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Nevada Rockhounding Map

Nevada Rockhounding Map

Being a rockhound means always researching the next great spot to go mineral hunting. Since I was taking the time to enter locations into my GPS I thought it’d be nice to share this resource and save you the work. Most of these locations are primarily sourced from a few key books: Gem Trails of California, Gem Trails of Nevada, Rockhounding California and Rockhounding Nevada. Sites derived from these source books have entries referencing the book and page number for more detailed information. I plan on expanding the map to include sites in California, Oregon and Utah in the future and will also be integrating a form for submitting your own locations. We really hope you enjoy the map and get some use out of it! Please give us your feedback, comments and any missing locales.

This Post Has 63 Comments

  1. A great place to hunt for citrine, quartz and also rumored amethyst is crystal peak mine in dog valley, right outside of Verdi Nv. It isn’t marked on your map so I figured I would make a suggestion.

    1. OMG I can’t believe I forgot to put that in… Crystal Peak Mine is one of our favorite spots and what got us started in rockhounding. Thanks so much for the reminder I will add that in shortly and prob do an expanded blog post on the area as well.

      1. The Crystal Mine is in Dog valley (there are actually two separate locations) both of which can be reached from the Dog Valley side or alternatively through Verdi although I would be hesitant to head up right now with the snow, the roads can get pretty hairy and the closer to the mine the worse they get. The article below is a recent one that is helpful.

        Good Blog Post on Crystal Peak Mine

        I really need to add it to our Rockhounding map ASAP!

        The google link below will get you there as well…

        Crystal Peak Mine

        1. Thank you for the article, we went to the other mine site that we got to via cold springs exit of 395 down long valley road. Bumpy up that road too but it was fun.

  2. hji Troy, I hope this finds you happy and hunting.
    My husband and I find ourselves with 4 days to hunt in Reno. We are Docents at the Crater Rock Museum in southern Oregon. Ive always wanted to collect some dead camel { I think its out by Fallon. i’ve try’ed to get in touch with the two guys that have a claim there but to no avail. Walt Harrison I believe is one fella. Also do some bigger crystal finds. smoky or amethyst. We have a 4 wheel drive camper and are eager to explore your country. if your willing and able or even have some guidance please do share a direction. Big smiles, Shona 541.840.9359 text if you like.

  3. I’m not positive the place you’re getting your info, but great topic.

    I must spend some time learning more or figuring out more.
    Thank you for excellent info I was on the lookout for this info for my mission.

  4. If you want to add some locations in Utah try: http://www.rockhoundingutah.com. I visited a couple sites recommended there and found some beautiful agate. Especially “agate hill by Bryce”. Oh, I’ve also found some nice agate at the Lake Lahontan site that you’ve mentioned. One thing; I’m always concerned about trespassing or picking on someone’s claim. Some of the reference books are getting old, so be aware and respectful.

  5. Headed out to Nixon, Black Rock, and that direction in a couple of weeks. Pulling a trailer. Can we park anywhere out there? What is the most productive place to look? Agate Jasper geodes opal wood, etc.

    1. The Black Rock has some amazing pockets of geodes and Apache Tears are abundant just northeast of there which should be in your area. Not sure on the Jasper but sure would love to hear about your experience!

  6. Great site! Interactive maps are very helpful.
    There is a pretty good website/blog for Utah collecting at: http://www.rockhoundingutah.com . It has interactive map too, with directions and descriptions. On vacation in 2017 went to the “Agate Hill near Bryce Canyon” and saw lots of agate in many colors and sizes.
    From your map I plan on getting down to the sites near Tonopah this September to investigate/collect.

  7. What a great website I am somewhat new to the area and I’ve been trying to find places to go with my family and fun things to do in the area I have found many fun things to do. I highly recommend this for anybody that’s new to the area . Our just looking for a activity to do on a weekend holiday vacation whatever they’ve got it all
    ?

  8. Hey! I am new to the area and would like to go to Crystal peak.
    Do you need 4 wheel drive to get there?
    Also how long would it take to get there from Golden valley?
    Thanks all!

    1. It shouldn’t take you more than 45 minutes from Golden Valley. There are two routes, one near the Bonanza (likely the way you would go) and the other entrance through Verdi/Mogul area. Unless there have been some unforeseen washouts you shouldn’t need a 4-wheel drive however as you get to the parking area for Crystal Mountain the road gets a little iffy so I would recommend a high clearance vehicle or just take care when driving around the ruts in the parking lot.

