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Youll Love Digging For Crystals At This Unique Northern California

Youll Love Digging For Crystals At This Unique Northern California


Hiding within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Crystal Mine can be found off of Long Valley Road and just before you reach Lookout Campground.

Once you arrive, you'll be greeted by the sight of piles upon piles of rocks. It's in these piles you'll find the area's real treasure—crystals!

Gardening tools work great for this type of digging, though, and there's no price to dig.

Crystals were needed in abundance for use in two-way radios, so dynamite was used to blast the hillside and bring crystals to the surface.

It may take awhile, but they are definitely there! Visitors are allowed to collect up to five pounds of crystals a week.

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... digging (and maybe a few shiny crystals in your pocket), maybe enjoy a picnic lunch among the gorgeous scenery. And if you feel like staying overnight, ...

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Amethyst crystal in it's natural form.



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But he's not digging for opal at the moment. He's trying to make the pit a little safer by removing overhanging rock that was somewhat dangerously undercut ...

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Jamie and Ian show us some opals that they have dug recently! They have opal for sale and you can find Jamie Lant on Facebook for more information on ...

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They don't have to look for the gems; they're everywhere. Miners like Steve sift through the bounty looking for “points,” the six-sided structures that ...

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... the mine is simply scooped up and deposited topside onto a five-acre area so visitors can, for three-dollars per pound, sift through the gems to find ...

Here's one I dug, backlit. It's hard to show the true beauty and depth of these opals in photos. Your have to see them with your own eyes.


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The opal ranges in color and clarity. There is butterscotch yellow such as this giant piece.

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A crystal clear reason to take this short hike

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Amethyst Mine Panorama features an amethyst seam that's 50 feet wide, 55 feet deep, and 1,200 feet long—making it one of the largest and richest amethyst ...

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An important part of rockhounding etiquette when you are working at a shared dig site, is to try to keep the area safe, ...

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During our visit, several families picked through the crystal heaps. It was fun to watch little ones, each with their own bucket, find the perfect gem.

Slag glass

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This material popped out of the same seams that we were digging on.


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With plenty of signs along Highway 17 pointing the way, Amethyst Mine Panorama is easy to find. Open mid-May through mid-October, the mine is located on ...

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Opal Hill Mine... $25 fee to mine (if open). Access from Wiley Wells Road.

This means removing your tailings from the pit periodically so that the enlargement of the dig can keep taking place in an efficient way.

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Steve has mined here for years and says working the mine in the summers as a kid instilled a love ...

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Here's a chunk of the host rhyolite with a large, yummy caramel colored opal at one end. You have to look close when you are digging.

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Backpacking stove: If you want to cook your own food, either because you're sick of takeout or want to save money, then you'll need a cooking stove.



Back at his claim, Jamie seems to contemplate the game plan for the future. It's a bold move to invite people you have never met onto your claim to dig.

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Large Quartz Crystal