Skip to Content

Oregon Rockhounding Location Guide & Map

Oregon Rockhounding Location Guide & Map

Oregon is one of the best states in the U.S. for rockhounding thanks to its relatively recent history of vulcanism, mountainous terrain, and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Rockhounds have long been attracted to Oregon for the fantastic and prolific specimens associated with its unique geology. Unlike many other states, almost every part of Oregon contains promising rockhounding destinations.

The eastern two-thirds of the state are a high plateau, highlighted by large basalt flows in the northeast. The central part of the state is home to world-class thundereggs, a favorite of collectors. On the other side of the Cascades, rockhounding in the western third of the state is highlighted by the fantastic agate hunting on local beaches.

I’ll give more comprehensive lists of rockhounding locations later in this article, but if you’re just looking for the best sites in the state I’ve compiled them for you here. Here are the top 10 rockhounding locations in Oregon:

LocationRocks & Minerals
Agate BeachAgate, Moonstone, Jasper, Chalcedony, etc.
Nehalem RiverAgate, Carnelian, Jasper
Priday Agate BedsAgate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Opal, Thundereggs
White RockThundereggs, Agate, Chalcedony, Opal
Carey Agate BedsAgate, Chalcedony, Jasper
Glass Butte Recreational Rockhound AreaObsidian (various types)
LakeviewAgate, Jasper, Geodes, Nodules, Sunstone
Opal ButteHyalite opal
YachatsAgate (sagenitic), Chalcedony, Jasper (orbicular), Moonstone, Geodes
Mt. PisgahAgate, Calcite, Heulandite, Jasper, Malachite, Mesolite, Quartz crystals
Best Rockhounding Sites in Oregon

The best places to rockhound in Oregon are Crook County in the central part of the state, the gravels of Pacific Ocean beaches, and many local river and stream beds. Rockhounds can collect a wide variety of rocks and minerals including Oregon’s famous thundereggs, agates, and sunstone.

State Symbols
State MineralOregonite & Josephinite
State RockThunderegg
State GemstoneOregon Sunstone
State FossilMetasequoia
Oregon: Source

A thunderegg with reddish interior star shape surrounding by a matrix of white rock.
Thunderegg

Through quite a bit of research and cross-referencing of available literature, I have compiled this list of some prospective locations in Oregon which I would recommend to people looking to do some rockhounding. These are mostly comprised of beaches, old mining prospects, streams, and historically known rock and mineral collecting sites. For additional reading, I’d highly recommend these books you can find on Amazon:

Please remember that rock collecting locations are constantly changing. Specimens may become depleted from other collectors, the location may have been built on or altered, locality information in literature may be inaccurate, and property ownership may have changed hands. Though there are many locations listed here, this list is far from exhaustive. A location’s listing here is not a guarantee of accuracy. Be safe, never go underground, and make sure to get permission from the landowner to search for and collect specimens.

If you’re planning on heading to the field, make sure you have all the gear you’ll need! To get started, you can check out my recommended gear page which contains my full reviews for every Geologist’s favorite rock hammer and the best hiking backpack I’ve ever owned.

Oregon Rockhounding Locations

NOTE: All the locations listed in these tables are clickable, and will take you to the location on Google Maps.

Northwest Oregon Rockhounding Sites

Northwest Oregon has become something of a Mecca for rockhounds, especially those seeking to collect quality agate specimens. Nearly every ocean beach is a great destination for agate, jasper, and moonstone collecting, and the river and stream beds in the area are also great places to check. The best time to search for agates is after winter storms, when ocean sediments have been churned up and new material has been exposed.

If you are in the area doing some rockhounding, you should also take a little time to go check out Thor’s Well just south of Yachats.

LocationRocks & Minerals
Pacific Ocean beaches W of AstoriaBloodstone, Jasper, Agate
Nehalem River gravels, all the way to oceanAgate, Carnelian, Jasper
Columbia River shore gravelsThomsonite
Clear Creek, in gravelsAgate (plume agate), Carnelian, Jasper, Chalcedony
Ocean beach gravelsAgate, Jasper, Bloodstone, Moonstone
Ocean beach gravelsAgate, Jasper, Bloodstone, Moonstone
Ocean beach gravelsAgate, Jasper, Bloodstone, Moonstone
Ocean beach gravelsAgate, Jasper, Bloodstone, Moonstone
Bob Straub State Park, Ocean beach gravelsAgate, Jasper, Bloodstone, Moonstone
Shores of Calapooia River & Ames CreekAgate (banded), Geodes, Silicified wood
Chandler Mt., areaAgate (purple or blue), Carnelian
Willamette River, gravel bars and tributariesAgate, Jasper, Bloodstone, Petrified wood, etc.
Agate Beach, in gravelsAgate, Moonstone, Jasper, Chalcedony, etc.
All area beach gravels near NewportAgate, Moonstone, Jasper, Chalcedony, etc.
All area beach gravels near YachatsAgate (sagenitic), Chalcedony, Jasper (orbicular), Moonstone, Geodes
All beach gravels btwn Yachats and FlorenceAgate, Jasper, Petrified wood, Moonstone, Garnet (grossularite)

Southwest Oregon Rockhounding Sites

Southwest Oregon is a fantastic place for rockhounding. Like Northern Oregon, its beaches produce agates and other quartz family minerals, and its more mountainous terrain add some variety with the many local mines in the area. The best places to rockhound in Southwest Oregon are the ocean beaches and the gravels of area rivers and streams.

