The 32 Amazing Places To Find Agates In Nevada In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist

| Updated

The 32 Amazing Places To Find Agates In Nevada In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist


Agates are beautiful naturally occurring stones with a wide range of colors and patterns. Nevada is a great place to look for agates, but it can be hard to find them if you don’t have someone to help you.

Because this state is so big and wild, treasures are very well hidden. It’s almost like they’re playing a huge game of hide-and-seek with you!

It would be cool to find a rock that looks like a piece of ocean or a sunset. You feel like you’re in a real-life adventure story when you finally find an agate after searching for hours.

Agate hunters can use our in-depth article as a compass because it tells you the secrets and how to find these precious stones. We can help you find the agates you want if you’re determined to do so!

What is Nevada Agate?

A gorgeous formation of a raw natural agate crystal
Agate photo provided by and available for purchase at  ThrowinStones

Agate is a type of quartz and a cool stone. It often has swirls of different colors inside it. These shapes aren’t just for looks; they tell you about the stone’s history, like how old it is or what kind of place it formed.

Most of the time, you can find agates in places with volcanic rocks or where there was a lot of volcanic activity in the past. Also, they’re in places where water flows, like rivers and streams (water carries tiny minerals, helping create agates).

Agates like to hide and seek in dry river beds, along the shore, or even in deserts where volcanoes used to be. They’re natural treasures hidden away until someone finds them.

Read our article to find out more about how much agates are worth.

Moss agates

Even though it’s called moss agate, it’s not an agate because it doesn’t have the bands that true agates do. But it’s still a beautiful sight! It has green minerals inside it that look like moss.

There isn’t moss inside the stone, though. The mossy look comes from minerals like iron or manganese. Sometimes, the patterns look so real that you might think there’s a whole forest inside!

People who collect and make jewelry love moss agates because each one is different, with a different pattern and shade of green.

Nevada has a lot of different minerals and gemstones because of its varied geology, but its moss agate deposits aren’t known for them.

Fire agates

Fire agate is a beautiful type that stuns people with its fiery play of colors and shimmering look, similar to opal. Iridescence is the name for this gorgeous effect when light is bent by thin layers of iron oxide or limonite crystals inside the stone.

Under the surface, these layers make it look like there are flames or fiery patterns. This makes each fire agate a tiny piece of magic that has been captured. As you turn the stone in the light, the colors change and dance.

They can be bright reds, oranges, greens, gold, and browns. It’s more than just a rock; it’s a show!

Fire agates are not common in Nevada, even though the state has a lot of minerals and gemstones. Most of the time, they are found in places that have had volcanic activity in the past.

Blue lace agates

Blue lace agate is a beautiful stone known for its light blue and white bands and swirls that look like lace. Many people love this type of chalcedony, which is a quartz mineral.

It’s beautiful, and people say it makes them feel calm and peaceful. Jewelers and collectors love it because the patterns are so soft and pretty. They look like wispy clouds in a clear sky or waves lapping on a sandy shore.

Its distinctive color comes from trace elements like iron or calcium being present, and it forms in volcanic rock or old lava flows.

However, it’s not easy to find blue lace agate in Nevada. This particular stone doesn’t come from the area. The geology of Nevada is very varied and rich. It’s known for many other gems and minerals, like opals and turquoise, but blue lace agate isn’t one of them.

How We Know About Great Locations For Agate in Nevada
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 

Southwest Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Southwestern 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 Nevada

A stunning waterline agate with different blue hues and closely resembles an ocean
Agate photo provided by Turkish Agate Stones

Nevada’s rough terrain is a treasure trove for agate fans. Although there are several places to find gems in Nevada, not all have agates. We’ll list the best places in Silver State to look for agates and have a fun adventure of beautiful finds!

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 directly with the location. We haven’t personally verified every location and the access requirements and collection rules often change without notice.

Many of the locations we mention will not allow collecting but are still great places for those who love to find beautiful rocks and minerals in the wild without keeping them. We also can’t guarantee you will find anything in these locations since they are constantly changing. 

