Finding crystals requires patience, persistence, and a bit of luck. In West Virginia, you’ll also need the right guidance and knowledge of where to look. That’s why we scoured our state for the amazing places to find crystals. Pulling our recommendations from our exploration as well as from other experienced collectors and enthusiasts, we found plenty of these places, including Knobly Mountain, Berkeley Springs, South Fork Mountain, New Creek, and Judy Gap.
From our crystal hunting journey, we’ve experienced the excitement of finding crystals in West Virginia and the joy of admiring them in its natural state. So let us help you find the most incredible crystals here, too!
The Types of West Virginia Crystals You Can Find
Known for its abundance of crystals, West Virginia has a rich history of crystal hunting and mining. And one of the most fascinating aspects of the crystals found here is their diversity. They can be found in a range of colors, from clear and white to pink, green, and purple, and can even have iridescent or metallic sheens that make them especially striking. Some of the most popular types of crystals found here are the following:
Rare crystals found in West Virginia
More common crystals found here
The Best Locations For Crystal Mining in West Virginia
Here are the most amazing places that you can visit to find crystals in West Virginia. We had the most success here and we’re hoping you will, too!
Knobly Mountain is Our Favorite Crystal Mine in West Virginia
Mineral County, WV1
Located in the eastern part of the state, Knobly Mountain is a long ridge that stretches for over 30 miles. The mountain has a rich history, as it was once home to several mining communities that operated in the early 1900s. Today, it’s a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and of course, rockhounds looking for some amazing crystals. It’s even an amazing place to find West Virginia gems!
Knobly Mountain is composed of sedimentary rocks that date back to the Paleozoic era, which means there are plenty of opportunities to find different crystals that are associated with these rocks. The diverse geology of the area means that there are a variety of crystal formations to be found here, including clusters, druses, and geodes.
To get here, start in the town of Keyser and head east on Route 46. There are several spots along the way where you can park and explore the mountain on foot. It’s also worth noting that there are several creeks and streams in the area, which can be great spots to find crystals that have been eroded from the mountain.
Where we found crystals at Knobly Mountain
To find crystals here, explore the east face outcrops and old quarries of Knobly Mountain. Here, you can get your hands on beautiful samples of Chalcedony, Calcite, Fluorite, and Quartz crystals. You can also search through the mountain’s west face, where you can find Celestite (blue) and Calcite (blue) crystals.
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:
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.
Morgan County, WV
Berkeley Springs is a charming small town in the eastern part of our state, known for its natural hot springs and rich history dating back to colonial times. But what many people don’t know is that the area is also a great place to find some beautiful crystals.
The geology of this town is quite diverse, with a mix of sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. This makes for a wide variety of crystal formations, and the best part is, many of them can be found right on the surface, without any need for digging.
If you’re planning to visit, the town is easily accessible by car from several major cities in the region. Simply take Interstate 81 to exit 13 and follow the signs to the town. There are several public parking areas in town, like at the Cacapon State Park.
Where we found crystals at Berkeley Springs
You can find stunning samples of Calcite, Jasper, Pyrite, Quartz, and Selenite crystals in the area quarries of Berkeley Springs. Know more about these crystals’ value by reading our guide.
South Fork Mountain
Grant County, WV
Located in the eastern part of West Virginia, South Fork Mountain is a beautiful and rugged area known for its stunning views and unique geology. The mountain is home to a wide variety of crystals, making it a popular destination for rock collectors and enthusiasts.
The history of this mountain is tied to the logging industry that once dominated the area. It was heavily logged in the early 20th century, and as a result, there are many old logging roads and trails that wind through the forested hillsides. These roads and trails provide access to some of the best crystal hunting spots on the mountain.
South Fork Mountain is a mix of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, including shale, sandstone, and quartzite. This diverse geology has resulted in a wide variety of crystal formations.
Planning your visit here? Take Interstate 64 to exit 156, and then follow Route 219 south for approximately 15 miles. Turn right onto South Fork Road, and follow the road until you reach the parking area at the base of the mountain. From there, you can hike up to the crystal hunting spots along the logging roads and trails.
Where we found crystals at South Fork Mountain
We highly recommend exploring the area prospects of South Fork Mountain where you can find some of the most beautiful samples of Hematite crystals in our state.
Mineral County, WV
New Creek is a small community nestled in the rolling hills of Mineral County. It has a rich history of mining and mineral exploration, dating back to the mid-1800s.
New Creek is named after the creek that runs through the area, which was a popular spot for gold panning in the 19th century. Its geology is a mix of sedimentary and igneous rocks, and the area is rich in minerals and crystals.
To get here, take US Route 50 to the town of Keyser, and then follow Route 220 south for approximately 7 miles. Turn right onto Route 956, and follow the road until you reach the small community of New Creek. There are several public access points along the creek and surrounding hillsides where you can begin your crystal hunting adventure.
Where we found crystals at New Creek
If you visit here, explore the quarry and mine prospects between US 50 AND US 220, where you can find samples of Calcite and Hematite crystals.
Pendleton County, WV
Judy Gap is a small community located in the Allegheny Mountains. It has a rich history of mineral exploration and extraction, with mining operations dating back to the mid-19th century. The town itself was named after a nearby gap in the mountains that was used as a passage by early settlers.
