The 31 Guaranteed Ways To Find And Dig For Crystals In Kansas In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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The 31 Guaranteed Ways To Find And Dig For Crystals In Kansas In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Discovering the dazzling world of crystals in the heartland of America is an enchanting experience, and Kansas, with its rich geological history, is a treasure trove for enthusiasts and collectors alike. The Sunflower State boasts a multitude of incredible and beautiful crystals that not only captivate the eye but also spark curiosity and wonder.

With dedication, patience, and a keen eye, crystal hunters can find success in the great state of Kansas. The thrill of the hunt and the sheer beauty and awe-inspiring allure of these crystals make the experience truly unforgettable. Let the magic of Kansas crystals guide you as you embark on this exciting adventure!

How We Picked The Best Places To Find Crystals in Kansas
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 Kansas Crystals You Can Find

An elegant celestite crystal with white minerals at the bottom

As you venture into the world of crystal hunting in Kansas, you’ll be amazed by the astonishing variety of specimens you can uncover. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a novice enthusiast, Kansas has something for everyone, with countless sites and resources to support your pursuit of these geological marvels.

These striking formations, unique shapes, colors, and properties have become increasingly popular among hobbyists and professional collectors!

Rare crystals found in Kansas

More common crystals found here

  • Agate
  • Celestite
  • Chalcedony
  • Halite
  • Jasper

The Best Locations For Crystal Mining in Kansas

A pretty little chalcedony resting on someone's fingers

Here are a few of Kansas’ best places for crystal hunting. We’ve found some of the rarest crystals by exploring them, and we have great faith that you will, too!

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.

Big Blue River

An area at big blue river where you can look for crystals

Originating in the state’s northeastern corner, the Big Blue River meanders for approximately 359 miles before converging with the Kansas River near Manhattan. Its fertile surroundings and abundant resources have attracted humans for centuries, with early Native American tribes and European settlers drawn to its banks. This area can be included on your list of places to find gems in Kansas.

The history of the Big Blue River is a tale of perseverance and growth, as it played a pivotal role in the development of Kansas, providing a critical water source for agriculture and establishing numerous towns along its course. The river’s significance is also marked by its role in the United States’ westward expansion when pioneers relied on its waters and surrounding lands to sustain their journey.

Today, the Big Blue River offers a unique opportunity for crystal hunters, as its diverse geological landscapes hold a wealth of hidden gems. The river’s banks and surrounding areas are rich in minerals, making it a prime location to find a variety of beautiful and fascinating crystals.

Where we found crystals at Big Blue River

We have collected various crystals, including agate, chalcedony, and jasper, in the gravel beds of the Big Blue River.

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 supplies 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 

Northwest Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Northwestern 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.

Bluff Creek

A scenic view at Bluff Creek surrounded by a bed of stones

For crystal hunters, Bluff Creek presents a unique opportunity to explore its geological wealth, as its diverse landscapes offer an array of hidden gems. The creek’s eroding banks and surrounding areas have exposed a variety of minerals, creating a veritable treasure trove of crystals. Bluff Creek provides a cornucopia of geological marvels for collectors of all skill levels, from captivating quartz specimens to enchanting agates.

The history of Bluff Creek is interwoven with the story of human settlement in the area, as Native American tribes and European settlers alike were drawn to the creek’s abundant resources. Its waters provided sustenance for both people and wildlife and its fertile surroundings facilitated agriculture, shaping the communities that formed along its banks.

Where we found crystals at Bluff Creek

The steep hills of Bluff Creek are good places to look for agate, jasper, and opal crystals. You can determine crystal prices through this detailed guide we’ve made.

Pony Creek Lake

You can search for crystals here at Pony Creek Lake

Pony Creek offers an enticing opportunity to delve into its geological richness. The diverse landscapes around the creek have yielded a variety of minerals, making it a prime spot to uncover unique and beautiful crystals. From shimmering quartz formations to intricate agates, Pony Creek is a haven for collectors and enthusiasts of all levels.

Pony Creek presents a chance to unearth stunning crystals and connects you with the rich history and breathtaking natural beauty of this enchanting Kansas waterway.

Where we found crystals at Pony Creek Lake

We found celestite crystals on the banks of Pony Creek Lake in Ellsworth County.

Smoky Hill River

Big stretch of the Smoky Hill River where you can discover various crystal specimens

Smoky Hill River, a hidden gem in Kansas’ heartland, winds through the state, offering crystal hunters and history buffs a real slice of paradise. This picturesque river flows for 575 miles, starting in Colorado’s High Plains and ending at the Kansas River. Smoky Hill River’s banks have been the region’s lifeblood, cradling communities and ecosystems that have thrived thanks to its generous resources.

Smoky Hill River is like striking gold for those itching to find some crystals. The diverse landscapes have cooked up various minerals, creating a veritable treasure trove for anyone with an eye for exquisite crystals. Smoky Hill River has got everything from eye-catching quartz to spellbinding agates, catering to both greenhorns and seasoned collectors.

Where we found crystals at the Smoky Hill River

Many agate crystals can be located up and downstream of the Smoky Hill River.

