43 Awesome Places To Find and Dig For Crystals In Wyoming In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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43 Awesome Places To Find and Dig For Crystals In Wyoming In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


The thrill and excitement that crystal hunting offers is unrivaled, so it’s no surprise that it attracts enthusiasts of all ages. Wyoming, in particular, is a crystal hunter’s paradise, but with so many locations to find crystals here, it can be challenging to identify the best spots to visit. That’s where we come in!

We traveled all over our state to discover the best places to find crystals, such as Bighorn Mountains, Atlantic City, Blacks Fork, Rawhide Buttes, Kirwin Mine, and Warm Springs. Put on your hiking shoes, grab your rock hammer, and get ready for the crystal-hunting adventure of a lifetime!

How We Picked The Best Places To Find Crystals in Wyoming
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

A beautiful raw opal with a rainbow play-of-color
Opal photo provided by and available for purchase at SpiritNectarGems

Known for its stunning landscapes, including rugged mountains, vast prairies, and high deserts, rockhounding in our state will reveal to you that it’s home to some of the most incredible and diverse crystals in the world.

Rare crystals found in Wyoming

  • Amber
  • Amethyst
  • Aventurine
  • Bloodstone
  • Diamond
  • Iolite
  • Jade
  • Moonstone
  • Obsidian
  • Opal
  • Ruby
  • Sapphire
  • Selenite

More common crystals found here

  • Agate (Banded, Moss, Sweetwater, Turritella)
  • Aquamarine
  • Azurite
  • Bismuth
  • Calcite
  • Carnelian
  • Chalcedony
  • Chalcopyrite
  • Chrysocolla
  • Copper
  • Fluorite
  • Galena
  • Garnet
  • Jasper
  • Labradorite
  • Malachite
  • Muscovite
  • Onyx
  • Petrified wood
  • Pyrite
  • Quartz
  • Rhodonite
  • Tourmaline

The Best Locations For Crystal Mining We’ve Found

A rough royal blue azurite crystal
Azurite photo provided by Weinrich Minerals

Here are our top recommended places to find crystals in Wyoming. We chose these spots based on the amount of fun and success that we had in exploring 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.

Bighorn Mountains

Scenic view of the Bighorn Mountains with a beautiful sunlight cast

Big Horn County, WY

Bighorn Mountains stretch over 150 miles, as part of the Rocky Mountains. Historically, native Americans first discovered the wealth of minerals here, followed by European settlers who mined extensively in the 19th century. Even today, it’s a well-kept secret among crystal enthusiasts.

The Bighorns are composed of ancient rocks from the Precambrian to the Cretaceous periods. You’ll find everything here from sedimentary layers rich in fossils to metamorphic rocks holding garnet and schist. Its volcanic history also means it has pockets of igneous rocks, perfect for finding unique crystal formations.

If you want to visit, the Bighorns are conveniently located between Sheridan and Buffalo, accessible via Interstate 90. Several forest service roads lead into the heart of the mountains but be prepared for rough terrain. A four-wheel drive is recommended.

Where we found crystals in the Bighorn Mountains

You can find different kinds of crystals if you explore and search through the two dikes southeast of Willet Creek in the Bighorn Mountains.

Atlantic City – South Pass

A stunning view at Atlantic City - South Pass showing farm houses and surrounding landscapes

Fremont County, WY

Atlantic City-South Pass is one of the best places for gem hunting in Wyoming, with its rich history, breathtaking scenery, and a vast array of crystal formations to explore.

This place was once a booming gold mining town in the late 1800s, with thousands of miners flocking to the area in search of riches. While the gold rush eventually fizzled out, it left behind a treasure trove of crystals.

Atlantic City-South Pass is situated in the southern Wind River Range. It’s rich in minerals due to its unique geological features, including the Sweetwater Uplift and the Carissa Gold Deposit, where crystals naturally form.

Where we found crystals at Atlantic City – South Pass

Explore the area’s streams, gravels, draws, washes, gullies, and hillsides to find amazing samples of agate, chalcedony, jade, jasper, muscovite, quartz, and tourmaline 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 

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.

