orange, brown, or black inclusions.
The agate pit, showing the colorful seams, is situated in the scenic canyon just below a parking area. Mine tunnels of Native Americans are partially seen on the right side of the hill as the evidence of early quarry operations dated back to the first centuries A.D. One of the first Polka-Dot miners, Indians used agate to make sharp tools such as spears, knives, and arrowheads.
Five percent of the mine’s material, named "Blue Ice" or "Blue Ice Ocean", is light-blue translucent agate featuring brown and orange dots. Some specimens have dark dendrites and red to brown jasper bands. Blue Ice is considered to be a high grade based on its quality. Polka Dot agates are cut and polished into beautiful decorative pieces making them desirable lapidary materials.
Typically, the mine is open from May to November, Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. If the gate near the white trailer with multicolored dots is closed, it means they are closed for the day. If you have to travel far, we recommend you to contact the mine before visiting.
Now the agate bed is closed to public digging due to safety concerns but you can walk to the canyon bottom and enjoy multicolored agate veins in the hill.
The mine offers a wide range of materials including Polka Dot agate, picture jasper, thundereggs, and green jasper from other mines operated by West Coast Mining.
Recently, a thunderegg deposit that produces large and interesting specimens was discovered nearby. The beautiful thundereggs from Canyon Rim Thunderegg Bed are available for purchase as well.
Polka Dot Agate Mine | General Description
Open: From May to November, Wednesday through Sunday 8 am - 8 pm
Managed: West Coast Mining
Location: Near Ashwood
Rocks & Minerals: Polka-dot agate, thundereggs
Tools: Rock hammer, shovel, gad, and chisel
Accommodations: No camping available on the site
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any vehicle
Fees: For pricing, contact West Coast Mining
Elevation: 2,980 ft (908 m)
The mine is located:
- 25 miles northeast of Madras
- 68 miles northeast of Bend
- 141 miles southeast of Portland.