        1. Actually there are two separate routes to Crystal Peak, one through Verdi right behind the Bonanza casino and then the northern route from Bordertown. Try the alternate route and you will find a second crystal mine.

          1. Hi there
            I just was reading this and there is a little mistake here. I have lived in reno 55 years and yes crystal peak park is the Verdi exit or the BOOMTOWN casino exit . 7 miles west of reno see there is a Bonanza casino which is north of reno heading towards border town both BOOMTOWN and border town are at,California borders but crystal peak is at boomtown or Verdi exits . It gets confusing sometimes . BOOMTOWN was Bill and Effies Boomtown when I was a kid . DOG VALLEY is out there too.

  9. Hey Troy, Nice site! Copied the locations to GMaps. Going with my gal to celebrate our 70th birthdays from Seattle to Phoenix via Nevada in March/April. Used to live in the desert so kinda know her moods. Survival gear, guns, and going to have fun. Done some hunting (rock) around Caliente, Alamo, Vegas and Overton. Doing 93 and 95 coming and going. Any added advice you’d like to part with sir? Leave the artifacts where you find them? Frank

    1. I was looking at the site and noticed the map isn’t working. Hope you’re ok and all with everything going on. Love your site.

  10. Good morning
    Im looking to join a rockhound group.
    I have been collecting specimens for about 20 years but I’m not real knowledgeable at what I have I’m looking for help or a group I can join to learn any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

  11. Hi Troy! I have been rockhounding in Northern Nevada for a couple years and would love to find some geodes, crystals, garnets, amethyst! Can you tell me some detailed info on where to go? We go four wheeling all the time. I live near Carson City. I have the Rockhounding Nevada book but it is pretty outdated (a lot of private property etc). Feel free to email me anytime! Thanks, Kim

  12. Is there anywhere in Nevada where we could find petrified wood with a 2 wheel drive Scion XB?

  13. Hi I want to dig at the famous Hallelujah Junction. I plan on heading there this month on a road trip and am seeking advice on where to go. I have hard rock mining skills via hand tools I make so am seeking something more than dirt digging. Thank you for any advice. Alsoam considering bringing my dog…or not.

  14. Hi I want to dig at the famous Hallelujah Junction. I plan on heading there this month on a road trip and am seeking advice on where to go. I have hard rock mining skills via hand tools I make so am seeking something more than dirt digging. Thank you for any advice. Also am considering bringing my dog…or not. [email protected]

  15. Hello, we’re almost total newbies so hoped you might share some advice. We’ve done a little bit of searching for gold and prefer doing things together as family activities which include 3 kids as young as 5. So, there’s some concern about rattlesnakes and other potential hazards. Do you have any advice in this regard. Are there sites safer than others you’d recommend or is it just not recommended for kids?

    1. We have always had the same concern but never run into a problem, fingers crossed. We teach the kids what to look out for, how to react and what type of areas to avoid. Caution is the best method… the family dog is an entirely different story however. A friends dog was hit by a rattler and went through a lot of vet visits to recover (got super lucky). It’s just a hazard we have to contend with out here.

  16. I have an obscure destination I saw a reference to, but failed to bookmark the reference and can not turn it up yet…there is reportedly another petrified forest location besides Lund Petrified Forest, near Stevens Camp I am sure I remember reading that description, but I can’t turn it up again, yet. Are you aware of another petrified wood location east of SR 34? It’s around there, and not connected to the Virgin Valley petrified deposits.

  17. Are there any sites by Washoe lake? I found what looked like someone’s cracked open geode refuse and am wondering if there is a place to look for them by that area. Thanks!

    1. I’m not sure but if you hear of any please let us know. What area did you find the refuse in? I know you can still find arrowheads when the lake is low.

  18. Hi! Thank you for this excellent resource. Two days ago we visited the cold springs location and found lots of great specimens- so much fun!

    It is really generous of you to take the time to do this. It is helping me and my daughter explore more of our outdoors.

  19. Hi Troy. Great site. Though you may want to note that all of Petersen Mountain is claimed, and collecting without permission is NOT allowed (there is no crystal bearing ground that is not claimed; the various claims go all the way to the bottom of the mountain).

