Oregon is a treasure trove for rockhounds, and geodes are one of the most prized specimens you can find here. While they can be found all over our state, some areas are known to produce particularly impressive specimens. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the spots where you can find geodes in Oregon.
We’ve scoured our state to find the most accessible and rewarding spots for geode hunting. From the high peaks of Steens Mountain and Hart Mountain to the low waters of the Powder River, Calapooia River, and Cummins Creek, we’ve got you covered! Whether you’re a seasoned rockhound or a beginner, these locations will offer a chance to find beautiful geodes that will make a great addition to your collection.
So grab your rock hammer, pack your water and snacks, and get ready for your next exciting discovery!
What Are Oregon Geodes?
Geodes are cool rocks that form in volcanic or sedimentary environments. Their formation begins when minerals start to crystallize inside a hollow space. Over time, these crystals continue to grow until they fill the cavity completely, creating a solid rock with a crystal-lined interior. Oregon’s unique geology can amply support this process.
Geodes can be found in a variety of colors and patterns, depending on the type of minerals that formed them. They’re often cut open and polished to reveal their inner beauty. Indeed, geodes are a fascinating geological phenomenon and a popular item for collectors and enthusiasts alike.
If you’re curious to know how the outside of a geode rock looks like, we created a simple guide to quench your curiosity.
The Types Of Geodes Found In Oregon
Oregon is home to several varieties of this natural wonder, and how much a geode is worth depends on it. Below, we have listed some of the types of geodes you are likely to come across in our region.
- Agate geodes
- Black Agate geodes
- Chalcedony geodes
The Best Places To Find Geodes in Oregon
You may be familiar with the best places to find gems in Oregon. Unfortunately, not all of them contain geodes. The locations we’re sharing with you below may not be as well-known, but they are definitely the best places to visit if you want to find geodes here.
Part of the Great Basin, Steens Mountain is located in the southeastern part of our state. It’s a big old mountain rising to over 9,000 feet. Its terrain is rugged and wild, with steep cliffs and canyons. What’s fascinating about its geology is that it’s made up of volcanic rocks that were formed millions of years ago. You can see layers of ash and lava all over the place.
As you might’ve already guessed, getting here is a bit of a trek. You’ll have to drive for miles on dirt roads (no cell phone service out here!), but once you get here, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world— and atop a pile of geodes just waiting to be discovered.
But before you plan your trip, make sure to check the latest collecting guidelines of Oregon.
Where we found geodes at Steens Mountain
Lucky for you, there are a number of specific spots at Steens Mountain where you can find geodes! Particularly, these are the west side of the mountain via route 78 of Burns and all the regional land surfaces, draws, and washes on the east side of the mountain via the Alvord Ranch, Andrews, and Fields.
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:
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.
Aside from being a sweet spot for some outdoor fun, Powder River is also one of the best locations to find geodes! The river runs through the northeastern part of our state, and it’s surrounded by beautiful countryside.
Flowing for about 150 miles, the Powder River is a tributary of the Snake River. Its terrain is mostly hilly and covered with sagebrush. There are some steep canyons along it, too, that make for some pretty epic views. The area is rich in gold, which is why there are still some active mines in our region.
To go here, there are a few highways that run through the area. Overall, we recommend Powder River if you’re after some amazing geode hunting adventure.
Where we found geodes at Powder River
If you’re going geode hunting here, the best areas to explore is in the gravels of Powder River along the Richland Valley. One of the beautiful samples you can get your hands on here are Chalcedony geodes lined with drusy Quartz crystals.
Calapooia River is a real gem hidden away in the middle of our state. It’s located in the foothills of the Cascade Range, surrounded by some amazing scenery.
The Calapooia River flows for about 50 miles through the forested mountains. Its terrain is rugged and wild, with plenty of steep cliffs and rocky outcroppings. Geologically, it’s pretty interesting, too. The area is known for its gold deposits. There are also some hot springs nearby, which are definitely worth checking out.
To reach this place, you’ll have to drive on some dirt roads because there aren’t any major highways nearby. But once you’re there, you’ll be blown away by the natural beauty of the area.
Where we found geodes at Calapooia River
Calapooia River is part of the Sweet Home Petrified Forest in Linn County. If you’re planning to visit here, you can find geodes along the shores of this river or along its nearby Ames Creek.
Hart Mountain is located in the southeastern part of our state. Its geography is super unique since it’s a fault-block mountain— a huge block of rock that’s been lifted up and tilted. Its terrain is rugged and rocky, with some steep cliffs and canyons.
The geology of Hart Mountain is pretty fascinating, too. There are some hot springs in the area, and the mountain is home to a variety of different rocks and minerals. There are also some sweet views of the surrounding desert landscape.
