For many people, hunting for crystals is a thrilling and fulfilling activity that provides a connection with nature and a sense of accomplishment. However, finding crystals in Oklahoma can be a challenging task if you don’t know exactly where to look. But fret not because with the help of the right guide, a successful crystal hunting journey is not impossible here.
We searched through our state to find the best places to hunt for crystals and found the following classic sites: Great Salt Plains State Park, Carrizozo Creek, Spavinaw Lake, and the towns of Miami and Tahlequah. With this handy guide, we aim to provide you with valuable insights and tips to make your crystal mining adventure in Oklahoma not only fun and exciting, but just as fruitful!
The Types of Oklahoma Crystals You Can Find
Oklahoma is known for its vast natural resources and diverse landscapes, which prove to be great areas for crystal hunting enthusiasts to enjoy. You can find various types of crystals here that come in varying colors, shapes, and sizes, making each find unique and exciting. Here are some of them:
Rare crystals found in Oklahoma
More common crystals found here
- Agate (Rose)
- Quartz (Clear and Smoky)
The Best Locations For Crystal Mining in Oklahoma
First, let’s discuss our top recommended places to find Oklahoma crystals. If you only have enough time to visit a few areas, then these classic sites should be on top of your list, too.
Great Salt Plains State Park is Our Favorite Crystal Mine in Oklahoma
Rt 1 Box 28, Jet, OK 73749
Covering an area of about 9,000 acres, Great Salt Plains State Park is located in Alfalfa County. It’s home to the largest salt flat in the central United States, which was formed around 250 million years ago when an ancient ocean evaporated, leaving behind a thick layer of salt. The park was established in 1941 and has since become a popular destination for crystal hunters. In fact, it’s a well-known site for gem mining in Oklahoma, too.
The salt flat is covered with shallow saltwater ponds that are rich in Selenite crystals known for its clear, glass-like appearance. These crystals form as the saltwater evaporates, leaving behind deposits of Selenite. The crystals range in size, from small shards to large, impressive pieces.
When you visit here, you can dig in the shallow waters to find these beautiful specimens. Additionally, the park allows visitors to collect up to 10 pounds of crystals per day, which is more than enough to start or add to your collection.
Where we found crystals at Great Salt Plains State Park
Basically, you can find different types of crystals in the different parts and areas of the Great Salt Plains State Park. Most likely, though, you’ll be able to find high quality, hourglass Selenite crystals and Halite crystals here.
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 tools 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:
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.
Kenton, Cimarron County, OK
Carrizozo Creek is known for its unique geology and crystal formations. The area has been a popular spot for rockhounds for many years due to the abundance of minerals found here. In fact, it’s among the best sites in Oklahoma to find crystals.
The surrounding hills at the creek are made up of limestone and shale, while the waters of the creek itself runs through a sandstone bed. This combination of rocks creates the perfect environment for crystal formation.
Carrizozo Creek rightfully belongs to our to recommendations because, firstly, it’s easily accessible and doesn’t require any strenuous hiking. Secondly, the crystal formations found here are unique and beautiful and make for great additions to any rock collection. Lastly, the creek bed provides a great opportunity for rockhounds to find specimens that have been washed down from the surrounding hills.
Where we found crystals at Carrizozo Creek
You can find some very interesting and fascinating samples of Rose Agates if you explore the gravels of Carrizozo Creek. Wondering how much does this crystal cost? Read our article on that!
Ottawa County, OK
Miami is located in the northeastern part of our state. Aside from its abundant crystals and minerals, this place is also known for its rich mining history dating back to the late 1800s, when Lead and Zinc were discovered in this area. Today, Miami is home to several abandoned mines and quarries that have become popular spots for rockhounds.
This region is characterized by rolling hills and valleys, and the surrounding rocks are mostly made up of limestone, shale, and sandstone. Because of these combination of rocks, crystals were formed.
