The 19 Prime Spots To Find Agates In Arkansas In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

| Updated

The 19 Prime Spots To Find Agates In Arkansas In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Updated

Arkansas is a treasure trove of geological wonders, and one of the most captivating gems you can unearth here is its beautiful agate. They come in a stunning array of colors and patterns that will leave you awe-struck.

While they can be found in various locations across the state, searching for agates in Arkansas can be a bit like hunting for hidden gems without the right guidance. But that’s where we come in!

We’re here to help you uncover the best spots to find Arkansas agate, including the Crater of Diamonds State Park, Poplar Creek, Crow Creek, Clabber Creek, and Wynne area gravel pits.

We’ll also talk about the exciting diversity of agates you can find here. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant colors or mesmerizing patterns, Arkansas has something for you.

What is Arkansas Agate?

A superb specimen of banded agate from Indonesia
Banded agate photo provided by and available for purchase at MouStones

Agate is a type of chalcedony— a mineral made primarily of quartz. What sets it apart is its captivating and often banded appearance, which comes in a dazzling variety of colors and patterns.

Imagine nature’s artwork encapsulated within a stone! No wonder the value of agate reflects its radiant beauty.

Agates can be found in various locations worldwide, including in Arkansas, but they often form in volcanic and sedimentary environments.

Volcanic agates originate from volcanic rock cavities and are known for their vibrant colors and intricate patterns. They are born from hot magma cooling and interacting with minerals in underground cavities.

On the other hand, sedimentary agates are formed by the slow deposition of silica-rich fluids over time, creating more subtle, earth-toned colors.

Agate’s looks and appeal can be so diverse and if you’re curious to know about its different types, below are some only of the most unique ones out there:

Moss Agates

Moss agate gets its name from its moss-like or dendritic inclusions that resemble tiny ferns, trees, or mosses within the stone. These intricate patterns are created by the presence of manganese or iron oxide minerals.

It can display a wide range of colors, from translucent whites and grays to shades of green, creating a lush and earthy appearance. This gemstone is highly valued for its unique, scenic beauty. Unfortunately, it’s not commonly found in Arkansas.

Fire Agates

Fire agate is known for its stunning, fiery iridescence. It displays a vibrant play-of-color caused by thin layers of chalcedony and iron oxide or limonite deposits. It often shimmers with warm hues like red, orange, and gold.

However, fire agate is not typically found in Arkansas. It has distinct geological conditions for its formation, and our state is known more for its other agate varieties.

Blue Lace Agates

Blue lace agate has delicate, sky-blue bands that resemble wispy lace patterns. Its serene blue hues are caused by the presence of microcrystalline quartz and traces of other minerals like iron.

Unfortunately, when it comes to finding blue lace agate in Arkansas, it would be quite impossible. If you’re seeking this, other regions in the United States, such as Arizona and New Mexico, are more renowned for it.

Banded Agate

Banded agate’s name comes from its distinct banding patterns that come in a wide array of colors, textures, and thicknesses. It forms when layers of microcrystalline quartz alternate with layers of other minerals, resulting in its banding effect.

You’ll be happy to know that you can find banded agate in Arkansas. So if you’re after these stunning gems, our state is sure to deliver.

But agate is not the only beautiful find here, so if you want to know more about the breathtaking crystals our state has to offer, check out our article on the best crystal mine sites in Arkansas.

How We Know About Great Locations For Agate in Arkansas
With agates being so beautiful you can image that the best spots are not always advertised widely. In fact, it isn’t unusual for good places to find agates to be secrets known by just a few locals. Fortunately, you do know someone who has been around the block!

The key factors in our recommendations are:

  • The deep experience and understanding of our team about the area
  • Recommendations from local groups and clubs
  • How easy it is to get the a particular location
  • Safety and potential hazards when collecting
  • Weighing private and public locations
  • The ability for both experienced and novice agate enthusiasts to find great samples

With these factors in mind we’ve been able to put together a fantastic list that just about anyone can use!

Rock pick being used

The tools every agate hunter will need

When you're out looking for agates having the right tools for the job is really going to make or break your success. You don't need a lot for most trips but there are a handful that are critical and will make your life a lot easier.

We get asked a lot about the equipment we use. Over the years we've found a handful of tools that we recommend to both new and experienced agate hunters which we outline in great detail in our complete rockhounding tools and kit guide. These are quality options that also happen to be relatively inexpensive.

Below are the basic tools that make your life so much easier and save you a ton of time. Check out the full guide to see everything we recommend bringing. One quick note, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases but we try very hard to only recommend gear we would use ourselves and often recommend brands you can't find on Amazon.