If you want to go here, you have to be ready for a bit of a challenge. The road here is pretty rough and there aren’t many signs, so it’s easy to get lost. But if you’re up for an adventure, it’s definitely worth it.
Where we found geodes at Hart Mountain
The west flank and draws of Hart Mountain or Warner Peak in Plush area is where you can find some of the most amazing geodes here.
Located on the coast, in the heart of the Siuslaw National Forest, Cummins Creek is a fantastic spot for nature lovers. It’s surrounded by tall trees and lush vegetation. Its terrain is rocky and hilly, with plenty of streams and waterfalls to check out.
The geology of Cummins Creek is pretty rad, too. The area is known for its volcanic rocks, and there are some cool geological formations to check out. There are also some sweet views of the ocean from the trails.
What’s even more amazing is that getting to Cummins Creek is fairly easy. There are a few different trailheads to choose from, and the roads are well-maintained. Whether you’re into geode hunting or other outdoor activities, you’ll surely enjoy this place!
Where we found geodes at Cummins Creek
You can find chalcedony geodes if you go 19.6 miles north on US-101, 0.75 miles south of the Lincoln County border, and in and near the mouth of Cummins Creek.
Other Great Places To Dig For Oregon Geodes
While the spots we mentioned earlier are our top recommended locations to find geodes in Oregon, we have numerous other recommendations for you. Below is a table of these places categorized by county.
Our recommendations by county
|Baker||In volcanic rocks and in Powder River gravels along the Richland Valley|
|Baker||Large triangular area from Baker to Richland to Durkee and back to Baker|
|Baker||he Huntington area near MM-393 on SR-30|
|Harney||The Steens Mountain in southeast corner of county|
|Harney||West side of the Steens in Burns from Rte. 78|
|Harney||All regional land surfaces, draws, washes of the east side of the range in Alvord Ranch, Andrews, and Fields|
|Harney||Area of the Harney Valley|
|Jefferson||Area of Ashwood|
|Jefferson||General region of Madras|
|Jefferson||General area surfaces, draws, washes of Willowdale|
|Lake||All surrounding desert area of Lakeview|
|Lake||West flank and draws of Hart Mountain/Warner Peak in Plush area|
|Lane||In and near the mouth of Big Creek|
|Lane||In and near the mouth of Tenmile Creek|
|Lane||In and near the mouth of Cummins Creek|
|Lincoln||Beach area gravels of Yachats|
|Lincoln||At the mouth of the Yachats River|
|Lincoln||2 miles north of the mouth of the China Creek|
|Linn||The Sweet Home Petrified Forest, especially along Ames Creek and the shores of the Calapooia River|
|Malheur||Area immediately surrounding Nyssa town|
|Malheur||6.9 miles northeast in the Skull Springs area|
|Wasco||South flanks of the Mutton Mountains area|
|Wasco||Area of Antelope|
Common Geode-Hunting Questions
During our research on geodes in Oregon, we came across some commonly asked questions. We presume that you might have these questions as well, so we will answer them here:
Where can you find amethyst geodes in Oregon?
Unfortunately, amethyst geodes do not naturally occur in Oregon. Although you can’t exactly dig for them here, there are plenty of local shops where you can purchase them from. We made a list of some of them below.
Is it illegal to collect geodes in Oregon?
It’s legal to collect geodes in Oregon, but it’s crucial to follow our state’s local collecting laws. If any regulations exist on government land, ensure that you are complying with them. Additionally, it is important to seek permission before exploring any private property.
The Best Places To Buy Geodes In Oregon
For geode enthusiasts and collectors, finding geodes in their natural environment is an incredible feeling. But the tedious process of finding them may not be suitable for everyone. If you fall into this category and wish to acquire geodes without putting in too much effort, we’ve got you covered!
We made a list of our some of the best local shops where you can find and buy different types of geodes:
- Richardson’s Rock Ranch – 6683 Hay Creek Rd, Madras, OR 97741
- Amazon – It’s amazing how vast the geodes selections are in Amazon. There are even whole kits to help you break them open!
- Ed’s House of Gems – 7712 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213, United States
- Roadrunner Rockhounds – 160 W 2nd St, Yachats, OR 97498
- Rock Your World: Pacific NW Rock, Gem & Jewelry Gallery – 3203 SE Hwy 101, Lincoln City, OR 97367
- Sunriver Rocks – 57100 Beaver Dr, Sunriver, OR 97707
- Best Crystals – 6635 N Baltimore Ave # 216, Portland, OR 97203
- Ore Rock On – 18403 S Clear Acres Dr, Oregon City, OR 97045
- Flower of Life Crystals – 40 N Main St, Ashland, OR 97520
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!