If you know where to look, gem mining in Wyoming can be easier than you think. Our state has a wide range of locations, perfect for beginners and expert gem hunters. From searching high in the mountains to looking down by the creeks, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go! So, we have listed our favorite locations for gem mining in the state to help you get started.
The creeks, rivers, mountains, mines, and roadcuts dispersed throughout the state are going to be some of the best locations for gem mining. Our favorite places, Blacks Fork Creek, Casper Mountain, and Yellowstone National Park, are covered in detail below.
The Gemstones Found In Wyoming You Can Mine
There are many types of gemstones waiting to be found in our state. And as you embark on this adventure, you can use our article as your guide. We also developed guides that will give you access to locate gem mines near you. So, prepare your tools and get ready for the rewarding experiences of gem hunting!
Rare gemstones found in Wyoming
More common gemstones found here
Our Favorite Places For Gem Mining in Wyoming
To start off we’re going to give you our favorite places to mine! If you have to start anywhere these are great options:
Blacks Fork Creek
Blacks Fork, WY 82938, United States
Blacks Fork Creek in Wyoming is an excellent spot for amateur and experienced gem hunters. The creek is situated in the Medicine Bow National Forest, with breathtaking views of the Snowy Range Mountains. The area is full of semi-precious stones, which can be found along the creek banks.
The Types Of Gemstones Found At Blacks Fork Creek
This place has some of the coolest gemstones in the state, including:
The Best Time To Visit Blacks Fork Creek
The best time to search for gems in this area is during the summer when the water level is low and temperatures are mild. Experienced gem hunters may even find rarer gems hidden beneath the surface, depending on their luck!
The tools every gem hunter will need
When you're out looking for gems it's very important that you bring the right tools with you. 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 gem 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 gem-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.
Natrona Co., WY, United States
Casper Mountain is a mountain located in Natrona County and is the highest point, with an elevation of 8,129 feet (2,474 m). The mountain is part of the Laramie Mountains and offers recreational opportunities such as gem mining, hiking, biking, skiing, and snowmobiling. It also has several lookout points that offer panoramic views of Casper and the surrounding area, which gem hunters can enjoy while digging for gemstones. When you visit here, you can even find amazing Wyoming crystals.
The Types Of Gemstones Found Casper Mountain
This location is a fantastic site to find gemstones. Notably, it is known to possess the following:
The Best Time To Visit Casper Mountain
The best time to visit Casper Mountain for gem hunting is during the summer months of June, July, and August. This is when the weather is warmest and more conducive to being outdoors. The best results are usually found in areas with exposed bedrock, so it’s best to go on a day with low wind and minimal cloud cover so you can see the surface of the ground.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, United States
Yellowstone National Park is an American national park located primarily in Wyoming, extending into Montana and Idaho. This location is great for exploring gems and finding beautiful stones. You can find these gems along the trails and in the riverbeds. Gem hunting at the park requires no special equipment or expertise, just a keen eye. Before looking for rocks, check with the park rangers for any regulations or restrictions on collecting.
Also, take some time to familiarize yourself with the types of gems found in Yellowstone National Park, so you know what to look for.
The Types Of Gemstones Found At Yellowstone National Park
Gem hunters can find various gemstones here, such as:
The Best Time To Visit Yellowstone National Park
The ideal time to go to Yellowstone National Park to dig for gems is typically between June and August. This is when the ground is thawed and dry enough to make digging easier. During these months, temperatures are usually mild, and there is plenty of daylight to look for gemstones.
Other Great Options For Real Gem Mining in Wyoming
There are many incredible locations in Wyoming where you can find precious gemstones. Here are a couple more areas you should visit if you want to engage in real gem mining in our state, in addition to our top picks from the list above.
- Amethyst Mountain – Amethyst
- Big Horn River – Agate
- Black Hills National Forest – Fluorite
- Chugwater Creek – Bloodstone
- Copper King Mine – Barite
- Copper Mountain – Beryl, Feldspar,
- Copper Prince Mine – Chrysocolla, Malachite
- Creed Mine – Cobaltite, Pyrrhotite
- Deer Creek Canyon Mine – Chromite
- Green River – Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper
- Great Falls – Agates, Sapphires
- Kirwin Mine – Agate, Chalcedony, Jade, Quartz
- Laramie Mountains – Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper
- Medicine Bow Mountains – Barite, Beryl
- Palmer Canyon – Sapphire
- Poison Spider Creek – Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper
- Rambler Mine – Barite, Realgar
- Rawhide Buttes – Azurite, Bornite, Chrysocolla, Malachite
- Red Desert – Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Quartz
- Sage Hen Creek – Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper
- Smith Creek – Opals
- Steamboat Mountain – Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper
- Thorofare Wilderness – Agate, Jasper
- Warren Peak – Azurite, Malachite
Trying to figure out what a gemstone is can be tricky, but our guides will make it easier:
Wyoming Gem Mining Laws And Regulations
The State of Wyoming does not regulate gem hunting, so it is up to each individual to follow applicable federal and local regulations.
Gem hunters can generally search for gems on public lands managed by the Wyoming Bureau of Land Management (BLM). However, it is essential to note that some areas may be off-limits due to mining claims or other restrictions. It is also important to note that some areas may require permits for collecting gems or minerals. Gem hunters should also be aware of potential dangers such as rock slides or flash flooding in certain areas and take appropriate precautions when exploring any area.
Finally, it is important to remember that all collected specimens must be taken with permission from the landowner or manager and reported according to local laws and regulations if they are sold or traded.
For further information about Wyoming’s gem mining laws and regulations, visit the state’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) website link above.
Additional Places To Mine For Gems 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:
- Gem Mining in Colorado
- Gem Mining in Idaho
- Gem Mining in Montana
- Gem Mining in Nebraska
- Gem Mining in South Dakota
- Gem Mining in Utah
If you have any recommendations we haven’t covered please leave them in the comments below!