The 31 Excellent Places To Find And Dig For Crystals In Washington In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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The 31 Excellent Places To Find And Dig For Crystals In Washington In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Washington is a treasure trove for crystal hunters! There are plenty of amazing locations where you can find all sorts of beautiful crystals. From the majestic Cascade Mountains to the serene beaches of the Olympic Peninsula, there are countless options for any adventurer who wants to uncover hidden gems. Our state is a prime destination for crystal hunters, and you won’t be disappointed by the incredible scenery and endless possibilities for discovery.

Crystals are truly a sight to behold. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and can be found worldwide. The beauty and uniqueness of each crystal make them a coveted prize for any rock collector or enthusiast. Whether you’re a fan of amethysts, quartz, or calcite, you will find something special in Washington.

These natural wonders have captivated humans for centuries, and their allure continues to grow. So why not grab your pickaxe and start your crystal adventure? With so many options to find crystals in Washington, you will surely find something that catches your eye.

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

A vibrant amber crystal sitting on a white smooth surface

The crystals you’ll find in Washington are as beautiful as they are unique. From the stunning amethyst to the shimmering quartz, there’s something for every collector to covet. And the best part? You don’t need to be a geologist to find these precious stones. All you need is a keen eye, patience, and a sense of adventure! With so many crystal-rich locations to choose from, you’re sure to find your very own treasure trove in no time!

Rare crystals found in Washington

  • Amber
  • Aventurine
  • Bloodstone
  • Galena
  • Hematite
  • Jade
  • Opal

More common crystals found here

  • Agate
  • Amethyst
  • Azurite
  • Carnelian
  • Chalcedony
  • Chalcopyrite
  • Garnet
  • Jasper
  • Malachite
  • Pyrite
  • Quartz

The Best Locations For Crystal Mining in Washington

A beautiful azurite with patches of white, green, and blue hues and a bubble-like surface

We’ve narrowed down Washington’s wonderful spots where you can find crystals to our top 5, and we know you’ll get excited to visit them!

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.

Bell Mountain Mine is Our Favorite Crystal Mine in Washington

A scenic view at a trail on Bells Mountain Mine

Grays Harbor County, WA

Bell Mountain Mine is a well-known location in Washington for finding beautiful and unique crystals. It has a rich history dates back to the early 1900s when it was first discovered by miners looking for copper. Although the mine is no longer operational, it has become a popular spot for rockhounds and crystal enthusiasts worldwide. It’s among the top locations for gem mining in Washington.

Visitors to Bell Mountain Mine can expect to find some truly unique and stunning crystals. The colors and shapes of the crystals found here are unlike any other, and they make for excellent additions to any rock collection. With so many minerals to discover, it’s no wonder Bell Mountain Mine is such a popular destination for crystal hunters.

Where we found crystals at the Bell Mountain Mine

The area surrounding Bell Mountain Mine was where we found the most agates.

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.

Crescent Beach

Crescent beach surrounded by lush trees

Clallam County, WA

Crescent Beach is a picturesque location in Washington that is beloved by crystal hunters and beachgoers alike. Located on the Olympic Peninsula, Crescent Beach has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s when it was first discovered as a site for crystal hunting. The beach is known for its vast stretches of sand, towering cliffs, and beautiful tide pools, making it a popular destination for adventurers and nature lovers.

The geology of Crescent Beach is diverse and fascinating. The area is home to a mix of sedimentary and volcanic rocks, creating the perfect environment for crystal formation. The colors and patterns of the crystals found here are truly unique and stunning.

Where we found crystals at Crescent Beach

There are numerous agate and jasper crystals in the gravels of Crescent Beach. You can check how much is crystal worth through this guide.

Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Pretty waterfalls at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Skamania County, WA

Gifford Pinchot National Forest is a hidden gem in Washington that nature enthusiasts and crystal hunters alike love. Named after the first Chief of the United States Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot, the forest has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s when it was established as a national forest. Located in the southwestern part of the state, Gifford Pinchot National Forest is a prime destination for adventurers and explorers.

The Gifford Pinchot Nationa Forest has a rich and fascinating geology and geography. A mixture of volcanic and sedimentary rocks found in the forest has produced the ideal conditions for crystal growth. The crystals that have been discovered here have really amazing colors and patterns.

Where we found crystals at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Most of the crystals we discovered in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest area were made of agates, carnelians, chalcedony, jaspers, and quartz.

Greens Creek

A stunning orange carnelian found at Greens Creek

Pacific County, WA

If you’re a crystal fanatic looking for your next adventure, you’ll definitely want to check out Greens Creek in Washington state. This locale boasts an abundance of precious minerals and gemstones, making it a prime destination for crystal hunting.

Located in the Cascade Mountains, Greens Creek is surrounded by rugged terrain and narrow valleys formed by the mountains’ uplift and subsequent erosion. The area’s geology is mainly composed of volcanic and metamorphic rocks, like gneiss and schist, that are thought to have been formed during the Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary magmatic and hydrothermal activity.

The area’s unique geological conditions make Greens Creek an ideal place to find crystals. With some digging and patience, you can uncover some stunning gems that will make any rock collection shine.

