Our 33 Favorite Sites To Find and Dig For Crystals In Alabama In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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Our 33 Favorite Sites To Find and Dig For Crystals In Alabama In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Crystals are not only beautiful to look at, but also carry a sense of mystery and wonder within them. That’s why the thrill of finding them is an experience unlike any other. But if you’re not familiar with the right locations and techniques to find them, crystal hunting can be very difficult. This is particularly true in Alabama, where finding crystals requires expert knowledge and guidance.

In this article, we’ll explore the incredible world of these natural wonders and the joy and excitement of finding crystals in Alabama. We visited the astounding locations here where you can find these amazing treasures: Lake Martin, Black Warrior River, Hog Mountain, Hillabee Creek, and Tombigbee River. Let’s get started!

How We Picked The Best Places To Find Crystals in Alabama
We spent a lot of time determining which of the many options for digging and mining for crystals that we have available would be recommended. We wanted to have a good mix of locations for experienced and novice crystals hunters in a variety of settings. Here are the main factors we used when determining the recommendations we set out :

  • The extensive local experience and understanding of our team
  • Input from multiple local crystal hunters and crystal collecting groups
  • The accessibility of the crystal mining locations
  • Safety and potential hazards when collecting
  • Private and public locations
  • A desire to include locations for both experienced crystal hunters and those who are just starting out

Using these weights we think we’ve put together the best list out there for those who love finding new crystals for our collections!

The Types of Alabama Crystals You Can Find

A bunch of spherical white Moonstones in pink background

Alabama is home to some of the most beautiful and unique crystals in the world, making it a popular destination for crystal hunters and enthusiasts. Each crystal has its own unique characteristics, making them a fascinating subject for collectors and researchers alike. The beauty of Alabama’s crystals is not only in their visual appeal, but also in the energy and healing properties they possess. Here are the different types of crystals you’ll find here:

Rare crystals found in Alabama

  • Amethyst
  • Aquamarine
  • Carnelian
  • Celestite
  • Moonstone
  • Ruby
  • Sapphire
  • Topaz
  • Turquoise

More common crystals found here

  • Agate
  • Apatite
  • Azurite
  • Calcite
  • Chalcedony
  • Chalcopyrite
  • Copper
  • Diamond
  • Epidote
  • Fluorite
  • Galena
  • Garnet
  • Hematite
  • Jasper
  • Kyanite
  • Malachite
  • Muscovite
  • Onyx
  • Pyrite
  • Quartz
  • Rhodonite
  • Rutile
  • Tourmaline
  • Unakite
  • Vivianite

The Best Locations For Crystal Mining in Alabama

Two samples of red Ruby crystals

We selected our top 5 recommended places for crystal mining here based on our experiences and on the recommendations of our fellow experienced collectors and enthusiasts.

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.

Lake Martin is Our Favorite Crystal Mine in Alabama

An aerial view of Lake Martin and its surrounding land areas

Tallapoosa, Elmore, and Coosa Counties, AL

One of the best crystal hunting locations in our state is Lake Martin. In fact, this is also one of the great places to find high-quality gems in Alabama. Created in 1926, this man-made lake was created by damming the Tallapoosa River. Since then, Lake Martin has become a beloved recreational spot for fishing, boating, and, of course, crystal hunting.

Lake Martin is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, providing a unique landscape for crystal hunters. Many spots around the lake prove to be abundant with crystals: the banks of the lake, the creeks that feed into it, and the areas surrounding the many small islands scattered throughout the lake. Aside from its rich resources, this location is also incredibly scenic and peaceful.

To get here, start by heading to the town of Dadeville. From there, follow the signs to the lake, and be sure to bring all the necessary gear for a day of crystal hunting. Once you arrive, take some time to explore the area and get a feel for the different types of rocks and formations here.

Where we found crystals at Lake Martin

We had the best time and success exploring Lake Martin for crystals, especially when we explored the outcrops on west shores, access areas on east shores, and south of the lake along river. Here, you can find different crystals, like Epidote, Hematite, Quartz, Ruby, Sapphire, and Unakite.

