The 41 Amazing Spots To Find and Dig For Crystals In Pennsylvania In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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The 41 Amazing Spots To Find and Dig For Crystals In Pennsylvania In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Crystals are undoubtedly one of nature’s most incredible creations— beautiful and mystical at the same time. However, it can be challenging to find crystals in Pennsylvania if you don’t have the proper guide on where to look for them.

We went on a journey throughout the state to discover the best places to find crystals and to pass on the best suggestions from experienced collectors and enthusiasts.

We visited spots like Brookdale Mine, Caledonia State Park, Teeter Limestone to help give your crystal hunting experience loads of fun and success!

How We Picked The Best Places To Find Crystals in Pennsylvania
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 Crystals We Found

An elegant piece of an amethyst crystal geode that stand on its own
Amethyst photo provided by and available for purchase at EmporionGems

Pennsylvania is a treasure trove of crystal formations, and with so many various types of crystals to explore, it’s no wonder people come from different locations to find crystals here.

The state’s unique geological makeup and history make it a perfect spot to find a broad range of crystals. These unusual and stunning specimens make our state an attractive rockhounding destination.

Rare crystals found in Pennsylvania

More common crystals found here

  • Apophyllite
  • Azurite
  • Epidote
  • Galena
  • Hematite
  • Malachite
  • Prehnite
  • Selenite
  • Stilbite
  • Quartz (Blue, Green, Smoky)
  • Tourmaline
  • Petrified wood and other fossils

The Best Locations For Crystal Mining We’ve Found

A fascinating specimen with garnet crystals
Garnet photo provided by Fossilera

There are a lot of great places in our state to find crystals, but we’ve only picked our top six to get into detail. You’ll have a great time visiting these areas, as they have a handful of crystals you can find!

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.

Aquashicola River

A gushing river filled with middle sized to huge rocks in the middle to control water flow

Monroe County, Poconos, Eastern PA

The Aquashicola River is a tributary of the Lehigh River. It has a fascinating mix of natural beauty and geological significance. This river runs across the state and has been an important part of the region’s history.

In the past, it was an important waterway for local industries and communities, which helped the economy grow and develop. Today, it is a peaceful reminder of the state’s rich natural heritage, attracting tourists.

Numerous minerals and crystals are present in the river’s basin, resulting from hundreds of years of geological activity.

Where we found crystals at Aquashicola River

Outside the river, along the different rock formations, we had a great time discovering quartz, amethyst, calcite, and pyrite specimens.

Brookdale Mine

A look at the features of Brookdale Mine

Liberty Township, PA 18822

A fascinating location full of geological treasures and history, Brookdale Mine’s mineral-rich terrain has been the center of mining activity for many years. Its history is entwined with the larger story of our state’s industrial and geological development.

Today, it’s renowned for its mineral-rich veins that run deep underground, making it a prime spot for crystal hunting. It’s also one of the best places to mine gems in Pennsylvania.

Initially mined for its coal and metal deposits, it eventually attracted the attention of industrial miners and mineral enthusiasts.

Many crystal collectors like the Brookdale Mine because it has a wide range of high-quality specimens. The environment in the mine has kept these crystals in amazing shape so that you can find well-formed specimens worth something.

Where we found crystals at Brookdale Mine

We had a great time exploring the areas surrounding the mines, where we found different breath-taking crystals.

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 

Northeast Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Northeastern 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.

Caledonia State Park

A scenic view of the Caledonia State Park

101 Pine Grove Rd, Fayetteville, PA 17222

Caledonia State Park is a great place for both nature lovers and history buffs. The park’s namesake, the Caledonia Furnace, was an important site during the Civil War and a big part of the iron industry, which helped the area’s economic and industrial growth.

Today, the park stands as a testament to this rich history, offering a variety of activities and attractions.

The park is a hidden gem for crystal lovers. Its geology is made up of a wide range of mineral deposits resulting from the area’s active geological past.

For fun, you can go hiking, camping, or fishing, and the beautiful Appalachian Mountains make the setting even more appealing. It also features a variety of rock formations, which can help you identify the crystals you’ll find.

Where we found crystals at Caledonia State Park

The park’s streams and rocky outcrops serve as ideal spots for discovering crystals, as natural erosion and weathering bring them to the surface.

Once you find a specimen, you might wonder how much do crystals cost? We answered that in our article, too.

Teeter Limestone Quarry

A look at the Teeter Limestone Quarry with people digging for their finds

1575 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325

The Teeter Limestone Quarry is both historically and geologically important. It was first built in the early 1900s because it had a lot of limestone, which was in high demand in the local construction and industrial sectors.

Over the years, the quarry has been an important part of the region’s growth, helping with many building projects and showing us the state’s rich geological history.

Layers of limestone exposed by the mine have been through many geological processes over millions of years. These processes have created rare and beautiful crystals.

You can go to the quarry and dig through the layers of limestone to find hidden treasures and learn more about the complex processes that shape our natural world.

Where we found crystals in Teeter Limestone Quarry

The best spot to find crystals in this area is on the west bank of Rock Creek, just before the Power Hill junction.

Once you find a specimen, you might wonder how much are crystals worth, so you can also refer to our article on that.

Chester Creek

The winding water of Chester Creek surrounded with skinny and leafless trees.

249 Knowlton Rd, Media, PA 19063

From its early use by Native American tribes to its role in the growth of local industries during the colonial and post-colonial periods, Chester Creek has been an important part of the area’s history.

The creek’s waters powered mills and factories, which helped the area’s economy grow significantly.

