The 27 Best Spots For Gem Hunting In Wyoming In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist

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The 27 Best Spots For Gem Hunting In Wyoming In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist


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.

How We Picked The Best Places For Gem Mining in Wyoming
In order to find the absolute best places in Wyoming for gem mining we had a lot of things to consider. It can be really tough to find good information so it took us a long time to put together a solid list like the one below. The main inputs to our recommendations are as follows:

  • The extensive local experience and understanding of our team
  • Input from several gem hunting groups and organizations
  • The accessibility of the mining locations
  • Safety and potential hazards when collecting
  • Private and public locations
  • A desire to include locations for both experienced gem hunters and those who are just starting out

Overall we’ve been able to put together a great list that anyone can use to locate a lot of beautiful gems.

The Gemstones Found In Wyoming You Can Mine

A pile of pretty Onyx located while gem hunting in Wyoming

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

  • Amethyst
  • Barite
  • Jade
  • Jasper
  • Opal
  • Sapphire

More common gemstones found here

  • Agate
  • Anhydrite
  • Azurite
  • Beryl
  • Bloodstone
  • Chalcedony
  • Cobaltite
  • Cuprite
  • Garnet
  • Gypsum
  • Jasper
  • Labradorite
  • Malachite
  • Moonstone
  • Onyx
  • Quartzite
  • Ruby
  • Sphalerite
  • Tourmaline

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:

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 directly with the location. We haven’t personally verified every location and the access requirements and collection rules often change without notice.

Many of the locations we mention will not allow collecting but are still great places for those who love to find beautiful rocks and minerals in the wild without keeping them. We also can’t guarantee you will find anything in these locations since they are constantly changing. 

Always get updated information directly from the source ahead of time to ensure responsible rockhounding. If you want even more current options it’s always a good idea to contact local rock and mineral clubs and groups

Blacks Fork Creek

A few pieces of Chalcedony found at 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:

  • Agate
  • Chalcedony
  • Jasper
  • Quartz

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!

Rock pick being used

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:

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.

Casper Mountain

A gorgeous Chromite discovered at Casper Mountain

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:

  • Beryl
  • Chromite
  • Feldspar

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

Beautiful Obsidians mined at 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:

  • Obsidian
  • Opal

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

A wonderful Chrysocolla located while 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:

If you have any recommendations we haven’t covered please leave them in the comments below!

About Keith Jackson - Geologist

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He is an active Geologist with a wealth of experience and information from across the country that he loves to share with the Rock Chasing crew.

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