At a minimum you should have:

1 - Sturdy rock hammer: The Estwing Rock Pick is our standard

2 - Rugged chisels: Try Kendo' 3-piece Chisel Set

3 - Compact shovel: The Koleiya 28-inch shovel works well

4 - Rock screen pan: The Wazakura Soil Sieve Set fits the bill

5 - Eye protection: DeWalt Safety Glasses are cheap and comfortable

6 - Head protection: Malta's Safety Helmet has been our go-to

7 - Jewelers lens with at least 20x magnification: Jarlink's Jewelers Loop is perfect

The agate-finding books that we use most

There are also a few books that have been extremely helpful in the search for gems. These books have great recommendations and tips:

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals: North America 

Southeast Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Southeastern Quadrant 

We provide links to find these tools on Amazon but some can also be found at your local hardware stores. For more recommendations check out the link to our full tool guide above.

The Best Spots To Find Agates in Arkansas

A beautiful "mustard" agate
Agate photo provided by South Dakota Rockhound

While there are many great gem mine sites in Arkansas, you may want to focus your search on the following places if you want to find agates here:

Always Confirm Access and Collection Rules!

Before heading out to any of the locations on our list you need to confirm access requirements and collection rules for both public and private locations.

These requirements are subject to change without notice and may differ from what we state below.

Always get updated information directly from the source ahead of time to ensure responsible rockhounding.

Crater of Diamonds State Park

Three guys of different ages sorting through the gravel deposits  at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Situated near the town of Murfreesboro, the Crater of Diamonds State Park covers over 37 acres of land. Its accessible location, diverse geological features, and promise of finding treasures make it an exciting place to explore.

This park is rich in rolling hills, dense forests, and a picturesque natural landscape. Its centerpiece is a volcanic crater, often referred to as the “diamond pipe.”

In addition to diamonds, the Crater of Diamonds State Park is known for other gemstones and minerals, including agate.

Getting here is relatively easy, as it’s accessible by car from major cities in the region. But before you head out here, it helps if you review Arkansas’ updated collecting guidelines.

Where we found agates in the Crater of Diamonds State Park

You can search through the open fields and washed gravels at the Crater of Diamonds State Park to find stunning Arkansas agates.

Poplar Creek

A scenic creek at the Ouachita National Forest where Poplar Creek is

Poplar Creek is located in the heart of the Ouachita National Forest. It offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and geological wonders.

Nestled within the lush and scenic Ouachita Mountains, the creek meanders through dense woodlands and serene valleys.

The terrain along Poplar Creek varies, making it an ideal spot for agate hunting. You can explore creek beds and the surrounding areas to search for a wide range of minerals, including agate.

Getting here is relatively easy if you want to visit, as it’s situated within the Ouachita National Forest, a well-known and accessible region in Arkansas. The creek can be reached by car from nearby towns and cities.

Where we found agates in Poplar Creek

You can collect banded agates if you collect upstream of Poplar Creek, along both sides, all the way through the Crowley’s Ridge State Park headwaters.

Crowley’s Ridge

The amazing ridge at Crowley's Ridge

Crowley’s Ridge is a unique and fascinating natural feature that offers both scenic beauty and potential for agate hunting.

This long, narrow ridge, stretching for approximately 200 miles across the eastern part of our state, stands out in the flatlands of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain.

Crowley’s Ridge is characterized by its elevated, winding ridge shape that stands above the surrounding lowlands. It’s the result of an ancient geological process, formed by the accumulation of wind-blown sediments over millions of years.

Covered by lush hardwood forests, the terrain along Crowley’s Ridge is diverse and ideal for agate hunting.

Visiting here is relatively easy, as it runs through several towns and cities in eastern Arkansas. Major highways and roads provide access to various points along the ridge.

Where we found agates in Crowley’s Ridge

Agates and other minerals can often be found in the creeks and streams that cut through Crowley’s Ridge. The agates found here are typically small, but they are known for their vibrant colors and unique patterns.

Clabber Creek

A look at the interesting bluff in Clabber Creek

Clabber Creek offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and geological treasures, including the possibility of discovering colorful agate.

It’s surrounded by picturesque woodlands and rolling hills of central Arkansas. Nestled within this, the creek meanders through scenic valleys, creating an ideal setting for outdoor adventures.

The terrain along Clabber Creek is diverse and well-suited for agate hunting. You can explore the creek beds and the surrounding areas to search for various minerals, including agate.