LocationRocks & Minerals
Mt. Pisgah, AreaAgate, Calcite, Heulandite, Jasper, Malachite, Mesolite, Quartz crystals
Cedar Springs Mt., areaAzurite, Chalcolite
All area beach gravels N of Winchester BayAgate
All area beach gravels S of Winchester BayAgate
Umpqua River, area gravels and bars‘Oregon Jade’ (massive grossularite garnet)
N Umpqua River, area gravels and barsAgate, Chalcedony, Carnelian, Jasper, Petrified wood, Silicified wood
S Umpqua River, area gravels and barsAgate, Chalcedony, Carnelian, Jasper, Petrified wood, Silicified wood
Ocean beach gravels, length of Coos CountyAgate, Petrified wood
Beach sands of parkPlatinum
Beaches N and S of Rogue RiverAgate, Californite, Jasper
Beaches N and S of Chetco RiverAgate, Californite, Jasper
Gravel bars in Rogue R., entire countyAgate, Garnets, Gold, Jasper, Petrified wood, Quartz crystals
Brookings, area ocean beach gravelsAgate, Jasper, Nephrite jade
Port Orford, area ocean beach sandsPlatinum
Sugarloaf Mt., area slopesNephrite, Serpentine
Stream gravels around Oregon CavesAgate, Chalcedony, Gold, Jasper, Petrified wood, Rhodonite
Many old mines near GaliceArsenopyrite, Azurite, Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Chrysocolla, Galena, Gold, Malachite, Pyrite, etc.
Althouse Creek, areaAgate, Garnets, Gold nuggets, Quartz crystals, Serpentine
Green Springs Mt., area slopesAgate nodules, Carnelian, Chalcedony, Jasper
Butte Falls, area stream gravelsBloodstone
Eagle Point, area stream gravelsMoss Agate, Bloodstone

North Central Oregon Rockhounding Sites

In a state known for its rockhounding, Central Oregon stands above the rest as one of the best rockhounding destinations in the entire world. The hills and creek beds of Central Oregon are particularly famous for their thundereggs and moss agates, but also contain fossils, petrified wood, agate, and jasper, and other minerals. Many of the locations listed here can be found in the USFS Central Oregon Rockhounding Guide.

LocationRocks & Minerals
13 mi. E of DayvilleFossilized bone, Petrified Wood
Gravels of John Day River, areaFossils, Petrified wood
Area just S of Clarno Fossil BedsAgate, jasper, Fossils, Petrified wood
Area between Paulina and East LakesObsidian
John Day River tributaries, in gravelsFossilized ferns
Ashwood, areaAgate, Chalcedony, Geodes, Jasper, Thundereggs
Priday Agate Beds (fee)Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Opal, Thundereggs
Willowdale, areaAgate, Chalcedony, Geodes, Jasper, Thundereggs
Antelope, areaAgate, Chalcedony, Geodes, Jade, Jasper
Mosier, in area stream gravelsPetrified wood, Silicified Pine Cones
Sunflower Flat, hillsides and gravelsJasper, Thundereggs
S hills of Mutton Mts.Agate, Chalcedony geodes, Black agate geodes
Chenowith Creek, gravelsOpalized wood
Area gravels 5 mi. S of RufusAgate, Jasper
S Fork Crooked RiverAgatized limb casts
Shores of Ochoco ReservoirJasper (Ochoco Jasper)
Sheep creek, areaMoss Agate
6.7 mi. N of E end of Ochoco Reservoir, areaThundereggs
Harvey Creek, areaThundereggs
Forked Horn Butte, areaThundereggs
White Fir Spring, areaThundereggs
White Rock, areaThundereggs, Agate, Chalcedony, Opal
Whistler Spring, areaThundereggs
Desolation Canyon, areaThundereggs
Bear Creek, E side of Taylor ButteMoss Agate, Chalcedony, Drusy quartz
Carey Agate Beds, areaAgate, Chalcedony, Jasper

South Central Oregon Rockhounding Sites

South Central Oregon is home to many great rockhounding locations, especially for collectors looking for quartz family gemstones such as agate, jasper, and chalcedony. The Glass Butte Recreational Rockhound Area is one of the best places in the world for many varieties of obsidian, and there are many areas where rockhounds can find thundereggs.

If you plan to visit Glass Butte, take care to bring proper footwear. Obsidian is incredibly sharp and you really need some good hiking boots that are up to the job. I have had great success with Timerblands like these from Amazon, but any thick-soled dedicated hiking boot will do.

