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Overview of Collecting Areas

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Rock Hunting
1. Rosamond. JASPER, PETRIFIED WOOD. Take Willow Spring road W for 3 miles. Mojave-Tropico road N for 4 1/2 miles, and then go W 1/2 mile to collect in Rosamond Hills to S and E. Area is known as Gem Hill.

BENTONITE (Rosamond Quadrangle 15' - Section NE 1/4 11, T.18N, R.11W)
A relatively soft, sapphire-like blue gem, but more brilliant, best in jewelry with a protective setting.

GOLD QUARTZ, RHYOLITE. (Section NE 1/4 15, T.9N, R.13W)

AGATE, JASPER, OPAL, PETRIFIED WOOD: (Section SE 1/4 26, T.10N, R.13W)

2. Boron. PETRIFIED WOOD, PALM WOOD. From Boron go N past some new houses (not so new now) and through gap in reddish hills, keeping left at fork to large dry lake which contains best petrified wood, including palm wood.

COLEMANITE, ULEXITE BORAX, KERNITE: U.S. Borax mine. Mineral collecting allowed only on weekends and must be escorted in at 9 AM or 12 noon, can stay until 4 PM.

AGATE, JASPER, PETRIFIED PALM WOOD: Clay Mine Road, N almost to end of pavement (about 3 miles), then W for 1/4 mile, and collect along ridge and S of ridge.

PETRIFIED PALM WOOD, JASPER, AND AGATE: Castle Butte collecting area. Via dirt road which turns off Cay Mine Road 7.5 miles north of Hwy. 58. Turn W at alfalfa fields and continue in NW direction. (Posted area requires entry permission from owners.)

TRAVERTINE: Clay Mine Road, N 5 miles to Aerial Acres trailer park. Take dirt road to right just as you come to the trailer park. Go E 1.8 miles, then left .4 miles, look for white markers designating Sierra Pelona Rock Club claim.

BLOODSTONE, AGATE, PETRIFIED WOOD: Go on and keep left toward Castle Butte, where bloodstone, agate, and petrified wood can be dug on east slope and in area just NE of butte. Right fork before reaching dry lands to small dry lake and hills containing wood. (Castle Butte Quadrangle 15' - Section23,35,36, T.32S, R.38E). Petrified Wood in lake beds; chalcedony in Basalt (Section3,4,14,T.11N, R.9W).

CHAPINITE AND GREEN MOSS AGATE: Red Hills. 1 1/2 miles up Clay Mine Road. Right, hills and several small dry lakes. Continue north on Clay Mine Road about a mile to dirt road. Travel about 1/2 mile to diggings of petrified wood, commonly called "Boron picture wood."

BENTONITE: (Section SW 1/4 2, T.11N,R.9W) BORON WOOD: 11 miles W of Boron a road N leads to a dry lake where the noted Boron wood is dug from the soil. Some is also found on dry lake areas E of the road.
A relatively soft, sapphire-like blue gem, but more brilliant, best in jewelry with a protective setting.

AGATE, NODULES: To the SE of this region lies Lookout Hill, high spot in the area, where agate and nodules are found.

PYRITE: Occurs as minute cubes in joint cracks in a dense black basalt which underlies a portion of the borate deposit in the open-pit mine at Kramer. It is also found as minute brassy crystals in nodules and qeodes of calcite.

3. Mojave. OPAL: Hwy 14 N through Red Rock Canyon. Watch for sign when road widens for passing lane. Follow signs to Opal Canyon. Nowak Fire Opal Mine and Barnett Opal Mine(fee). (The operators of the second mine have a very nice display of opals taken from the area and better facilities.)

PETRIFIED WOOD, AGATE, JASPER: Last Chance Canyon is a favorite collecting place. To reach it take Hwy 14 through Red Rock Canyon for 21 miles to Cantil store, (Directions seem odd. Landmarks may no longer be identifiable. Refer to a good map.) then 13 1/2 miles N to ruins of Hart's Place. Turn E, pass Holly mine at 5 miles, go mile farther to fork, take right fork to a T, go left into Last Chance Canyon to collect in side canyons and red hills to W. Go back to T, turn S there to camp ground and through it right to a canyon often called the Hidden Forest to dig agate and jasper. There is also some collecting in Red Rock Canyon.

PETRIFIED PALM WOOD: E 8 miles on Hwy 58, then S 1 1/2 miles across railroad tracks and 1 1/2 miles to area near butte to collect on flats and ridge.

AGATE: Hwy 58 towards Tehachapi. Take Horse Canyon exit.

CHALCOPYRITE: Found in the Cactus Queen mine.

4. Johannesburg. AGATE, BLOODSTONE: Take road N toward Westend, but take right fork skirting S end of Searles Lake 19 miles to Wingate Pass for vein agate. This road goes through a naval ordnance testing station, and special permission will be required to use it. To S is Brown Mountain, and 4 miles SE is bloodstone.

BLACK MOSS AGATE: At Sheep Spring; go N on US 395 for 21 1/2 miles, turn S where road crossed railroad tracks for 8 miles and E to Sheep Spring to collect in hills E of spring.

BLUE CHALCEDNY AND NODULES: Go E from Johannesburg on a fair road to Granite Well, then NE nearly 12 miles to road turning S that is beyond a narrow ridge visible to the S known as Battleship Rock. Curve around rock to a canyon and take a branch road into it. Leave car and find specimens in volcanic ash.

