Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Central Oregon Rockhounding Locations

Bear Creek
What: Petrified Wood
Agency: Bureau of Land Managaement
Directions: From Prineville, proceed south on Highway 27 about 33 miles to Bear  Creek road. This is beyond Roberts and Little Bear Creek roads. Turn left for 5  1/2 miles. Turn off road to left just before fence. Go short distance through the  gate and bear right or park your vehicle on the road 3/4 miles to the east and  travel north along the west side of the fence.
Tools: Rock hammers, picks and shovels only. CAUTION: Respect private lands in the vicinity.
Eagle Rock
What: Agate, dendrites, moss agate and sometimes angel wing.
Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Prineville to milepost 14, to monolith on right. Turn right at the second road. The  distance to the site is short but sharply inclined and rough. Tools: Rock hammers, picks and shovels.
Directions: Take Highway 380 from Prineville Note: Diggings are mostly at the base of the rim. Beautiful float found from 
mountain skirt at base of rim rock to the flat below. Hard digging. Mostly 
agate with rhyolite. 
CAUTION: There are private claims throughout this area, but open BLM lands 
surround these claims. 

Glass Butte
What: Gold, silver and rainbow sheen Obsidian.
Agency: Bureau of Land Management
nd Burns, near milepost 77, turn south on Obsidian Road. About 2 miles brings  you to an area with many diggings. Tools: Rock hammers, picks and shovels only. Note: Explore different areas for
Directions: On US 20 between Bend adifferent varieties of obsidian (midnight lace, black, cinnamon, mahogany and
fire obsidian). 
CAUTION: Keep to roads; obsidian can cut tires. Respect private lands in the vicinity. 

Green Jasper Location
What: Green Jasper
Agency: Ochoco National Forest
Directions: Follow US 26 past milepost 48 to Road 2630 (Pisgah Lookout road). After 3/4 mile, merge onto Road 2210, turn right on Road 2210-300 for 2 miles, then right to diggings at end of the road.
Tools: Rock hammers, picks and shovels only. Note: Scarce, but beautiful.
Maury Mountain
What: Red, green and gold moss agate
This agate is of the moss variety with some angel wing and plume found throughout. The moss appears in gold, green, red and many combination shades. Sometimes the dendritic moss formation develops into a beautiful white plume.
Agency: Ochoco National Forest
Directions: Go east on Highway 380 Post/Paulina to milepost 33. Turn right
across the bridge on Road 16 for about 5 miles, crossing the Ochoco National
Forest boundary. Turn right on Road 1680 (Drake Butte road), travel about 2
miles. Turn right on Road 1690 and follow to parking area. 
Tools: Rock hammers, picks and shovels only.
Note: A little float.
South Fork Area
What: Limb Casts
In the early days of the earth's origin, forests, and a large lake bed covered  the area. Trees, complete with limbs and roots, were buried by massive  mudflows. Through  time, the plant material decayed, leaving a perfect  mold or cast. These voids filled with chalcedony quartz. In this material,  appeared manganese and other impurities which produced some very  beautiful dendrites and, in some cases, gave a pink color to the otherwise  clear agate. These casts are located at an average depth of 18 inches.  They are found in streams and on surfaces weathered by wind and rain.
Agency: Bureau of Land Management Directions: Two locations on South Fork Crooked River on BLM managed land. 
On the Camp Creek side of Highway 380 Post/Paulina to milepost 44, right on 
Camp Creek road for 9 miles. Left on road just past rock quarry. Go about 2 
miles. Take left fork and go through fence line. Follow about 2 miles and turn 
right at next fork. Go approximately 2 miles and turn left to diggings. On the 
Congleton Hollow side of Highway 380 to milepost 50, turn right just beyond
the river. Follow about 5 miles to diggings. 
Tools: Rock hammers, picks and shovels only.
Note: Part of the South Fork area is a BLM wilderness study area. Contact BLM 
for a map. Vehicle use is restricted to the designated routes. No cross country 
motorized use. Some surface hunting. 

Vistaite Location
What: Green and buckskin rhyolite
Agency: Ochoco National Forest
Directions: Go east on US 26 to milepost 34. Take right hand fork about 13  miles past Ochoco Ranger Station. Take Road 22 and follow until you see  "Walton Lake 2 Miles" sign. Turn left on Road 2210 for 100 feet, then right  on Road 2210-050 for 1 mile. Float in black adobe. Tools: Rock hammers, picks and shovels
Note: Scarce but very beautiful.
Whistler Springs
What: Agate
Agency: Ochoco National Forest
Directions: Go east on US 26 to milepost 49. Turn left of Road 27 for about 6  miles. There are some narrow, winding sections, which can be marginal in  wet weather. Turn left on Road 2700-050, Whistler Springs Campground.  For a gentler, longer route, from US 26, turn left on Road 27 for 0.8 miles,  right on Road 2730 for 11.2 miles, left on Road 2730-200 for 5 miles to  Road 27. Cross the road to Whistler Springs Campground.
Tools: Rock hammers, picks and shovels only. CAUTION: Mill Creek Wilderness bounds the southern end of the agate area. Watch for the Mill Creek Wilderness boundary signs.
White Fir Springs
What: Jasper Thunderegg
The eggs are of agatized jasper composition with rhyolite matrix, in many color  combinations: browns, tans, yellows, reds and mauves. Many unusual shades  and patterns are formed in each thunderegg. The size may be only one inch  in diameter up to several feet, depending upon the depths at which eggs are  found.
Agency: Ochoco National Forest Directions: Follow US 26 east to milepost 41. Turn left on Road 3350 for 5 1/2 
miles, then right on Road 3350-010. 
Tools: Rock hammers, picks and shovels only. 
Note: Jasper filled thundereggs found in a wide area on the mountainside. 

White Rock Springs
What: Jasper Thundereggs
The eggs are of agatized jasper composition with rhyolite matrix, in many color  combinations: browns, tans, yellows, reds and mauves. Many unusual shades  and patterns are formed in each thunderegg. The size may be only one inch in  diameter up to several feet, depending upon the depths at which eggs are found.
Agency: Ochoco National Forest Directions: Follow US 26 to milepost 41. Turn left on Road 3350, then right on 
Road 3350-300, about 7 miles total. 
Tools: Rock hammers, picks and shovels only. 
Note: Materials is hard to find, but very beautiful. Carnelian cores have been 
found in the area. 
CAUTION: Watch for the Mill Creek Wilderness boundary signs.

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