Where we found crystals at Greens Creek

You will find agate, carnelian, chalcedony, and jasper crystals at every creek bank and bed along Greens Creek.

Forty-Five Mine

A mesmerizing chalcopyrite with gold streak

Sultan Mining District in Snohomish County

Forty-Five Mine is a hotspot for rockhounds and crystal enthusiasts. The area is known for its unique geology, with various minerals and crystals in the region. The mine is on a quartz vein, responsible for abundant beautiful and rare crystals.

Forty-Five Mine is the perfect spot to get your hands dirty! The mine allows you to dig for your crystals and minerals, creating an exciting and rewarding experience. Forty-Five Mine also offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making for a picturesque setting to spend the day.

Where we found crystals at Forty-Five Mine

We had the best luck finding chalcopyrite crystals at Forty-five Mine.

Our Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting

A pretty hand-sized bloodstone with red patches

You can look for crystals in this area in addition to the top five spots mentioned above. This state is very prosperous, thus, there are many different locations where you can look for crystals and find geodes in Washington.

Where you can find crystals for free in Washington

The finest places to find crystals in this state often need payment before digging, but there are certain places where you won’t have to pay anything to seek these natural wonders.

County Location
Chelan Railroad Creek for agate and jasper
Clallam Gravels of the Dungeness River for agates and jasper
Clallam Lake Crescent and ocean beach gravels of Soleduck River for agate and jasper
Cowlitz Walter Swift farmhouse for bloodstone and carnelian
Douglas Rock Island Dam for pyrite
Kings Fifteen Mile Creek for amber
Lewis Area road cuts and banks of Lucas Creek for agate, carnelian, chalcedony, and jasper
Okanogan Salmon River and Happy Hill for aventurine and quartz
Pend Oreille Sacheen Lake for garnet
Pierce Sigmund Ranch for amethyst
Snohomish Deer Creek for jade
Spokane Little Spokane River for garnet and quartz

Other great places to dig for crystals

We’ve compiled a list of several places you could go to if you don’t mind spending to search for amazing crystals. Remember to verify the costs before going because they may change depending on the season.

County Location
Lewis Mercury Mines for chalcedony
Pierce Carbon River mines for pyrite
Skagit Skagit River mines for hematite
Stilaguamish Sultan River mines for azurite, garnet, and malachite

How to find crystals in Washington

A dazzling jade crystal with an uneven smooth surface sitting on a rock

Given that several of our suggestions pertain to broader areas, we’ve listed some of the top locations below to help you narrow your search. These areas typically contain the greatest amount of crystals in a given area.


Beaches are a great location to find crystals for a few reasons. Firstly, the constant movement of the waves and tides means that the sand always shifts, revealing new treasures to discover. Additionally, the erosion from the waves can expose rocks and minerals that may be hidden deeper in the ground, making them easier to spot and collect.

When searching for crystals on the beach, it’s important to take some special considerations. First, check with local regulations before you start your search, as some beaches may have restrictions on collecting rocks and minerals. Secondly, be aware of the tides and never turn your back on the ocean. Getting caught up in the search and forgetting about the waves is easy, so be mindful and stay safe.

Rivers and riverbanks

When searching for crystals in rivers and riverbanks, looking for areas where water has been flowing and eroding rocks is important. You may also want to check areas where rocks and boulders have been exposed or overturned, as this can reveal new layers of rocks and minerals.

One benefit of searching in rivers is that the moving water can help to wash away dirt and debris, leaving behind cleaner, shinier crystals. Additionally, riverbanks can be great places to find larger crystals and minerals that may be too heavy or deep to find in other locations.

Streams and creeks

Streams and creeks are great locations to find crystals because the water is constantly flowing, which can help to wash away dirt and debris and reveal sparkling treasures. Additionally, the smaller size of these bodies of water means they are often overlooked by other rockhounds, making them a great spot to search for crystals.

When searching for crystals in streams and creeks, looking for areas where water has been moving rocks and minerals around is important. Look for exposed bedrock, gravel or sand areas, and any flow changes in the stream. These can all be signs that crystals may be present.

Washington Crystal Mining Laws And Regulations

In Washington State, recreational crystal hunting is allowed on certain public lands. However, it’s important to be aware of regulations and guidelines to ensure you follow the rules and protect the environment.

One of the most important things to remember when crystal hunting in Washington is to always check with the land management agency or owner before you start digging. Some areas may be off-limits or have specific rules about collecting rocks and minerals.

Another important consideration is to avoid damaging the environment. Stay on established roads and trails, and avoid disturbing vegetation or wildlife. Additionally, it’s important to properly dispose of any trash or debris you may generate during your search.

There are a few things to be aware of when it comes to specific regulations. For example, on Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) lands, visitors can collect up to 250 pounds of rocks and minerals annually. However, there are restrictions on what can be collected, and some areas may be off-limits to rockhounding.

The Best Crystal Shops In Washington

Agate Designs in Washington offers a variety of crystal specimens for sale.

You might want to consider buying crystals from some of Washinton state’s greatest crystal shops if you don’t have the time or the desire to go on a crystal hunt. At each of the shops we’ve listed below, you can select from a variety of crystals:

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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