35 Incredible Places To Find And Mine For Amethyst In Nevada In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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35 Incredible Places To Find And Mine For Amethyst In Nevada In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


If you’re planning to hunt for amethysts in Nevada, let me tell you, it’s no walk in the park! If you’re willing to put in the effort and do a little research, you’ll be able to find some incredible specimens that will blow your mind.

The thrill of finding a beautiful amethyst nestled amongst the rocks is worth the challenge.

Without this knowledge, you could spend hours scouring the desert floor without finding a gem. But don’t worry; you can quickly become a successful amethyst hunter with the right resources and a little effort!

Despite the difficulty of finding amethysts in Nevada, it’s well worth the effort. These gems are stunning and make for fantastic additions to any collection. Their deep purple hues are mesmerizing and range from pale lilac to deep violet.

What is Nevada Amethyst?

A gorgeous amethyst with hematite crystals
Photo provided by and available for purchase at ExoticCrystals

Now, let’s talk about the amethysts themselves. These gems are stunning! They’re among the most popular and recognizable gemstones, ranging in color from pale lilac to deep purple.

Amethysts are a type of quartz crystal that forms in geodes, which are hollow cavities lined with crystals. You never know what you will find inside when you crack open a geode. It could be a small amethyst cluster or a large, breathtaking formation that will leave you speechless.

It can be worth a pretty penny if you’re lucky enough to find a perfect one. But even if you’re not in it for the money, amethysts are so beautiful that it’s hard not to get excited about finding them. And with all the great resources available nowadays, anyone can have a successful amethyst hunting trip!

How We Know About Great Locations For Amethyst in Nevada
The best locations to find amethyst in Nevada can be closely guarded secrets. Fortunately, we’ve been around long enough to know where many of the best spots are to find it. We might not know every one out there but we know some pretty good ones. 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 amethyst 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!

The Best Spots To Find Amethyst in Nevada

Three pieces of beautiful amethyst crystals

Here are our top suggestions on where to look for amethyst in the state. There are many unusual locations where you can find gems in Nevada, but only a handful are particularly suitable for finding amethysts. Even though some of these places aren’t popular, we looked there and found exciting options.

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.

Bare Mountain

A picturesque view of Bare Mountain where you can find amethyst crystals

Bare Mountain, located in Nye County, Nevada, is a popular destination for rockhounds and mineral collectors looking for amethysts. The mountain is part of the Bare Mountain Range.

It is known for its unique geological formations, which include numerous faults and fissures that have created ideal conditions for amethyst crystal growth. These crystals are found in geodes within the volcanic rocks that make up the mountain.

Bare Mountain is mainly known for producing high-quality amethysts with colors ranging from pale lavender to deep violet. The amethysts are often large, well-formed crystals highly prized by collectors.

In addition to amethysts, minerals, and gemstones can also be found on Bare Mountain, including calcite, agate, and jasper.

Ensure you’ve read up on the most recent Nevada collecting laws before taking your finds home.

Where we found amethyst at Bare Mountain

One of the most popular spots at Bare Mountain is the Crystal Pit on the mountain’s northwest side. The Crystal Pit is a large area of exposed volcanic tuff where amethysts and other minerals can be found.

Here, you can find amethyst crystals ranging in size from small clusters to large, impressive formations.

Rock pick being used

The tools every amethyst hunter will need

When you're out looking for amethyst 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 amethyst 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 amethyst-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.

El Dorado Mountains

A beautiful photo of a lake with the El Dorado Mountains at the background

El Dorado Mountain, located in the Opal Mountain Wilderness area of Clark County, is a popular destination for rockhounds and mineral collectors looking for amethysts. The mountain is a large volcanic structure that contains various minerals, including amethysts.

El Dorado Mountain is accessible via unpaved roads, and visitors should be prepared for rugged terrain and extreme weather conditions. Additionally, visitors should follow ethical rockhounding practices, such as respecting private property boundaries, filling in any holes dug during their search, and leaving the land as they found it.

Where we found amethyst at the El Dorado Mountain

One of the most popular areas for amethyst hunting on El Dorado Mountain is the Opal Queen Mine, located on the mountain’s north side. Other areas on the mountain where amethysts can be found include the Echo Canyon area and the Black Velvet Canyon area.

Erickson Canyon

A man looking for amethyst crystals at the unnamed amethyst deposit area at Erickson Canyon

Erickson Canyon, located in the Virgin Valley of northern Nevada, is a well-known destination for rockhounds and mineral collectors looking for amethysts. The canyon is part of the larger Virgin Valley Opal Mining District, which produces high-quality gemstones and minerals.

Visitors to Erickson Canyon can search for amethysts in various ways, including surface collecting, digging, and sluicing. The canyon can be accessed via unpaved roads and is relatively easy to navigate.

The canyon also has a rich history of amethyst mining, with many abandoned mines and tailings piles still visible in the area.

Where we found amethyst at the Erickson Canyon

Amethysts found in Erickson Canyon are typically found in geodes within the volcanic rock formations of the area. Visit this amethyst guide we’ve created to know if amethyst is expensive.

Hog Ranch Mine

A nice view of the Hog Ranch Mine where amethysts can be found

Hog Ranch Mine, located in the Sierra Nevada Range of western Nevada, is a popular destination for rockhounds and mineral collectors looking for amethysts. The mine is situated on the slopes of Hog Ranch Mountain and is known for containing amethyst crystals.