    Additionally the commercial claims up top are active mines and have heavy equipment and other potential hazards that make it a bad idea to wander on to them.

    Ethical and safe rockhounding is good rockhounding. 🙂

    Thanks!

    1. Not all of Peterson mountain is claimed. Plenty of areas to prospect. Don’t try to deter people because you’re upset your claim isn’t properly marked…

      1. This is absolutely correct and what I have been saying for years. Valid mining claims need to be legally marked with boundary markers that clearly state the area. From my knowledge only the top part accessed from the east side (Red Rock) is claimed, although there may be other mining claims not well marked surrounding the shoulders of the mountain. Mining claim owners cannot expect the common rockhounder to pull up mining claim maps… hence the need for proper markers by the claim owners. Thanks for your post!

        1. Troy nearly every single thing you said in regards to Petersen Mnt. was factually incorrect, does a great disservice to the rockhounding community, and I take offense at your unjustified self righteous tone. I am the son of one of the original claimants, have been digging there since 1976, and am still associated with the commercial claims up top. There are, perhaps, maybe a dozen or so people on the planet who know as much as I do about Petersen and the specific legalities surrounding the claims up there, and you are not one of them (and I assure you all the ones that are all agree with me on these issues).

          Claim markers are often (regularly, in fact) destroyed / removed by high graders. The absence of a marker DOES NOT invalidate the claim, and collecting on said claim (whether the markers are still there or not) IS ILLEGAL; specifically mineral theft and in the case of a claim that has an active Plan of Operation, as is the case with the commercial claims up top, criminal trespass. Yes, that’s correct – a claim with an active Plan of Operation not only CAN restrict access to the claim, but are REQUIRED to by the State for safety reasons. Try asserting your right to cross a claim on BLM land that someone like Newmont Gold has. Let me know how the discussion with the armed guard works out for you…

          Modern rockhounders ABSOLUTELY need to be responsible for checking whether or not sites are claimed or not; and in this day and age of easy data access there is absolutely no excuse not to (federal claims, for example, may be researched here: https://mlrs.blm.gov/s/research-map ). If they can make it to this site, they can google claim info.

          The claim I’m associated with has gone to great lengths to put together affordable digs and access working with and through RGMS, as being rockhounders ourselves we understand the appeal and draw of this amazing mountain (sometimes called the “Holy Grail” of Northern Nevada rockhounding, though personally I would say you could apply that term to Virgin Valley as well…) and it’s minerals and wish to support our shared passion with the local rockhounding community (take a look at a RGMS fundraising auction – notice all the Petersen material? Who do you think donated most of that?).

          But when people like yourself (and some of the commenters on this thread – looking at you, Nigel) promote the false information that you wish to believe and makes you feel better about your favored paradigm it makes it difficult to do that. Should we, instead of doing outreach with a respected local gem and mineral society to provide legal, safe access to the hill instead start criminally prosecuting high graders (easy enough to do with trail cam footage), in hopes that a bunch of criminal convictions would settle this “debate”? I know that I speak for everyone up there when I say that’s the very LAST thing we would ever want to do. That’s not the kind of energy we want on that hill. We have better things to do (like dig crystals and go rockhounding ourselves).

          Please don’t force us into a position where we have to start contemplating such measures. If you doubt the veracity of any of the assertions I have made go talk to the BLM, MSHA, or the State Mine inspector. Better yet, talk to legal counsel. While you are there, ask the attorney about your personal legal liability for spreading false information on your website encouraging mineral theft and criminal trespass, possibly leading to unsafe activity in dangerous conditions (like collecting below a mining claim where large boulders are rolling down a dump…) after being put on notice (twice now) that said information is false.

          Please do the right thing by your readers and claim owners alike by getting accurate information out. This is not a rockhounders vs. claim owners thing; we are ALL rockhounders. You have my email; I would be happy to discuss this further with you privately through email or even over coffee / a beer.

          1. First off… “factually incorrect, does a great disservice to the rockhounding community, and I take offense at your unjustified self righteous tone” – when did I say it was legal to impinge upon a claim? Or that every individual shouldn’t know where they’re standing? I’m trying not to take offense at the aggressive tone from the outset of your letter, so be to clear, in a comment I said mining claim owners were legally required to be marked and for those markings to be maintained.