Rock pick being used

The tools every crystal hunter will need

When you're out looking for crystals having the right tools for the job is very important. 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 crystal miners which we outline in great detail in our complete rockhounding equipment 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 crystal-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.

Black Warrior River

A scenic view of Black Warrior River including its surrounding landscape

West-Central Alabama

The Black Warrior River was named after the Native American tribe that once inhabited the area, and it played a significant role in the Civil War. Today, it’s known for its recreational opportunities, including crystal hunting.

This river is located in the northern part of our state, winding its way through the Appalachian Mountains. Because of this, you can expect that the area is incredibly scenic, with beautiful views of the river and surrounding mountains. It’s also home to an abundance of wildlife, making for a truly immersive outdoor experience.

If you wish to visit here, head to the town of Tuscaloosa. From there, you can access the river at various points, including Oliver Lock and Dam, which is a popular crystal hunting spot as well.

Where we found crystals at Black Warrior River

We highly recommend exploring the mines and pits along the Black Warrior River between Brookwood and Peterson, where you can find a variety of crystals like Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Kyanite, and Vivianite.

Read our guide to know just how much are crystals worth.

Hog Mountain

A prospector standing near an excavation dug in Hog Mountain

Tallapoosa County, AL

Located in Tallapoosa County, Hog Mountain was once a hub for gold mining in the 1800s. In fact, it’s said that even today, there are still some small gold deposits to be found in the area. But did you know that this mountain also boasts of having beautiful crystals?

Hog Mountain is primarily composed of metamorphic rocks like schist and gneiss. It’s a great spot for crystal hunting because it offers a wide variety of minerals to be found. It’s also home to a wide variety of plant and animal life, making it a scenic and enjoyable place to explore.

Planning your visit here? Head to the town of Alexander City and from there, take Highway 63 to the small town of New Site. Once you’re in New Site, turn onto County Road 83, and follow it until you see the signs for the Hog Mountain Wildlife Management Area. There, you’ll find the entrance to Hog Mountain.

Where we found crystals around Hog Mountain

This location is rich in Galena and Pyrite crystals. You can find them if you explore the northeast portion of Hog Mountain.

Hillabee Creek

A look at the waters and surrounding trees at Hillabee Creek

Tallapoosa County, AL

Hillabee Creek was once inhabited by the Creek Indians, and it’s believed that they used the creek as a source of water and to hunt and fish. Today, the creek is known for its beautiful crystals and natural surroundings.

Located in the southern Appalachian Mountains, Hillabee Creek is primarily composed of rocks like granite, gneiss, and schist. These rocks have been subjected to intense heat and pressure over time, creating pockets where minerals have been able to grow.

To go here, head to the town of Alexander City and take Highway 22 east until you reach Hillabee Creek Road. Follow this road until you reach the creek. There are several access points along the creek where you can start your crystal hunting adventure.

Where we found crystals at Hillabee Creek

You can find amazing samples of Chalcopyrite, Copper, and Pyrite crystals when you explore the Childers prospect in the bank of Hillabee Creek.

Tombigbee River

A scenic view of the calm waters of Tombigbee River and its surrounding trees

Clarke County, AL

Located in west-central Alabama, Tombigbee River was an important transportation route for Native Americans and European settlers, and it played a key role in the development of the region’s economy and culture.

Tombigbee River is a tributary of the Mobile River, and it runs for approximately 200 miles through Alabama and Mississippi. The area around the river is primarily composed of sedimentary rocks like sandstone and shale, which have been slowly eroded over time by the river’s powerful flow.

Tombigbee River is a fantastic spot for crystal hunting because of the wide variety of minerals you can find there. The river’s powerful flow has exposed many interesting geological formations, and it’s possible to find crystals and minerals embedded in the rocks along the riverbanks.

If you’re keen to visit here, head to the town of Demopolis. From there, you can access the river at several points, including the Demopolis City Landing and the Foscue Creek Park Boat Ramp.

Where we found crystals at Tombigbee River

Truly rich in different crystals, you can find Agate and Chalcedony when you search in the road cuts, clay banks, along nearby Fire Tower road, and in the stream gravels of Tombigbee River and its tributary.