LocationRocks & Minerals
Area surrouding Crater Lake National ParkAgate, Petrified wood, Quartz family gemstones
Area just S of Crater Lake National ParkJasper (Crater Lake Flower Jasper)
Glass Butte Recreational Rockhound AreaObsidian (various types)
Lakeview, surrounding desert areaAgate, Jasper, Geodes, Nodules, Sunstone
Crane Mountain, areaAgate, Jasper, Thundereggs
Warner Canyon, areaPetrified wood, Quartz family gemstones
W flanks for Hart Mt / Warner PeakAgate, Chalcedony, Geodes, Jasper, Opal, Thundereggs
Quartz Mountain PassAgate, Chalcedony, Jasper, etc.

Northeast Oregon Rockhounding Sites

Northeastern Oregon is one of the largest basalt lava regions in the entire world and, as a result, is home to highly productive rockhounding locations. The river and stream beds contain all manner of quartz family gemstones including agates and jasper, while certain area hills and buttes are known for their opals.

LocationRocks & Minerals
Shirttail Creek, areaAgate, Chalcedony, Jasper, ‘Oregon Jade’, Agatized Wood
Powder River, area gravelsChalcedony geodes w/ quartz crystals
Durkee, area washes & drawsQuartz family gemstones
Lower Inmaha River, area gravelsAgate, Prase
Orofino Mine area and tailingsAgate, Jasper, Gold
Buttes SE of HeppnerNodules filled with opal
Opal ButteHyalite opal

Southeast Oregon Rockhounding Sites

Like most of Oregon, the southeastern part of the state is well known to produce a wide variety of quartz family gemstones such as agates and jasper, and many localities are also known for thundereggs, opal, geodes, and petrified wood. Most of the localities are very generalized, not contained to a specific spot but rather general search areas.

LocationRocks & Minerals
Entire area on surface, E side of Steens Mts.Moss Agate, Jasper, Thundereggs, Geodes, Quartz crystals, etc.
W of Burns, broad areaMoss Agate, Jasper, Thundereggs, Geodes, Quartz crystals, etc.
Sylvies Canyon, 7 mi. W of US 395Wood opal
Area surfaces around Warm Springs ReservoirAgate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Petrified wood, Black Agate
Brogan, all surrounding areaAgate, Chalcedony, Chert, Jasper, Petrified wood
Area around Ironside and Malheur ReservoirAgate, Chalcedony, Chert, Jasper, Petrified wood
10 mi. NW of Owyhee Reservoir Dam, areaAgate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Petrified wood
Entire length of Succor Creek, near RockvilleAgate, Chalcedony, Chert, Jasper, Opalized wood

Fee-to-Dig Rockhounding Locations

Oregon is home to several fee-to-dig sites where rockhounds can go to search for rocks and minerals in a safe a controlled environment with a high chance of finding quality specimens. These sites are often very popular for families and beginners. Here is a brief list of some fee-to-dig rockhounding locations in Oregon and their contact information.

Site NameTownBest Contact
Spectrum MinePlushWebsite
Dust Devil MinePlushWebsite
Richardson’s Rock RanchMadrasWebsite
Public Rockhounding SitesVariedWebsite
Double Eagle MiningLakeviewWebsite

Where to Find Agates in Oregon

The agate hunting on Oregon’s Pacific Coast is world class. Rockhounds from all over the country make the trip to the Oregon coast to find their own agates, often in the winter in order to take advantage of the frequent winter storms which tend to churn up new material. Aside from the ocean beaches, agates can be found in rives and stream beds all across the state.

The best places to search for agates in Oregon are the gravels of ocean beaches such as Agate Beach and Oceanside, especially at the mouths of rivers and creeks. Agates can also be found in the gravels of rivers and streams all across Oregon, especially in the central part of the state.

Tip: Check out my Complete Rock Tumbling Guide to make your rocks and gemstones really shine!

Where to Find Thundereggs in Oregon

Oregon is one of the premier locations to find thundereggs in the entire world. These unique and attractive quirks of nature are popular collectors items for rockhounds and tourists. They can be difficult to find, but keep your eye out for bumpy, roughly spherical and baseball-sized rocks with drab brown coloring from their rhyolite ‘rind’.

The best places to find thundereggs in Oregon are in the creeks and hills of the central part of the state, especially in Crook County. There are several fee-to-dig sites where you can find thundereggs. Areas in Ochoco National Forest are best for collectors hoping to find thundereggs on their own.

Oregon Rockhounding Laws & Regulations

One of the most common questions rockhounds have is whether or not they are allowed to collect at a certain location. It is the responsibility of each rockhound to obtain permission from a landowner to search and/or collect on a piece of property.

The ownership and status of land can and does change frequently, making it impossible to document accurate information on this page. However, I have compiled a list of resources here so that you may investigate and obtain permission for any locations (found here or elsewhere) for yourself.

Public Land Resources

I have written entire articles which cover the rockhounding laws and regulations for nearly every type of public land you can think of. I encourage you to check them out if you are curious about the legalities of rock and mineral collecting.

To determine what type of public land a particular location is on, I would recommend starting with the Public Lands Interpretive Association’s Oregon Maps.

Private Land Resources

As with most states, each county in Oregonwill have records of who owns each piece of property. Unfortunately for rockhounds, the law prohibits them from publishing their names or contact information online. You can get the landowner’s name and address by visiting the county records office. This site linking to each county assessor’s office would be a great place to start.