If you’re planning to go here, it’s relatively easy. It’s located in the central part of Arkansas, not far from the capital city, Little Rock. Major highways and well-maintained roads provide convenient access to this area.

Where we found agates in Clabber Creek

Agate can often be found in the gravel and rocky substrates of Clabber Creek, particularly after heavy rains or during periods of high water flow.

Wynne

The creek in Village Creek State Park in Wynne

Wynne is a charming destination for rockhounds and nature enthusiasts seeking the thrill of agate hunting. It’s situated in a region that is rich in geological diversity, making it an ideal location for rockhounding adventures.

This town is endowed with a gently rolling landscape typical of eastern Arkansas. The area is known for its fertile farmland and proximity to the Mississippi River.

The terrain in and around Wynne varies, offering different environments for treasure hunters. You can explore the creeks, stream beds, and the surrounding areas to search for a variety of minerals, including agate.

Like our other recommended spots, Wynne is conveniently located near major highways and well-connected roads. It’s approximately an hour’s drive from Memphis, Tennessee, and less than two hours from Little Rock.

Where we found agates in Wynne

You can find agates in the gravel and sediment deposits of Wynne, especially in areas where water has flowed over time.

Other Great Places To Find Agates in Arkansas

A beautiful polished agate with bands of golden yellow
Agate photo provided by tidewateragates_pnw

If you’re looking for other places where you can mine for agates in Arkansas, below are more prime spots that you can consider visiting:

Our recommendations by county

County Location
Craighead Several gravel pits north of the county road
Cross East of eroded canyons in former gravel pit in Vanndale
Garland Union Carbide Mine
St. Francis Crow Creek
St. Francis Gravel pit in Colt area
St. Francis Tributary of St. Francis River
Wynne Copperus Creek

Additional areas you can find agates

Even though an area is sure to have agates, locating these natural wonders out in the wild can be quite tricky. That’s why it pays to know how to find agates and what specific areas you should focus your search on, such as:

Streams and Creeks

Streams and creeks are fantastic places to search for agate, especially in Arkansas. The flowing water wears away the surrounding rocks and sediment, exposing agates hidden beneath the surface. Over time, it brings these treasures to the surface.

The constant motion of the water also helps to separate agate from other rocks and minerals, allowing it to settle in specific areas like gravel bars and stream beds.

Lastly, the accessibility of streams and creeks makes them ideal for rockhounding enthusiasts of all levels.

Rivers and Riverbanks

Rivers and their banks are also excellent places for hunting Arkansas agates. The continuous water flow has gradually exposed agate and other gemstones, bringing them to the surface.

The dynamic movement of river currents also helps to sort and separate rocks and minerals, causing agate to settle in specific areas along the riverbanks.

And like streams and creeks, the rivers and river banks in Arkansas offer relatively easy access, making them ideal locations even for those who are just starting their rockhounding explorations.

Sediment Deposits

If you’re looking for agates in Arkansas, we also recommend searching through sediment deposits.

Agate forms within sedimentary rocks, often as nodules or concretions. Over time, these rocks weather and erode, releasing agate specimens into the surrounding sediment layers.

Sediment deposits also tend to accumulate a mix of materials, and agate can become concentrated within these deposits due to its durability and distinctiveness.

Additionally, since Arkansas has a rich geological history, sedimentary rocks such as those found in riverbanks or creek beds often contain agates.

Common Agate-Hunting Questions

A captivating Laguna agate with bands and swirls of purple, blue, white, black, and yellow
Laguna agate photo provided by Thee Ancients

Before you head out to your agate hunting here, we’ll answer the most commonly asked question by rockhounds who’ve come here before you:

Is it illegal to collect agate in Arkansas?

Collecting agates in Arkansas is generally not illegal, as agates are considered common minerals here. However, there are important rules and guidelines to follow.

Always obtain permission from landowners before collecting on private property. In state parks, it’s crucial to check with the individual park authorities to understand the rules and requirements before collecting.

Also, make sure to be environmentally responsible while collecting. Arkansas has regulations in place to protect its natural resources.

If you need more information on our collecting guidelines, visit the website of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism.

The Best Places To Buy Agates In Arkansas

A look at the building where the Gem Adventures Rock Shop is located

Another great way to observe, find, and even bring home Arkansas agates is to visit our trusted rock and mineral shops. Below are some of them:

If you have any recommendations for our list please leave a comment below!

About Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He has worked as a professional Geologist for over 20 years and holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Masters Degree in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelors Degree in Geology from the University of Connecticut.

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