Blacks Fork

A stunning view of the creek and surrounding forest at Blacks Fork

Uinta County, WY

Blacks Fork was once a popular spot for fur trappers in the early 1800s, and later became a hub for the cattle industry. But beyond its history as a trading post and cattle town, it’s also known for its abundant crystals.

Located near the Utah border, Blacks Fork is characterized by rugged mountains, canyons, and high deserts. Its geology includes sedimentary rocks, volcanic ash, and tuff deposits, which provide the ideal conditions for crystal growth.

Blacks Fork is accessible via Highway 414, which runs from Manila, Utah, to Lyman. Once you arrive, there are plenty of spots to explore, including the hills and valleys around the Blacks Fork River.

Where we found crystals at Blacks Fork

We recommend searching in the northeast corner of Blacks Fork to find agate (‘Turritella’ agate), chalcedony, jasper, and quartz crystals. Check our article on how much crystal is worth to help you determine your find’s price.

Rawhide Buttes

Platte County, WY

Once a favorite spot among cowboys and outlaws, Rawhide Buttes is also known for its unique geological formations. It’s situated near the South Dakota border at the northeast part of our state.

This place is characterized by rolling hills and buttes, with dramatic rock formations and steep canyons. It’s composed of sedimentary rocks, sandstones, and shales, which make it rich in crystals.

If you’re planning to visit, it’s accessible via Highway 85, which runs from Belle Fourche, South Dakota, to Newcastle.

Where we found crystals at Rawhide Buttes

You can explore the area mines of Rawhide Buttes to get your hands on azurite, chrysocolla, and malachite crystals.

Kirwin Mine

A fish eye photo of the rich and green landscape of Kirwin Mine

Park County, WY

Kirwin Mine is located in the heart of the Absaroka Mountains. It was once a booming mining town, founded in the late 1800s, with gold, silver, and copper being the primary resources extracted. Today, the mine is no longer in operation, but it still offers a unique and exciting opportunity for rockhounding enthusiasts.

Kirwin Mine has rugged mountains, deep valleys, and rushing streams. It’s rich in geological formations, including sedimentary and volcanic rocks, which make it a prime location for crystal hunting.

To get here, make your way to Meeteetse. Take Highway 120 north to the small town of Wood River, and then continue on the dirt road for about 10 miles until you reach the mine site. Keep in mind that the roads can be rough and may require a high-clearance vehicle, so plan accordingly.

Just an additional note: Kirwin Mine is a historic site, so preserving its natural beauty and history is crucial for future generations of rockhounding enthusiasts to enjoy.

Where we found crystals at Kirwin Mine

Explore the southwest of Meeteetse of Kirwin Mine to find specimens of azurite, chalcopyrite, galena, malachite, pyrite, and quartz crystals.

Warm Springs

A serene view of Warm Springs and the wide area surrounding it

Fremont County, WY

Warm Springs is located in the Wind River Range, just west of Lander. Native American tribes used the natural hot springs for thousands of years. Today, it’s a popular destination for hikers, campers, and of course, rockhounding enthusiasts.

Blessed with stunning views, Warm Springs has high mountain peaks, rugged terrain, and beautiful waterfalls. The area has a variety of mineral formations including sedimentary rocks and volcanic rocks that support crystal formation.

To go here, make your way to Lander and take Highway 28 west for about 19 miles until you reach South Pass. Turn left onto Highway 131 and continue for about 10 miles until you reach the Warm Springs trailhead. The trail is well-marked, and it’s about a 2.5-mile hike to the hot springs.

Where we found crystals at Warm Springs

You can find crystals by exploring the area draws and hills over a large area of the Warm Springs. Some of the crystals you can find here are agate, chalcedony, jasper, jade, and quartz crystals.

My Other Favorite Places For Crystal Hunting

A well-formed, lustrous ruby with a saturated red hue on a marble matrix
Ruby photo provided by Collector’s Edge Minerals – @collectorsedgeminerals

As the 10th largest state in the U.S., it’s no surprise that our state has plenty of other crystal hunting sites that you can enjoy exploring aside from the top 5 that we shared with you.

