White Fir Springs in the Ochoco National Forest is a public digging area listed on the Central Oregon Rockhounding Map which is available for purchase. This site is one of many places in Central Oregon that has been set aside for recreational rock collecting.
The area produces unique thundereggs filled with yellow, beige, brown, reddish, or purple jasper cores. Some of the specimens might have multiple cores, containing tiny pieces of quartz crystals or rhyolite infusion. The sizes range from 1.5 to 5 inches.
White Fir Springs jasper eggs are quite different from agate-filled thundereggs found in other regions of Oregon. The most prized find would have colorful bright cores and interesting inclusions. Some eggs resemble materials from Bruneau Canyon in Idaho.
Despite the site is popular and has been visited for decades, it is still productive. Once you get into the rockhounding area, look for pits where other rockhounds have been digging. Continue digging old pits or start a new one. The overburden is only one to two feet thick. The soil is relatively soft and easy to dig with a shovel or pick. Also, you might need to use a hammer and chisel to free eggs from host rocks.
The site is bordered by Mill Creek Wilderness on the north. Rock collecting is not allowed on wilderness land.
The beautiful pine forest offers a great rockhounding and camping experience. Camping is allowed in the Ochoco National Forest. Also, White Rock Campground is located nearby. Please keep this place clean, pack out all your trash.
White Fir Springs | General Description
Open: Best time: May-October
Managed: US Forest Service
Location: Ochoco National Forest
Rocks & Minerals: Jasper thundereggs
Tools: Shovel, geology pick, hammer, and chisel
Activities: Rockhounding, camping, and wildlife observing
Accommodations: Camping is allowed in the Ochoco National Forest; White Rock Campground
Distance from the parking: Vary
Road access: A high-clearance 4WD vehicle is suggested
Day-use fees: None
Popularity: Moderate to high
Elevation: 5,000 ft (1,524 m)
White Fir Springs is located:
- 27 miles northeast of Prineville
- 80 miles northeast of Bend
- 219 miles southeast of Portland.