Twin Springs Oregon Rockhounding

• Twin Springs Rockhounding Area is a remote desert destination in Southeastern Oregon

Rockhounding OregonCamping OregonWildlife Viewing

Twin Springs is one of the great rock collecting sites in Southeastern Oregon, located west of Owyhee Reservoir, approximately 20 miles southeast of Nyssa and 30 miles south of Vale.

The rugged, sagebrush-covered landscape is a heaven for rockhounds, offering a wealth of agate, jasper, petrified wood, chalcedony, calcite, and occasionally geodes. Minerals are widespread, with some areas being richer than others.

Agates of various sizes are plentiful here, available in clear, white, blue, or gray variations. They are often adorned with waterlines, mossy patterns, or intricate botryoidal and crystalline cavities.

Jasper is also abundant, ranging in colors from blue and green to gray and brown. The sizes vary widely, from small pieces suitable for tumbling to larger, solid chunks that can be cut and polished.

Float materials can be found throughout the sagebrush, dumps, dry washes, and hillsides. Begin with surface collecting to determine if a spot looks promising.

We stopped at three locations, but the last one was particularly rich with material. To reach these spots, a rugged 4WD high-clearance vehicle is recommended.

Exercise caution and respect any claim markers encountered to avoid trespassing.

Twin Springs Oregon Rockhounding

Know Before You Go

The Twin Springs area is a remote desert destination that requires careful preparation. Here are essential tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable rockhounding.

There are no services available within 20-30 miles, including gas stations, drinking water, or cell phone reception. Plan accordingly and ensure your vehicle is fully fueled and stocked.

Rattlesnakes are common in the area. Stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings to avoid encounters.

Do not attempt to visit during rainy conditions or when roads are wet. The terrain can become treacherous, making travel difficult and potentially dangerous.

A rugged 4WD high-clearance vehicle is recommended, along with off-road driving experience.

Bring spare tires, sunscreen, and ample water. Due to the lack of cell service, inform someone of your travel plans or bring a satellite communication device for emergencies.

Before heading out, make sure to review desert safety tips to better prepare for the unique challenges of this remote and beautiful landscape.

Twin Springs Rockhounding Area: Camping, Lodging, and Vacation Rentals

Camping is allowed throughout of BLM land. The closest campground, Twin Springs is located nearby. This campground is a great base for exploring other rock collecting sites in the area such as Haystack Butte and Negro Rocks.

Lodging is available 50 miles east in Homedale, Idaho or 50 miles northeast in Ontario, Oregon.

Lodging in Homedale, ID

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay in Homedale, ID

Lodging in Ontario, OR

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay in Ontario, OR

Twin Springs Oregon Rockhounding
Twin Springs Area Landscape
Twin Springs Oregon Rockhounding
Twin Springs Treasures

Twin Springs Rockhounding Area | Facts

Best time: May through October
Managed by: Bureau Land of Management (BLM)

Rocks & Minerals: Agate, jasper, petrified wood, chalcedony, calcite, and geodes
Tools: Shovel, geology pick, hammer, and chisel

Amenities: Vault toilet, hand-pump water for washing only, picnic table, and fire ring at Twin Springs Campground
Activities: Rockhounding, camping, and wildlife observing

Distance from the parking: Vary
Road access: A high-clearance 4WD vehicle
Day-use fees: None

Elevation: 2,800-3,600 ft (850-1,100 m)

Twin Springs Rockhounding Area is located:

  • 38 miles southeast of Nyssa
  • 260 miles east of Bend
  • 420 miles southeast of Portland.

Adventures Nearby

Driving Directions to Twin Springs Rockhounding Sites

The road from Vale (Highway 20/26) is longer and rougher. We recommend using Nyssa as the start point.

From Nyssa,

  • Take Highway OR 201 and drive for 8 miles to Owyhee Avenue
  • Turn right onto Owyhee Avenue and head 6 miles east to Mitchel Butte Road
  • Turn left onto Mitchel Butte Road and continue 0.5 miles to a fork; at the fork, bear right
  • Drive 4.9 miles to another fork and take the right road, and after 0.3 miles keep right
  • Continue 0.9 miles to the next fork and go straight
  • Drive 2.4 miles to Twin Springs Road
  • Turn left onto Twin Springs Road and follow for about 12.8 miles to the campground
  • From the campground continue straight on Dry Creek Road for 1 mile to Site 1 and for 2.8 miles to Site 2.

GPS (Campground): N 43°37.032' W 117°25.075' | 43.6172, -117.4179

GPS (Site 1): N 43°36.112' W 117°24.648' | 43.6019, -117.4108

GPS (Site 2): N 43°34.809' W 117°24.306' | 43.5801, -117.405

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