What’s even better is that a handful of them are also great sites to find Wyoming geodes.

Where you can find crystals for free

Here are the best free-to-search places that not only have amazing crystals but also serve the most stunning views our state has to offer.

County Location
Albany In foothills of west slopes of Laramie Mountains
Carbon Kortes Dam area on North Platte River
Converse 30 miles southwest on SR-91 on Moss Agate Hill
Fremont At outcrops on East Fork near mouth of Bear Creek
Goshen Regional land surfaces, draws, washes, and gravels at Jay Elm
Hot Springs Area along the Big Horn River
Laramie In the Chayenne Pass and just west of Chayenne area
Lincoln Upstream on both sides of the Snake River and on the adjacent north slopes of Bradley Mountain
Natrona Between the South Fork of Casper Creek and Poison Spider Creek
Park Mouth of principal north-flowing drainage from Windy Mountain
Platte South and west along Hwy. 34 at Wheatland
Sheridan Downstream along Lone Tree Creek to the mouth of Pinhead Creek
Sublette Along shoreline of Half Moon Lake
Sweetwater Widespread region of foothills, canyons, draws, flats, etc., of the distant Wind River Range
Teton On southwest slopes in area of Atlantic Creek
Uinta Fort Bridger area
Washakie Broad regional bench gravels and sides and bottoms of regional draws, and washes at Worland

If you’re having a hard time telling some common crystals apart, here are some helpful guides that will come in handy for you:

Other great places to dig for crystals

If you’re okay with paying a certain fee to explore crystal-rich sites, then you might want to visit the places below.

Just know that the fees may vary depending on the season (or they could be free if you’re lucky!), so make sure to reach out to the place first before heading out.

County Location
Albany Grand Encampment District area mines and prospects
Big Horn Various ranges of low barren hills, scattered deposits and mines in Lovell
Carbon Rawlins area coal strip mines
Converse Many mines and prospects in north end of the Laramie Mountains
Crook Warrens Peak regional mines
Fremont At the Copper Chief Gold Mine
Johnson Area mines at Buffalo
Laramie At the Adams Copper King Mine
Platte At the Wilde & Deercorn Mine
Teton At series of mines along Buffalo Fork of the Snake River

My Tips For Finding Crystals

Pieces of rough orange carnelian
Carnelian photo provided by celestial studios

Many of our recommendations cover large areas, so to help you narrow down your search, here are some of the usual places where crystals abound:

Streams and Creeks

Streams and creeks are the small waterways that flow through the valleys and canyons of our mountains. They are often fed by snowmelt and rainwater, and they can be found throughout our state.

As their water flows through the mountains, it erodes the rocks and minerals that it comes into contact with. This erosion process can cause crystals to break off from their parent rock and get carried downstream. Over time, they can accumulate in the gravel and sand of the stream bed.

Lake Shores and Beds

Wyoming is home to many beautiful lakes, and their shores and beds can offer some incredible crystal finds.

The process is similar to searching in streams and creeks, but instead of erosion from flowing water, crystals in lakes are often brought to the shore by wave action or are found in sediment on the lake bed.

Mines and Mine Dumps

Mines and mine dumps are often rich sources of crystals because they were originally dug for valuable ores and metals. Over time, as mining operations ceased, crystals were left behind. The act of mining can also sometimes naturally expose crystals, making them easier to spot and collect.

When exploring mines and mine dumps, it’s important to take safety precautions. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes or boots with good traction and consider bringing a hard hat and gloves. You should also be cautious of unstable rock formations, open mine shafts, and other hazards that may be present.

The Mining Laws And Regulations You Should Know

Crystal mining is legal in our state for as long as you follow our local laws related to it, especially those mandated by the Wyoming Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which regulates crystal mining here.

Among these laws is to obtain all necessary documents, such as permits or permissions, from concerned government offices and individuals. You should also be compliant with existing rules and guidelines to protect our environment and biodiversity.

The Best Crystal Shops In The Area

A look at the colorful store of Torrington Rock Shop

If you’re looking for rare crystals that may be difficult to find in one setting, your best chance is to visit our local crystal shops. Here are the best ones that we have:

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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