If you’re looking to find agates in Arizona, you’re in luck as there are a variety of places you can explore to find and hunt them naturally. In fact, fire agates are only found in the Arizona, southern California and central Mexico deserts. Other agates, however, can be found throughout the world, including the United States, such as Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington, to name a few.
In today’s guide, let’s talk about the many reputable Arizona agate locations if you’re looking to agate hunt. As of this writing, these options are open to the public, however, this is subject to change, so please check out the official link to find out more information. Remember, even though you can hunt for agates, there’s no guarantee you will find them. It’s highly advisable that you watch YouTube videos or seek out other guides to figure out how you can successfully find agates in the wild.
Here are some Arizona agate locations to consider:
Black Hills Rockhound Area
The Black Hills Rockhound Area is a well known area located about 20~ miles northeast of Safford, Arizona. It’s located on BLM land, which means you can visit and hunt for agates, mainly fire agates, for free. It’s only about two miles off the road on a dirt path to the parking area, but almost all cars can make it.
According to the official site, this area is open to digging by the public without the need for fees or permits, and it’s highly advisable you bring a shovel since most fire agates will be found about one to two feet beneath the surface. You can even camp throughout the area for up to two weeks at no cost. As with any BLM land, it’s recommended you always check out land ownership before you start digging. To do so, the BLM highly recommends you visit a local office so that they can help you pinpoint a topographical map to let you know where you can go to agate hunt. In Arizona, rockhounding, as well as metal detecting, isn’t allowed on Arizona State Trust Land.
Cuesta Fire Agate Mine
The Cuesta Fire Agate Mine has been operating since 1928 and is located on old Route 66, about a few miles east of the town of Oatman, Arizona in the Deer Creek area. Keep in mind that this is a pay to mine service, with fees in the $30 to $50~ per day, depending on what you want, but it does seem you can get your money’s worth. This includes walking in as well as mining and keeping whatever you find on the ground. The mine owner, Don, will even give you a tour and even help you if it’s your first time. If you’re interested in visiting, you will need to contact Don via this link.
Rock Mountain Rockhound Area
The Rock Mountain Rockhound Area is located in the small town of Duncan, which is about 50 east of Safford, close to the New Mexico border. This is a very rough road in, so it’s highly recommended you have a four-wheel drive vehicle to make it to the best agate hunting location. The roads can be very rough, especially after it rains. Many also recommend you bring a friend and/or let someone know when you’re going as this is a very desolate area, often without any phone service. Nonetheless, if you’re able to make it here, there are plenty of fire agates to be found. In fact, it seems to be one of the most plentiful stocked locations in all of Arizona.
Saddle Mountain is located slightly off the I-10, near Tonopah, and is said to be an abundant source of chalcedony and quartz specimens. Rockhounds highly recommend you go after a rainfall to make it easier to spot fire agates. Once here, follow the path from the road to the mountain, looking for a brown/orangish-colored stone. Gem qualities are very hard to find, mainly because it has been mined for so long over the years, however, don’t let it deter you as people still find fire agates here. In this area, private mines do exist, so it’s highly recommended you know where claimed lands exist. Again, know your BLM land to avoid any problems. Google Maps will route you directly to the fire agate area.
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