Since the area has a rich mining history, there are plenty of abandoned mines and quarries to explore here. The surrounding hillsides and creek beds also provide great opportunities for rockhounds to find specimens that have been washed down from the mines and quarries. And if you’re planning to go here, it would be easy since it’s located in close proximity to other popular rockhounding destinations like Joplin, Missouri and the Tri-State Mining District.
Where we found crystals in Miami
We highly recommend exploring the Lead-Zinc district mines and quarries in Miami, which are are important contributors to the Tri-State District Mineral production. Within 25 to 30 miles of Miami, specifically in around the mining towns of Picher, Cardin, Century, and Quapaw, you can also explore some major producing mines. Here, you can find amazing samples of Aragonite, Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Galena, Pyrite, and Quartz crystals, among others.
Mayes County, OK
With its beautiful scenery and rich resources, Spavinaw Lake belongs to our top recommended classic crystal hunting sites. It was created as a source of drinking water for nearby cities and is surrounded by rolling hills and scenic vistas, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. But what makes Spavinaw Lake particularly interesting for rockhounds is the abundance of crystals that can be found here.
The lake is surrounded by limestone and sandstone, which create the ideal environment for crystals to form. The area is easily accessible and is located within driving distance of major cities like Tulsa and Joplin, so if you’re planning to visit, know that you won’t have a hard time reaching it. The surrounding hillsides and creek beds also provide great opportunities to find specimens that have been washed down from the surrounding hillsides. And as cherry on top, the lake itself is a beautiful backdrop for rockhounding adventures.
When you visit here, be prepared to do some light hiking as the best specimens are often found on the surrounding hillsides. It’s also important to be cautious when exploring the area, as it is a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts and there may be restrictions on where you can collect specimens.
Where we found crystals at Spavinaw Lake
You can get your hands on the best samples of Galena, Pyrite, and Quartz crystals in our state if you search for them in area to the west of the dam in Spavinaw Lake.
Tahlequah is a charming city located in the northeastern part of our state. It’s not only rich in history and culture, but also offers great opportunities for rockhounds to find beautiful crystals and minerals.
This city has a long and fascinating history, as it was once the capital of the Cherokee Nation. It’s located in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, which is known for its unique geology and abundance of crystals. The surrounding hillsides and creeks provide rockhounds with a variety of opportunities to find different crystal specimens.
The area is comprised of limestone, sandstone, and shale formations, which aids in crystal formation. That’s why rockhounds can often find pockets of crystals hidden within the rocks. You can also find Oklahoma crystals along the creek bed of Illinois River, which is very near Tahlequah.
So why would Tahlequah be a great place to find crystals? Aside from its accessibility and richness in crystals, the city itself offers a variety of accommodations and restaurants, making it a great base camp for your rockhounding adventures.
Where we found crystals at Tahlequah
The road cut west of Illinois River proves to be the best area here to find interesting crystals, like Pyrites. We would suggest exploring there first before going through the other parts of the city.
Our Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting
A state as big— and as well-endowed— as Oklahoma doesn’t easily run out of classic sites to find crystals, so aside from our top 5 recommended places, here are some more spots that you can explore for crystals. Many of these spots also prove to be amazing sites to find Oklahoma geodes.
Where you can find crystals for free in Oklahoma
You may be aware that, more often than not, the best places to explore for crystals often require some fee. So we decided to separate and discuss with you first the areas that you can visit for free. Of course, finding crystals here is free, too!
|0.5 miles south at the Cherokee Gravel Pit
|Area quarries of Elk City
|On the Canadian River at the Tindel Company Gravel Pit
|At the Dolese County Gravel Pit
|At Seiling, Taloga area
|Gravel pits and sand pits along Wolf Creek
|At copper prospect in Salt Fork area
|0.75 miles south of McKnight area at the Wilkerson Gravel Pit
|Ravia, Reagan, Tishomingo, and Troy area gravel pits
|Along the south shore of the Washita River
|In tablelands of the Glass Mountains
|At abandoned copper prospect at Perry area
|In quarry just west of Gray Horse area
|In the cut banks of Little Beaver Creek
|At the Tiger Quarry
|10 miles north-northwest of Tegarden area
Other great places to dig for crystals
Meanwhile, here are the classic sites that require some fee if you want to find crystals in them. Usually, these fees vary depending on the season (sometimes, it could even be free!), so make sure to reach out to these places first before heading out.