Our Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting

A bunch of shining bluish white Celestite crystals

Aside from our top recommendations, there are still tons of different areas that we can share with you. After all, a state as richly endowed as ours will not easily run out of locations for crystal mining. Many of these places are even great sites to find Alabama geodes.

Where you can find crystals for free in Alabama

Let’s discuss first the locations where you can find crystals free of charge. While many of the top sites require fees, there are still plenty astounding spots that you can explore without spending any money.

County Location
Bibb Area limestone quarries
Blount In a series of pits and prospects in Blountsville area
Chambers In areas adjacent to the dirt road in Lafayette area
Cherokee On the Lowe farm
Elmore Bluff wall on west bank, in talus, and on water’s edge at Jordan Dam
Franklin Phil Campbell area gravel pits
Jackson At Jacobs Mountain
Jefferson In thin veins in schist of Pleasant Grove Church
Madison Stream gravels, as float
Marengo In Barton’s Bluff area
St. Clair Old copper prospects

Other great places to dig for crystals

If you’re willing to spend some money in your quest for crystals, then these are some more locations you can consider. The fees may vary depending on the season— sometimes they may even be free— so it’s important to contact them before visiting.

County Location
Calhoun In lead and iron mines
Clay In many mica and gold mines, M & G Mine in Ashland, area mines of Cragford, and at Delta Mine
Cleburne At the Stone Hill Copper Mine (aka Woods Copper Mine)
Coosa Countywide old gold mines
Randolph On the dumps of the J. J. New No. 2 Mine
Talladega Ribble’s Mine, Woodford Tract, Storey, Warwick, and Cogburn or Gold Log Mine
Tallapoosa At the Kidd Mine, Mica Hill Mine, and Dudleyville area mine dumps

How to find crystals in Alabama

A bunch of differently shaped candy blue Turquoise crystals

Several of our recommended places above cover a wide base, so to help you focus your search, we’re also discussing here the particular areas where crystals can usually be found. You can start your search in these places:

Streams and Creeks

Streams and creeks are great locations to find crystals because they are natural pathways for minerals to flow through. This means that crystals can be naturally deposited in these waterways, making them prime locations for rockhounds to search for these treasures. Additionally, water can help to reveal crystals that may be hidden in dirt or rocks by washing them away and exposing them for us to find.

Rivers and River Banks

Looking for crystals in rivers and river banks can be an exciting adventure for any rockhound in Alabama. These locations offer a unique opportunity to find a variety of crystals that have been naturally tumbled and polished by the water, making them smooth and shiny. Alabama has a number of rivers and streams and the riverbanks and shallow areas of these rivers can be great places to find crystals that have been washed downstream from their original sources.

Mines and Mine Dumps

Another unique and exciting way to find crystals is by searching in mines and mine dumps. Mines are locations where minerals and crystals are naturally formed and can be found in abundance. Some mines have been abandoned for decades, leaving behind piles of rocks and debris that can contain valuable treasures. Searching for crystals here is a great opportunity to see the unique formations and colors that they can take on when they form in the earth.

Alabama Crystal Mining Laws And Regulations

Crystal mining in Alabama is perfectly legal for as long as you comply with our state’s laws regarding it. If you’re unaware of these laws, you may checkout the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) which regulates crystal hunting here. As a general rule, you should get the necessary permissions and permits for concerned government offices in the area that you will mine. For private lands, the permission of the owner is strictly required. Also, check on any environmental rules and regulations that you should observe. At the end of the day, as responsible crystal hunters, we want to help ensure that this activity remains legal and sustainable for other enthusiasts and collectors, too.

The Best Crystal Shops In Alabama

A look at the show room of The Brew Alley

While personally taking the time and effort to find crystals is an activity that’s well worth it, unfortunately, not all of us have the resources to do it. If you prefer visiting just one place but having it all, you may want to consider stopping by the local crystal shops here. You can just imagine how diverse their crystal selections are! Here are some of the best stores here:

Additional places to find crystals 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 we haven’t covered, please leave them in the comments 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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