Hog Ranch Mine is a unique location for amethyst hunting due to the fact that it is an active mining operation. The mine is operated by a private company and visitors are allowed to collect amethysts from tailings piles and other areas of the mine with the purchase of a permit.

Where we found amethyst at the Hog Ranch Mine

Amethysts at Hog Ranch Mine can be found in a variety of locations, including tailings piles, vugs, and pockets within the volcanic rock formations of the area.

Kanes Springs Wash

A scenic view of the Kanes Springs Wash

Kanes Springs Wash, located in the Muddy Mountains of southeastern Nevada, is a popular destination for rockhounds and mineral collectors looking for amethysts.

The wash is a dry creek bed that has cut through volcanic rock formations over millions of years, exposing a variety of minerals, including amethysts.

One of the reasons that Kanes Springs Wash is a popular spot for amethyst hunting is because of the accessibility of the area. The wash can be accessed via unpaved roads and is relatively easy to navigate.

Where we found amethyst at Kanes Springs Wash

One of the most popular areas for amethyst hunting at Kanes Springs Wash is the White Domes area, which is located at the southern end of the wash. Other areas of the wash where amethysts can be found include the Elephant Rock area and the Red Cap area.

Other Great Places To Mine For Amethyst in Nevada

A huge amethyst scepter photographed under the blue sky
Photo provided by Pacific Minerals – @pacificminerals 

Our recommendations by county

Although we’ve already listed our top picks to find amethyst crystals in Nevada, there are still plenty of other spots we can recommend. To make things easier, we’ve sorted them by county below.

County Location
Churchill Bell Mountain Mining District
Elko Miekle Mine
Elko Goldstrike Mines
Elko Ken Snyder Mine
Esmeralda Red Mountan Mining District
Eureka Barth Mine
Humboldt Disaster Peak
Humboldt Getchell Mine
Humboldt Adam Peak
Humboldt Osgood Mountain
Lander Fish Creek Mountain
Lyon Douglas Hill Mine
Mineral Silver Dyke Mine
Nye Taylor’s Mine
Nye Bullfrog Mine
Nye Bullfrog Hills
Nye Thanksgiving Mine
Nye Mustang Hill
Pershing Majuba Mountain
Pershing Belcher Shaft
Storey Comstock Lode
Washoe Fort Sage Mountains
Washoe Petersen Mountains
Washoe Petersen Mountain Quartz Mine
Washoe Royal Scepter Mine

Additional areas you can find amethyst

Givenhow huge Nevada is, we want to help you on your expedition. It’s important to seek the key and focus on areas where amethysts are often found.

Mines and mine dumps

Mines and mine dumps are great places to find amethyst for collectors for several reasons. Amethysts are often found in geodes or vugs within the rocks of the mine, making them relatively easy to access compared to other minerals.

Mines and mine dumps are often home to a variety of minerals and gemstones, making them an ideal location for rockhounds and mineral collectors. These areas can contain a rich variety of specimens, including everything from quartz and agate to garnets and topaz. This means that collectors can often find multiple types of minerals in one location.

Rivers and riverbanks

Rivers and riverbanks are great places to find amethyst for collectors. Rivers can naturally erode rocks and minerals, exposing them to the surface.

This means that amethysts and other minerals can be easily found along riverbanks, particularly after periods of heavy rainfall or flooding.

Rivers can transport minerals and gemstones from their original source, meaning that amethysts can be found in areas that are not typically associated with amethyst deposits. This can lead to exciting discoveries for collectors.

Streams and creeks

Other natural areas that are great places for amethyst collectors to find gorgeous gemstones include streams and creeks. Streams and creeks are excellent places to look for amethysts since they share many of the same characteristics with rivers and riverbanks, such as water movement and mineral and rock sorting caused by nature.

The fact that stream and creeks are frequently less crowded than other places, making it simpler to concentrate on locating gemstones, is one benefit of looking for amethysts there. Another benefit is that they are frequently found in wild and isolated areas, offering collectors a tranquil and enjoyable place to explore.

Common Amethyst-Hunting Questions

An enormous geode lined with shimmering amethyst and quartz crystals

It’s essential to respond to the following frequently asked questions about amethysts in Nevada.

Where can you find amethyst geodes in Nevada?

Despite the fact that amethyst geodes are uncommon in Nevada, there are a few rock shops where you can locate different varieties.

Is it illegal to collect amethyst in Nevada?

As long as you follow local regulations, Nevada permits amethyst collection. Follow any applicable laws if you’re in a public area. Be sure you have permission if you’re on private property.

The Best Places To Buy Amethyst In Nevada

Crystal Cove in Midtown Reno where you can find and buy amethysts crystals and other different specimens

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea to spen all day in the woods looking for amethysts. Sometimes all you need is a fantastic display that stands out from the crowd or something to strengthen your collection. The list of rock shops where you may purchase amethyst crystals is provided below.

  • Cabin Creek Crystals – 770 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89501
  • Crystal Cove – 20 Hillcrest Dr, Reno, NV 89509
  • Earth Energe – 1023 Rock Blvd A, Sparks, NV 89431
  • Ink and Amethyst – 257 S Moapa Valley Blvd, Overton, NV 89040
  • Stone Age Quarry – 2002 Harvard Way, Reno, NV 89502

Additional Places To Find Amethyst In Nearby States

If you’ve already tried all of our recommendations above or are planning a trip out of the state you should check out our guides for neighboring states:

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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