The Simplest Ways To Find and Dig For Geodes In Alabama In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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The Simplest Ways To Find and Dig For Geodes In Alabama In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Geodes are one of the most amazing and beautiful geological wonders found on Earth. But it can be a difficult task to find geodes in Alabama without proper guidance, as they are not easily visible on the surface. Despite this, the thrill of the hunt for them is unmatched, and the rewards of discovering a stunning geode make the search worthwhile.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the best places to find geodes and geode-like formations in Alabama. From Lake Martin, Black Warrior River, and Hog Mountain with gems and rocks that are just as breathtaking as geodes to Mississippi River in Mississippi and Caladesi Island State Park in Florida where geodes naturally occur, we scoured our state and its nearby locations to bring you the most promising sites here.

What Are Geodes Anyway?

A beautiful sample of an opene geode showing orange and white crystals

Geodes are rock formations that are typically round and hollow. They’re formed over thousands of years by mineral-rich water seeping into a cavity in a rock and depositing minerals on the inside walls. When the water evaporates, it leaves behind beautiful crystals that line the inside of the geode. These crystals can be various colors, shapes, and sizes, making each one a unique natural wonder and influencing the overall geode’s value.

To find geodes, its necessary to explore areas where the rock formations are conducive to its formation, like volcanic rock formations or in sedimentary deposits. While they can be found all over the world, some locations are more abundant with them than others. And with the right knowledge and patience, finding one will surely be a thrilling and rewarding experience for you!

If you need to know how to identify a geode during your adventure, you can refer to the guide that we’ve put together.

How We Found The Best Geode Locations in Alabama
When it comes to choosing the best options for finding Alabama geodes there are plenty of things we consider. Many of the best locations are closely guarded secrets which can make it really difficult for more casual geode hunters to find success. The key factors in our recommendations are:

  • The deep experience and understanding of our team about the area
  • Recommendations from local groups and clubs
  • How easy it is to get the a particular location
  • Safety and potential hazards when collecting
  • Weighing private and public locations
  • The ability for both experienced and novice geode enthusiasts to find great samples

With these factors in mind we’ve been able to put together a fantastic list that just about anyone can use!

The Best Places To Find Geodes in Alabama

An intricate sample of an open geode

Alabama is blessed with great sites to mine gems, which you might already be aware of. However, if you’re planning to find geodes here, get ready to face some challenge because they are incredibly hard to chance upon naturally. In fact, there is currently no known spots where you can find geodes in Alabama.

Despite this, our state is endowed with so much more than geodes— we have found ideal places here where you can find rocks and gems that are just as stunning as 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.

Lake Martin

A bird's eyeview of Lake Martin

Covering over 44,000 acres, Lake Martin is one of the largest man-made lakes in the US. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it’s surrounded by beautiful, forested hills that offer some stunning views.

The terrain around the lake is pretty diverse – you’ve got everything from rocky bluffs to sandy beaches, and even some swampy areas. And since the area around the lake are some of the oldest mountains in the world, it has some pretty interesting rock formations, including exposed bedrock and small caves.

Getting here will take a couple of hours’ drive from Birmingham or Atlanta. But before you do any collecting here, be sure to check first the latest guidelines of Alabama.

Where we found geode-like formations

You can find a handful of fascinating geode-like formations in Lake Martin like the following:

  • Actinolite, Epidote, Feldspar, Hematite, and Quartz crystals on the outcrops of Lake Martin’s west shores
  • Actinolite, Feldspar, and Quartz crystals on the access areas of Lake Martin’s east shores

Rock pick being used

The tools every geode hunter will need

When you're out looking for geodes 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 geode hunters which we outline in great detail in our complete rockhounding tools and kit 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 geode-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 

Southeast Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Southeastern 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.

Black Warrior River

Scenic view of the stretch of Black Warrior River

Black Warrior River stretches over 170 miles and flows through some pretty diverse terrain: rocky bluffs, sandy beaches, and wetlands. The river runs through some pretty interesting rock formations, like the Appalachian Mountains, so you’ll see exposed bedrock and some really cool rock formations along the way. You can even find fantastic Alabama crystals when you go here.

If you want to visit here, you have to drive for an hour from Birmingham. There are plenty of access points along the river, so you can choose your own adventure. You can take a leisurely float down the river, go fishing, or even do some kayaking or canoeing if you’re feeling adventurous.

One thing to keep in mind is that the river can get pretty shallow in some spots, so be careful if you’re in a motorboat. Also, watch out for some of the bigger rocks and rapids – they can be a little tricky to navigate.