|2 miles east-southeast at the Bill Patch Strip Coal Mine
|1 mile from the Arkansas border at the Johnson Copper Mine, at the Eades Mine on Mountain Fork, and at the Buffalo Creek mines and prospects
|Mine road going southeast from Prague
|Picher area mines
|At abandoned copper mine in Pawnee area
How to find crystals in Oklahoma
Many of our recommended sites cover large bases, so to help you focus your search on the most productive spots here in terms of crystal resources, here are the usual areas that contain them. Take note, there may be one or more of these areas in one location, so always allot enough time for your search.
Quarries are locations where large amounts of rocks and minerals are extracted from the earth for commercial purposes. While they may not seem like an ideal location for crystal hunting, they can actually be a treasure trove of stunning crystals. In quarries, there is a constant digging up of new material from the earth. As a result, crystals that have been hidden underground for millions of years are exposed, making it a prime location for crystal hunting.
Another great thing about quarry hunting is that it’s relatively easy to access. Most quarries have public access areas, so you don’t need to have any special permissions or permits to search for crystals there. However, it’s always best to check with the quarry owner or operator before heading out to ensure you’re not trespassing.
Streams and Creeks
These natural bodies of water are a fantastic location to find beautiful crystals that have been washed downstream over time. Streams and creeks are often located in areas where the ground is rich in minerals, which means that crystals can be found here in abundance. One of the best things about searching in streams and creeks is that it’s a fun and relaxing activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. You can spend the day exploring the great outdoors and bonding with family and friends while hunting for beautiful crystals.
A railroad cut is a man-made feature created when a railroad company needs to make a path through a hill or mountain. They are often found near railroads and can be easily accessible. Railroad cuts can be great for finding crystals because they expose layers of rock that are typically hidden underground. As trains pass through the area, the vibration can loosen rocks, making it easier for crystal specimens to be exposed. In addition, the excavation process during construction can also expose crystals that were previously buried.
Oklahoma Crystal Mining Laws And Regulations
The great news is that crystal mining is perfectly legal in Oklahoma, provided that you follow our state’s local laws governing this activity, especially those from the Oklahoma Department of Mines. Generally, you need to obtain any necessary permits or permission from concerned offices and individuals, like government agencies for government lands and land owners for private lands. Also, pay respect to any regulations in place to protect the environment and wildlife in our state. By following these rules, we are helping promote responsible crystal mining practices that ought to be emulated.
The Best Crystal Shops In Oklahoma
If you simply want to find a specific crystal that will complete your collection, you may opt to visit the local crystal shops here that offer the best selections of crystals. Who knows, you might find the next crystals that will belong to your collection in some of these shops:
- Good Earth Rocks Gallery – 824 N Broadway Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
- Cosmic Flora Crystals – 111 N Broadway Ave, Moore, OK 73160
- Nature’s Treasures – 6223 SE 15th St, Midwest City, OK 73110
- Earthy Girl – 3027 SE 44th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73135
- The Spunky Cauldron – 1020 NW 192nd St Suite F, Edmond, OK 73012
- UnearthedOKC – 4700 S Bryant Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73135
- Earth and Soul – 128 N Main St, Sand Springs, OK 74063
- Crystal Cactus Lifestyle Shop – 45 Foley Ave, Eufaula, OK 74432
- Craig’s Curious Emporium – 1209 NW 23rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73103
- The Celtic Moon – 124 W Main St Suite#2, Ardmore, OK 73401
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:
- Crystals in Kansas
- Crystals in Missouri
- Crystals in Arkansas
- Crystals in Texas
- Crystals in New Mexico
- Crystals in Colorado
If you have any recommendations we haven’t covered, please leave them in the comments below!