Chester Creek has a peaceful and beautiful landscape that is great for hiking, fishing, and taking pictures of nature. It’s a unique place to visit because it has historical and natural beauty.

You can enjoy the peace of the creek’s environment while learning about its geological treasures.

Where we found crystals at Chester Creek

Quartz crystals, such as amethyst and milky quartz, can be found in large amounts in the alluvial sediments along the creek’s banks and the areas next to them.

Natural processes like erosion and sedimentation have brought these crystals to the surface.

Schuylkill River

An aerial view of the Schuylkill River and its surroundings
Southeast in Eastern PA

The Schuylkill River flows through our beautiful state and has a long history and fascinating geology. It was named “Schuylkill” by early Native American groups, which means “hidden river.”

The river has been very important to the state’s growth throughout history, especially during the Industrial Revolution, when it was the main way to move coal and other goods.

Besides crystal hunting, the Schuylkill River has many other fun things to do. You can hike, fish, and boat along its banks, which make for beautiful scenery on outdoor experiences.

Where we found crystals in the Schuylkill River

Along the Schuylkill, some places are famous for their quartz crystals, like clear and smoky quartz. It was so much fun to look for these crystals in the mines along the river in Bridgeport.

You can also often find these crystals in the alluvial layers along the river, where the water has naturally polished and shaped them.

My Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting

A unique gemmy calcite mineral still attached to its matrix
Calcite photo provided by Weinrich Minerals

Like I said previously, our top six recommendations above are not the only suggestions of places to find crystals here. Being an incredibly endowed state, we have plenty of other spots with amazing crystals and sites where you can find Pennsylvania geodes, too. Here are some of them:

Where you can find crystals for free

While many of the best options to find crystals here will require you to pay before digging, there are other places where you won’t have to spare a dime to search for these natural wonders.

County Location
Adams West side of the Piney Mountain Area
Adams Head of the Buchanan Valley
Allegheny Glassmere area quarry
Armstrong In Gravel Bar Hollow and at abandoned prospects
Bedford In fields from Morrison Cove Valley to New Enterprise
Bucks Oley Furnace area, 1.75 miles northeast on Green Hill
Centre Lemont area at the Nidgh Quarry
Chester Southeast at the Keystone Traprock Quarry
Cumberland 1 mile east of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Carlisle Interchange, in the fields on south side of SR-11
Delaware 1 mile west on the George Sharpless Farm
Franklin On north face of Huckleberry Hill in Mount Union area
Huntington Three Springs area quarries
Montgomery 0.5 mile northeast of Blackhorse area
Westmoreland 1 mile northwest in fields of Mount Pleasant area

Other great places to dig for crystals

If you don’t mind paying to dig for amazing crystals here, we’ve also compiled some places you can visit. Note that the fees may change depending on the season, so don’t forget to confirm with them before visiting the place.

County Location
Adams Banks of Tom’s Creek at the Reed Hill Mine
Adams At the Virgin Mine
Armstrong Apollo area mines
Armstrong McVille area mines
Berks Near the old Boyertown Iron Mines
Blair Culp area mines
Blair 4 miles northeast to the Little Juanita River Mines
Bradford At the Carpenter Mine
Chester North at the French Creek Mine dumps in St. Peter’s area
Greene Area quarry of Poland Mines
Lancaster 0.75 mile north of Gap Nickel Mines, east of smelter ruins

My tips for finding crystals

An exceptional pyrite mineral with shiny clusters

To have better luck once you get to a place like the ones above, here are more specific suggestions for where to spend most of your time. Our guide to Pennsylvania’s rocks, minerals, and gems goes into more detail.

Some of our suggestions cover large areas, so to help you decide where to begin your journey, here are some common places to find crystals:


One great thing about quarries for crystal finding is that they let you get to rare and unique mineral formations. Because quarrying involves breaking through different rock layers, it often finds a wide range of crystals in perfect condition.

They can let you dig through parts of the earth that humans have not touched yet, which can help you find crystals and other minerals that you might not be able to find anywhere else.

Streams and Creeks

People who like to collect crystals will enjoy the unique and fun experience of looking for them in streams and creeks. These natural waterways are great for crystal hunting because they are always flowing and wearing away, which exposes and moves different minerals.

As water moves through the earth, it interacts with different rock formations, picking up and redistributing crystals. One of the best things about looking in these places is that the water’s natural tumbling action can polish the crystals and show off their true beauty.

Mine and Mine Dumps

Mines and mine dumps are often a treasure trove of unique crystal specimens. These locations are great for finding crystals because the minerals are exposed to the elements, which can cause them to change and develop unique colors and formations.

One of the great things about searching in mines and mine dumps is that you can find various minerals in one location. Also, many mines are located in remote and scenic areas, which can make for a fun and adventurous outing at the same time.

Crystal Mining Laws And Regulations

Mining and digging for crystals in Pennsylvania is legal for as long as you strictly abide by our state’s collecting laws, especially the one being imposed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) for public and government lands.

First and foremost of this is to obtain necessary permits and permissions from landowners or other relevant government offices. Also, check any rules and regulations to protect the biodiversity in the area you will explore.

By being a responsible crystal hunter, you are helping sustain crystal mining for generations.

The Best Crystal Shops In The Area

A look at the front door windows of Sharon's Crystals

If you’re one to invest (literally) to your collection, chances are, you prefer to buy specific crystal specimens that will complete or add more variety to your collection. That’s why we also included here a list of some of the leading local crystal shops in our state:

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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