            PER…

            PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE – PRC
            DIVISION 3.5. MINES AND MINING [3900 – 3985] ( Division 3.5 added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 259, Sec. 11. )

            CHAPTER 1. Manner of Locating Mining Claims, Tunnel Rights, and Millsites [3900 – 3924] ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 259, Sec. 11. )

            3901. The locator of any lode mining claim shall define the boundaries of the claim so that they may be readily traced, but in no case shall the claim extend more than 1,500 feet along the course of the vein or lode, or more than 300 feet on either side thereof as measured from the centerline of the vein at the surface. Within 60 days after the date of location of any lode mining claim located, the locator shall erect at each corner of the claim, a monument as defined in Section 3915. Each corner monument so erected shall bear or contain markings sufficient to appropriately designate the corner of the mining claim and the name of the claim to which it pertains.
            (Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 494, Sec. 2.)

            3902. The location of a placer claim shall be made in the following manner:
            (a) By erecting at the point of discovery thereon a conspicuous and substantial monument, and by posting in or on the monument a notice of location containing all of the following:
            (1) The name of the claim.

            (2) The name, current mailing address or current residence address, of the locator.

            (3) The date of the location, which shall be the date of posting the notice.

            (4) The number of feet or acreage claimed.

            (5) A description of the claim by reference to some natural object or permanent monument as will identify the claim located.

            (b) By marking the boundaries so that they may be readily traced and by erecting at each corner of the claim, or at the nearest accessible points thereto, a conspicuous and substantial monument. Each corner monument shall bear or contain markings sufficient to appropriately designate the corner of the mining claim to which it pertains and the name of the claim.
            Where the United States survey has been extended over the land embraced in the location, the claim may be taken by legal subdivisions and no other reference than those of the survey shall be required, and the boundaries of a claim so located and described need not be staked or monumented. The description by legal subdivisions shall be deemed the equivalent of marking.
            (Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 259, Sec. 11.)

            Now on a side note, people are disrespectful assholes as a general rule that ruin it for everyone else (respectful rock hounders) so I think claim jumping tourists is an age old problem with no clear end in sight. Unfortunately more and more public lands are getting closed for this very reason.

            Secondly, this map is simply a service I performed by digitizing all of the data available in several publicly available rockhounding books. I have listened to you (and other claim holders in the past) and you’ll note I have no information listed on Petersen, just a location … which is readily available in multiple printed books (and websites). Personally, our family hasn’t gone out there in years… and we only really surface hunt… after hearing about the continuing conflicts, intimidation tactics (I’m not pointing fingers or taking either side but the stories I have heard man, all third-hand knowledge of course so I don’t put much weight in it), as well as the fact that the claims maps (available at Are You on a Claim?) show there there is only a narrow track available to LEGALLY rock hounded.

            I mean look at the claims clearly recorded with an easily accessible map (at the link above), or use an app like GAIA GPS) to do the data aggregation for you…
            Petersen Claims as of 6/23/22

            With that all being said… I AGREE WITH YOU but think simply taking the link off the map is not a great approach to resolving this fully. I think adding clearer notes on the entry, a link to the claims map, also showing the JPG map showing all the claims, and perhaps a statement from the miners (you guys & gals) would maybe be more effective. The allure of Petersen isn’t simply going to go away and without educating the rockhounding community (and web searchers) this problem will never be fully solved.

            Let me know the best way to handle this. I can just take down the link but again, what good will that do? I’m not the only one with a page with info on Petersen, mines just popular haha. Are you or any of the other claim owners offering fee day dig trips, tailings hunting, etc? It would be amazing for everyone that used to love to visit (and those new but being called to the mountain) to have a way to experience it legally while perhaps educating the community at large and even allowing you funds to build up protectionary infrastructure for the assholes out there? And if you do, maybe you need help with your website and advertising because I haven’t heard anything haha!

            I will email you back on this but am look forward to the discussion!

          2. By the way, I could create a Petersen blog post and put the link with in the map link that basically outlines proper etiquette, responsibilities and a statement from the line owners perhaps? On the Google Map link itself.

  20. The Traverse Creek map is not correct. I was threatened by the man that lives out there. He said it is private property and always has been. He’s furious that about 20 people have been led out there recently by rockhounding maps.

    1. Ugh I will update that asap. It’s actually pulled from the published rockhounding books! So sorry for your bad experience.

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