FIRE OPALS, NODULES: Farther up and higher.

SAGENITE AGATE: In nodules, lies farther up the canyon.

FIRE OPAL, BLUE AGATE NODULES: Back at canyon mouth, take road on W a short distance and turn S again to Lea Pipe Spring, where gems can be dug from red rhyolite, particularly to the SE.

JASPER, AGATE: Back near the road.

AGATE, OPAL: Back to road, next turn S goes to diggings. The road curves N shortly farther W and goes back to road to Granite Wells. (Note Area is Naval Ordanance Testing Station. For permission to collect, write Commandant, N.O.T.S., China Lake, CA 93555.)

PLUME AGATE: Take Steam Wells road E 7 miles to Brown's ranch, then 4 2/3 miles N on dirt track to dry lake, keep left here less than 1 mile to collecting area.

PYRITE: One of the most abundant metallic minerals present in the silver ores of the Rand District.

5. Kramer. AGATE: E 1 1/2 miles from the intersection of Hwys 395 and 58 near Kramer lie the Kramer Hills, reached by following a road that parallels telephone lines about 3 miles S of Hwy 58, turning off to the SE into the hills to park. Collect agate around parking area and to W of phone lines.

6. Palmdale. AGATE NODULES: Go 5 miles S on Hwy 14, then SE to Little Rock Dam, and take jeep trail 5 miles to Agate Valley.

CHALCOPYRITE: Present in the tin ores of the mines in the Gorman Tin District and also found at the Palm copper mine, 2 miles to Agate Valley.

MALACHITE: Occurs at the Free Cuba mine W of Soledad Canyon Road on the Southern Pacific right-of-way, and at the nearby Emma mine. Occurs with other copper minerals at the Palm Development Company mine, 2 miles SE of the intersection of Pearblossom Hwy and 882 Street East.

SPESSRTINE (GARNET): Found in the Amargosa No. 1 manganese prospect on Ritter Ridge, 1/2 mile W of 25th Street West.

TOURMALINE: Black occurs in schist with clinozoisite in the Sierra Pelona Valley, SW of Palmdale.


7. Acton. AGATE NODULES: W of Escondido Canyon road a Sir'Kegian gem beds, with amethyst and bloodstone.

8. Tehachapi. MARBLE: Take Curry Street S to Highline road, then S to Antelope Canyon Ranch to collect in quarry.

9. Victorville. VERD ANTIQUE: N on Int. 15 to Bell Mountain exit, go NE 3 miles on exit road to dirt road, take it 7 miles, then E to quarry on mountain.

10. Wrightwood. RHODONITE: Go 1 mile to Heath Canyon, collect up 1,000 feet.

11. Barstow. SAGENITIC AGATE, JASPER: E on Int. 15 to Calico road N. Take it 1 mile, then NE on Mule Canyon road 1 mile or more to onyx diggings N of road (fee), then on 2 miles and N in Tin Can Alley road more than a mile for moss agate and sagenitic agate. Return to first fork E and go a mile to jasper and agate diggings. Return to Mule Canyon road and go E a mile to dig for palm wood. Return to Calico road and go N 1 1/2 miles, then N on Doran drive to the loop drive in Odessa Canyon. At its north extremity a trail goes into Green Hill for sagenitic agate.

TRAVERTINE: From Central Barstow exit take road to end, then left to Fort Irwin sign and follow signs 15 miles N to power line to travertine.

CHALCEDONY NODULES: From Tiefort village in the Fort Irwin reservation Godstone road goes W 2 1/2 miles. Collect there.

JASPER, AGATE: E 2 1/2 miles on Int. 15, then S on dirt road 1/3 mile.

PETRIFIED WOOD: E on Int. 1 (May be I-15) 35 miles, turn off at Afton exit, go back a mile on N side of freeway, then N nearly 5 1/2 miles to collect on hills and in washes.

12. Afton Canyon. A variety of jasper and agate can be found here. Much of the collecting area is Union Pacific Railroad property and permission has to be granted, "with the understanding that all members of a group will exercise extreme caution when they are near the tracks and will concentrate the major part of their activities far from the tracks in order to avoid the possibility of an accident."

13. Rocky Hill (Exeter). Jade collecting excellent. Thulite and massive garnet also found there. However, this area is private property and a working cattle ranch. Permission to collect must be obtained from the owner.

14. Collins' Hill. A search in the rolling hills E of this camp will reward the finders with jaspagate, opalite, petrified wood, and dendritic jasper.

15. Trona (Searles Lake). Halite, hanksite, northupite (Searles Lake diamonds), sulfohalite (gray to green), blood red halite crystals. October Gem Show. (In the past the Kerr-McGee plant held bi-annual open dig days. Check with rock shops and experienced people for current activity.)

16. Woody. MALACHITE AND AZURITE: Ore minerals at the Greenback copper mine.

17. Hobo Hot Springs. GARNET, QUARTZ, AND FELDSPAR: Occurs in a contact-metamorphic limestone 200 yards E of springs.

18. Isabella. ALMANDINE (GARNET): Occurs in pelitic hornfels.
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Page mirrored on High Desert Insider by permission from: Glenn Olson
Original Page Created: 25 Dec 97