If you want to go crystal hunting here, there are several great spots to explore, like the “Quartz Hill” area, which is located on the north side of Route 33. Here, you can find Quartz crystals in a variety of formations. You can also explore the “Bucktail Mine” area, which is located off of Route 28, where you can find Quartz and Calcite crystals.
To get here, take Route 33 east from Elkins. Once you reach the town of Harman, turn south onto Route 32/1 and continue until you reach the town of Dry Fork. From there, take Route 28 south for approximately 8 miles until you reach Judy Gap.
Where we found crystals at Judy Gap
We had the best time and success exploring the area outcrops and gravels of Judy Gap. Here, you can find stunning samples of Calcite and Quartz crystals.
Our Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting
In case you have more time and energy to keep exploring West Virginia beyond our top 5 recommended places to find crystals, just know you won’t run out of amazing places for crystal hunting here. In fact, a handful of the place we’re sharing below are also great sites to find West Virginia geodes.
Where you can find crystals for free in West Virginia
First, here are the free-to-search places here. Plenty of these also offer the best sights in our state. Win-win!
|County wide in limestone quarries
|At abondoned quarry in Petersburg area
|In the Acme Limestone County Quarry
|In gap in Mill Creek Mountain on US 220, the Tonoloway Limestone Quarry
|At the Howell Zinc prospect in limestone on east bank of the Shenandoah River
|Area quarries of Willowtown
|In both directions along Turkey Creek
|2 miles north of entrance to Capapon Mountain State park
|At the German Valley Limestone Company Quarry No. 2
|On the Clover Lick rd. to State Road Commission quarry
|On US-33 at the Paulina Limestone Quarry
|Outcrops of Quartz in Sissaboo Hollow
|In sandstone exposures along the Ohio River
Other great places to dig for crystals
Meanwhile, here are additional places to explore if you have extra dimes to spare. The fees these areas require often changes depending on the season, so we recommend calling them first before heading out.
|County wide iron mines
|Area mines of Keyser
|At the Connellsville Coal Company No. 1 Mine
How to find crystals in West Virginia
You’ll notice that some of our recommendations above cover whole towns and cities or even apply county wide. For cases like this, you may start your search on the most common places where crystals are usually found, like the following:
Rivers and River Banks
Searching for crystals in rivers and river banks is not only a fun and adventurous activity, but it’s also a great way to find some truly beautiful and unique finds. Rivers and river banks naturally expose the geological formations that hold crystals. The movement of water and the constant erosion of rocks can uncover crystals that are hidden beneath the surface. This means that these natural wonders can be found in a variety of formations, sizes, and colors, making every discovery unique and exciting.
Quarries are an excellent location to find crystals due to their exposure of geological formations that host crystals. These are man-made locations where rocks and minerals are extracted. They often expose geological formations that contain crystals and minerals that are not easily accessible in other locations.
Quarries are also great places to find larger crystals, as they are often broken loose from the surrounding rock and are easily visible. Additionally, they can be productive locations to find rare or unusual specimens, making them a prime spot for more experienced collectors.
Streams and Creeks
Streams and creeks are fantastic locations to find a variety of crystals. These bodies of water have been known to carry and deposit minerals and crystals from surrounding geological formations. The natural flow of water can uncover crystals from their original sources and transport them downstream, where they can be found along the banks or in the streambed.
West Virginia Crystal Mining Laws And Regulations
It’s legal to engage in crystal mining here in West Virginia for as long as you do it in observance of our local laws, especially those imposed by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) and the Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation. Primarily, secure any necessary permits or permission, depending on the type of land you’ll explore, before you start your activity. Secondly, be aware of rules and regulations meant to protect the environment or biodiversity of the area. By complying with these laws, you are helping ensure the sustainability of crystal mining for many years.
The Best Crystal Shops In West Virginia
It might get overwhelming having to choose among the many amazing places to visit for your crystal hunting journey. If you prefer a sure way to get your hands on great selections (that comes with paying a certain price, of course!), then you can also visit our local crystal shops. Here are some of the best ones that we have:
- Sky Diamond Healing Crystals – 2708 27th St, Parkersburg, WV 26104
- Earth Magic: Books, Stones, Crystals & Talismans – 3506 University Ave, Morgantown, WV 26505
- Crystal Lotus Shoppe – 89 Olde Main Plaza, St Albans, WV 25177
- The Crystal Path – 1226 4th Ave, Huntington, WV 25701
- Mindful Makings – In the back alley, 1808 7th St Rear, Moundsville, WV 26041
- Barefoot Gypsy – 260 Trenol Rd, Milton, WV 25541
- Dyagon Alley – 24 Bridge St, Wheeling, WV 26003
- Little One Crystal – 903 Wheeling Ave # E, Glen Dale, WV 26038
- Light Touch Healing Arts – 715 3rd Ave, Huntington, WV 25701
- Mystic Raven Co. – 2185 Dupont Rd, Parkersburg, WV 26101
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 Ohio
- Crystals in Pennsylvania
- Crystals in Maryland
- Crystals in Virginia
- Crystals in Kentucky
If you have any recommendations we haven’t covered, please leave them in the comments below!