Where we found geode-like formations

When you visit here, you can get on your hands on some amazing samples of Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Kyanite, and Vivianite on the area stream gravels, iron mines, and pits along Black Warrior River between Brookwood and Peterson.

Hog Mountain

A man standing in front of an excavation hole at Hog Mountain

Located in the northeastern part of our state, Hog Mountain is part of the southern Appalachians. Because of this, you’ll see some exposed bedrock and interesting rock formations along the way. Its terrain is also pretty diverse. You’ll have to hike through dense forest, over rocky outcroppings, and even past a small waterfall.

Hiking up Hog Mountain is a real adventure. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for a challenge, it’s definitely worth checking out. Its trail is steep and rocky, so be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water. The trailhead is a bit tricky to find, but if you ask around in the nearby town, someone will be able to point you in the right direction.

Where we found geode-like formations

You can find some amazing deposits of Quartz veins bearing Gold and Pyrite, along with other stunning gems and minerals here if you search through the northeast of Hog Mountain in Alexander City.

Mississippi River

A wide view of the Mississippi River with a boat passing by

Alabama is adjacent to the beautiful state of Mississippi that has great sites to find geodes. One of them is the mighty Mississippi River, the second-longest river in the United States that stretches over 2,300 miles. Not only is it a big one, it is also an important part of American history and culture and played a major role in shaping the landscape of the region.

Over the centuries, the river has deposited sediment and carved out new channels, creating a diverse array of habitats for plants and animals. When you visit here, your eyes will have a feast over its low-lying floodplains, steep bluffs, and rolling hills of the area. You’ll also appreciate its exposed bedrock and interesting rock formations.

Since the river runs through the heart of Mississippi, it’s pretty easy to get to. It has plenty of access points for boaters, anglers, and other enthusiasts.

Where we found geodes in Mississippi River

The Mississippi River’s gravel pits and dredge tailings are the prime locations to discover geodes here. At times, geodes from other areas, such as the Keokuk Geode Beds in Southeastern Iowa, are carried downstream and accumulate on the river’s gravel bars.

Caladesi Island State Park

A beautiful aerial view of the Caladesi Island State Park

We included among our recommendations another area from a nearby state, the Caladesi Island State Park in Florida. It’s not a secret that Florida abounds in great spots to find geodes, and this recommended location is only of them.

Located just off the coast of Dunedin, Caladesi Island State Park is a unique barrier island with pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and some of the best shelling you’ll find anywhere in Florida. Sand dunes and coastal vegetation dominate the landscape, with plenty of nature trails and boardwalks that make exploring the island on foot very enjoyable.

Getting here is a breeze – just hop on a ferry from Honeymoon Island State Park or take your own boat over.

Where we found geodes at Caladesi Island State Park

The rocks and soils of Caladesi Island State Park contain sedimentary rock formations, like limestone, where geodes are often discovered.

Common Alabama Geode-Hunting Questions

Two sides of an open geode

We stumbled upon some common questions that people often ask when trying to find geodes in Alabama. And we thought it would be helpful to answer them here for you.

Where can you find amethyst geodes in Alabama?

Unfortunately, amethyst geodes do not naturally occur in Alabama. There are awesome spots here, though, where you can find some beautiful amethyst crystals, like the Lowe Farm in Cherokee County.

Is it illegal to collect geodes in Alabama?

As long as you’re compliant with the local laws on collecting geodes and other natural formations, you won’t have any problem exploring Alabama for them. Make sure that you also check any existing regulations specific to the kind of land you will explore, like for government lands or private lands.

The Best Places To Buy Geodes In Alabama

Some of the available items at Keepers Korner

The surest way to find geodes in Alabama is by visiting the different gem and rock shops here. And since Alabama is rich with these wonders, we shortlisted the best local stores for you to choose from:

  • Keepers Korner – 103 Simpson St, Florence, AL 35630
  • Amazon – Did you know that Amazon has some of the best types of geodes out there? They even have whole kits to crack geodes open.
  • Amethyst Sage – 1809 Hwy 31 SW, Hartselle, AL 35640
  • Rough and Tumbled LLC – 189 W Reynolds St, Ozark, AL 36360
  • Cosmic Connexion – 814 Annalue Dr, Auburn, AL 36830
  • Conjure Fairy – 300 Hwy 78 E ste b2, Jasper, AL 35501

Additional places to find geodes in nearby states

Check out our guides for nearby states if you’ve already tried all of our suggestions above or if you’re planning a trip outside of the state:

If you have any recommendations for our list please leave a comment 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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