Always get updated information directly from the source ahead of time to ensure responsible rockhounding. If you want even more current options it’s always a good idea to contact local rock and mineral clubs and groups

Gabbs Valley Range

A beautiful landscape of rough terrain at Gabbs Valley Range

Nestled in the middle of Nevada, the Gabbs Valley Range is a rockhound paradise thanks to its unique geological features. This area’s rough mountains and changing landscape result from volcanic activity from long ago for agate to form.

One reason the Gabbs Valley Range is great for people looking for agates is that it isn’t very close to other places that people can easily get to, so it hasn’t been picked over as much.

Agates of all colors can be found here, some with bands and some without. They often sit on the surface, waiting for someone to notice them.

Where we found agates in the Gabbs Range Valley

Agates can be found in many places in Nevada’s Gabbs Valley Range. Check out the dry washes, river beds, and areas at the base of the mountains and hills. These are places where water may have moved or exposed the agates in the past or present.

Agate deposits can also be found near the foothills. These are usually brought to the surface by natural geological processes.

Lahontan Reservoir

An area at the Lahontan Reservoir filled with trees and a river flowing

Lahontan Reservoir is in the desert basin of western Nevada. It’s a beautiful place where water meets dry wilderness. After the Carson River was dammed, a huge artificial lake was formed.

This lake is famous for its recreational activities like fishing, boating, and camping. Agate hunters are more interested in the area around the reservoir, though.

Changing water levels, especially during dry times, reveal large mudflats and submerged areas, giving rockhounds new places to look for rocks.

The location of the reservoir is important to its hidden value. The area was a hotspot for volcanic activity in the past, so there are so many volcanic rocks. Agates are often found in these rocks.

Where we found agates at the Lahontaon Reservoir

You have to be willing to explore and take some risks to find agates at Lahontan Reservoir. These stones are not all in one place. You can often find agates and other stones washed up on the beaches and banks that have been exposed.

Sometimes, when the water level is very low, dry lakes and riverbeds can be great places to look for agates. Agates may also be found where water has slowly deposited layers of gravel and sediment.

Pine Nut Mountain

A beautiful scenery full of lush green grasses and the Pine Nut Mountain in the background

A range in western Nevada called the Pine Nut Mountains is a great place for rockhounds and adventurers alike. This rough landscape, with its few plants and famous pine trees, is a geological wonderland formed by volcanoes acting long ago.

Because of the area’s long history of volcanoes, many igneous and metamorphic rocks are often where you can find agates.

Pine Nut Mountains is a great place to find agates because it has a lot of different types of landscape, such as dry washes, steep ravines, and rocky outcrops.

You can find agates easily in these places because they are often formed in and around volcanic deposits.

Where we found agates in Pine Nut Mountains

The Pine Nut Mountains have several rocky outcrops and ravines, where agates may be found among other volcanic stones. Dry washes and stream beds at the mountain are also prime locations to search for agates.

Rock Creek Canyon

A mesmerizing picturesque view of the Rock Creek Canyon with clear blue waters, lush forests, and mountain ranges

Rock Creek Canyon is a beautiful place with more to offer than just beautiful views and a peaceful atmosphere. It’s also a rockhounder’s dream, especially for those looking for agates.

Geological conditions in the canyon’s vast landscape make it a good place for many minerals to form, including the highly sought-after agate. These semiprecious stones were formed when lava from an ancient volcano cooled and settled.

This is a common event in the geological history of Rock Creek Canyon. The agates here can be a wide range of colors and patterns, which is fun for collectors. There are a lot of different kinds of agates, from banded to moss.

Where we found agates at Rock Creek Canyon

Hills and mountains can reveal mineral treasures, such as agates, through natural erosion. It can be especially useful to look at the bases of these geographical features, where things tend to gather.

Yucca Mountain

An aerial view of the rugged terrains of Yucca Mountain

Yucca Mountain is mostly famous for being the site of a controversial plan to store nuclear waste, but it also has interesting geological features that mineral fans might be interested in.

This dry, isolated formation in the Mojave Desert was formed by volcanoes millions of years ago. Volcanic activity can create unique rock formations that may be good for minerals like agates to form.

Even though Yucca Mountain isn’t known for being a good place to find agates, the geological history of the surrounding area makes it possible that these semiprecious stones could be there.