Verdigris River

A picturesque view of the Verdigris River surrounded by lush greens and vibrant flora

Verdigris River, a breathtaking waterway tucked away in southeastern Kansas, weaves a captivating tale for crystal hunters, history buffs, and nature lovers alike. This enchanting river stretches over 310 miles, beginning in Kansas’ Flint Hills and meandering southward until it joins the Arkansas River in Oklahoma. The Verdigris River has been a cornerstone of the region, giving life to flourishing communities and ecosystems along its banks.

Exploring Verdigris River is a walk through history with the added thrill of discovering breathtaking crystals. So, don’t let this opportunity slip through your fingers; dive into this remarkable Kansas waterway’s rich history and stunning beauty and see what gems you might uncover!

Where we found crystals at Verdigris River

We had the best success discovering agate, chalcedony, and jasper crystals along the Verdigris River.

Our Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting

A unique and rare small pink halite with tiny white dots

Consequently, there are a lot of beautiful locations in the state where you can look for crystals and geodes in Kansas. The following is a list of other options to visit:

Where you can find crystals for free in Kansas

We’ll go over some places to look for crystals without paying any money. While may wonderful attractions charge an entry fee, other locations are still free to explore.

County Location
Cherokee Baxter Springs area mines for galena and pyrite
Cloud Old River Bed for agate and jasper
Geary Republican River gravels for agate and jasper
Harper In the gravel bars of Chikaskia River for agate and jasper
Jefferson Area glacial moraines and gravel drifts for agate, chalcedony, and jasper
Shawnee Topeka glacial moraines near city for agates
Washington Mill Creek in Permian outcrops
Woodson Yates Center area for amethyst and quartz

Other great places to dig for crystals

There are other areas to seek crystals if you don’t mind spending a dollar or two. These locations’ prices vary with the seasons, and there are occasionally free offerings. You need to consult with them first before going to these locations.

County Location
Cherokee Very many huge Lead-Zinc mines with towering dumps for calcite, galena, and pyrite
Cherokee All area coal mines at Columbus for calcite and pyrite
Cherokee Many area mines and huge dumps at Galena for calcite and pyrite
Harper Area mines at Anthony for halite
Kingman Area mines at Kingman for halite
Reno At the salt producing company mines at Arlington for halite
Rice Area mines at Lyons for halite
Rice Area mines at Sterling for halite

How to find crystals in Kansas

An intrinsic galena specimen with a unqiue irregular shape and other brown minerals at the bottom

Here are some additional recommendations for making the most of your time while you’re somewhere to further your quest. The list below highlights a few of the top locations to look for crystals:

Lake shores

Searching lake shores for crystals is a fantastic and rewarding pursuit, offering abundant opportunities to uncover geological treasures while enjoying the serenity and natural beauty of the lakeside environment. Lakeshores are often ideal locations for crystal hunting, as erosion and water movements constantly reveal new specimens that may have been hidden beneath the surface.

Crystals can be found among rocks, pebbles, and sand along the shoreline or even in shallow waters near the lake’s edge. Wave action and weathering processes help to release these hidden gems, making them accessible to eager collectors. The changing water levels and seasonal variations can also expose new mineral deposit areas, offering fresh discovery opportunities.

Mines and mine dumps

Mines and mine dumps are treasure troves for crystal hunters, offering a unique opportunity to uncover a wealth of geological marvels that are often rare and valuable. The mining and extraction process exposes mineral-rich veins and deposits, bringing fascinating crystals to the surface. Searching in these locations can yield an extraordinary variety of specimens, from dazzling gemstones to captivating mineral formations.

Crystals can often be found in the rock walls of mines, where mineral veins have been exposed during excavation. Additionally, mine dumps, where waste rock and tailings are discarded, can be a goldmine for collectors, as these piles may contain an abundance of overlooked crystals and minerals.

Streams and creeks

Looking for crystals in streams and creeks is a delightful and fruitful endeavor, offering crystal hunters the chance to unearth an array of geological treasures while immersing themselves in the beauty and serenity of these waterways. The constant movement of water in streams and creeks acts as a natural sorting mechanism, revealing crystals and minerals that have been weathered and eroded from their original locations.

Crystals can often be found among the gravel, sand, and rocks along the banks of these watercourses or even within the streambed itself. The water’s ebb and flow constantly shifts and uncovers new specimens, creating an ever-changing landscape ripe for exploration.

Kansas Crystal Mining Laws And Regulations

In Kansas, recreational crystal hunting typically falls under the jurisdiction of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and other local agencies, depending on the location. Always ensure you have permission to access the land where you plan to hunt for crystals. This may include private property, state parks, or other public lands. Some locations may require a permit, fee, or special permission from the landowner or managing agency.

Practice the Leave No Trace principles and be mindful of your environmental impact. Avoid disturbing plants, wildlife, and natural habitats, and leave the area as you found it. Some locations may have specific limits on the quantity or type of crystals and minerals you can collect. Adhere to these restrictions and only take what you’re allowed.

Before embarking on a crystal hunting adventure in Kansas, check with the KDWPT or other relevant agencies for the most up-to-date information on regulations, permits, and restrictions in the area you plan to visit.

The Best Crystal Shops In Kansas

Abundance Crystals store in Kansas where you can find and buy different crystal specimens

Many of us enjoy adding little pieces to our collections by making minor purchases because the state offers many crystals. If you’re seeking rare and beautiful specimens, these are the greatest crystal shops we could discover:

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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