Where we found agates at Yucca Mountain

When silica-rich lava hardens over time in certain conditions, it can turn into an agate. The rough landscape of the mountain, with its rocky outcrops and dry stream beds, is often linked to the discovery of agates.

Other Great Places To Find Agates in Nevada

A vast landscape of Badger Mountain where you can find agate deposits

The different landscapes in Nevada hide many agate sites, and each one has remarkable rocks for rockhounds to find. We’ve already given you suggestions for the best places, but we’ll give you more recommendations to be successful!

Our detailed guide, organized by county, will reveal the state’s best-kept secrets.

Our recommendations by county

County Location
Churchill Area surfaces of Bell Canyon
Churchill Area slopes and area surrounding the Green Mountain
Clark Along the North Shore road
Douglas Mount Siegel
Elko Area surrounding Jakes Canyon
Elko Texas Spring Canyon area
Esmeralda Monte Cristo Range, area draws, washes, and surfaces
Esmeralda Palmetto Canyon, area surfaces
Esmeralda Volcani hills
Eureka Pinto Canyon
Humboldt Amethyst Sage Mine
Humboldt Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine
Humboldt Agate Point area surfaces
Lyon Fernley area, area on west flank of hills
Lyon Wilson Canyon
Mineral Along the shores of Walker Lake and area land surfaces
Nye Agate Mountain
Pershing Star Peak
Pershing Trinity Peak
Washoe Wall Canyon
Washoe Donnelly Mine, veins in sedimentary rocks
Washoe Sparks area draws, washes, fields, and land surfaces

Additional areas you can find agates

It’s possible to find agates in the following places. We want to help you find these in Nevada because it’s a big state.

Lake shores

Agate collectors often find many of them along the shores of lakes. This is mostly because of the natural processes that happen there. Over time, lakes collect water flowing down from the nearby mountains and hills.

This water often contains many minerals, such as agates. The rocks that these semiprecious stones come from, like volcanic or metamorphic rocks, are hard and don’t wear away easily.

When rivers and streams flow into a lake, they slow down and leave behind heavier things like agates on the shore.

Mines and mine dumps

People looking for agates often forget about mines and mine dumps as safe places to find them. Agates are just one of the many geological treasures that are brought to the surface by mining operations while they are looking for specific minerals or ores.

When these things are no longer needed for the mine’s main purpose, they are usually dumped nearby, making the area easy for rockhounds to explore.

People who like to collect can find a wide range of items at these sites, and compared to natural geological sites, they usually don’t have to dig as deep.

Stream and creeks

Streams and creeks are some of the best and most exciting places for agate collectors to look. Minerals naturally flow down through these changing environments from their source points, usually higher ground or mountains.

Because they are hard, agates don’t wear away easily. They are carried along by the water flow and rest in gravel beds or along stream bends.

Over time, the constant flow of water washes away the softer rocks and sediment, leaving behind the tougher agates, which stand out because they are clear and have smooth surfaces.

Washes and ravines

Water and erosion have shaped washes and ravines over thousands of years, making them great places for people to find agates. Agates and other rocks and minerals move along these natural formations like conveyor belts.

Agates can be moved from their original volcanic or metamorphic sources to easier-to-reach places by water running down mountains and hills, especially after rain or snow melts.

During dry times, washes and ravines are easier to get through, revealing their rocky treasures.

Common Agate-Hunting Questions

A lovely polished and tumbled agate gemstone with its different color bands
Agate photo provided by Rashi Ratan Gem Store

Most people ask this when they go to Nevada to look for agates.

Is it illegal to collect agate in Nevada?

Nevada doesn’t have any laws against collecting agates, but there are rules that collectors must follow to make sure they are doing it in a legal and ethical way.

The Best Places To Buy Agates In Nevada

Rockchuck Gems and Minerals rock shop in Nevada where you can find and buy different agate specimens

Some people don’t like going outside in the heat to look for agates. Sometimes you only need one piece to give as a gift or add to your library. You can easily find agates at these Nevada rock shops:

About Keith Jackson - Geologist

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He is an active Geologist with a wealth of experience and information from across the country that he loves to share with the Rock Chasing crew.

Leave a Comment