The 4 Confirmed Areas To Find Jade In Washington In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist

| Updated

The 4 Confirmed Areas To Find Jade In Washington In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist

Updated

Jade can be found in various places, but knowing how to find jade is key to a successful hunt. We’ve explored rivers, beaches, and mountainous areas, and we’ve learned that these natural settings are often the best places to discover jade.

In Washington, jade can be hiding in many kinds of places. You might find it in rocky areas, along riverbanks, or even in gravelly spots. Skagit County and Snohomish County are also especially known for their jade.

With our guidance, you’ll learn to identify the right environments where jade is likely to be found. We’ll share tips on how to recognize potential jade-bearing rocks and the best ways to search through them.

What Is Washington Jade Anyway?

rough deep green and white jade
Jade provided by EntheogenSeeds

Jade is special because it’s not just one mineral but two: nephrite and jadeite. Both types are tough and durable, making them perfect for carving and jewelry.

Identifying jade can be tricky, as it comes in various colors, from deep green to white, and even lavender and orange. The most well-known color is a rich emerald green.

You can typically find jade in specific types of locations. It’s usually hidden in places where other rocks are formed under high pressure and temperature, like in the mountains.

Rivers can also carry small pieces of jade, tumbling them in the water and smoothing their edges. This means that riverbeds and old, rocky areas can be hotspots for jade hunting.

Beaches, especially after a storm, can reveal hidden jade among the pebbles and sand.

The value of jade is determined by different factors. The color and transparency of the jade are really important; bright green and highly transparent jade are often more valuable. The size and shape of the jade piece also play a big role in its value.

The origin of a piece of jade comes from can affect its price too – some locations are known for producing really high-quality jade. In fact, there are some places in Washington that have been producing some very nice pieces of nephrite.

The Types Of Jade Found In Washington

While some places in the world have jadeite, another type of jade, Washington’s rugged terrain is home to beautiful nephrite. This stone can range in color from deep, forest green to creamy whites, and even some shades of red and black.

For those interested in learning more about other gems and minerals in this area, we’ve got a great resource discussing crystals in Washington. It can help you expand your knowledge and maybe plan your next outdoor adventure.

How We Found The Best Jade Locations in STATE
When it comes to choosing the best options for finding Washington Jade 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 jade 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 Jade in Washington

deep green nephrite jade slab
Jade provided by NataliesRockCraft

We’ve learned through our adventures that having the right guidance is crucial to successfully locate jade. The terrain can be tough, with rugged landscapes and hidden spots where jade likes to hide.

But with patience and the right tips, the thrill of discovering this beautiful stone makes every effort worth it.

For those who are eager to dive deeper into the world of gem hunting, we’ve put together some insights on how to mine gems in Washington. This resource is packed with useful tips to help you embark on your own gem-hunting journey.

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

Finney Creek

shallow creek surrounded by green trees and mountain slopes
Finney Creek by The Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group

Finney Creek is nestled in a region with a diverse landscape, characterized by dense forests and rolling hills. The creek itself winds through this terrain, creating a variety of geological features that are a delight to explore.

The terrain around Finney Creek is quite varied. In some areas, it’s rocky and rugged, requiring careful navigation. In other parts, the land is softer and more forgiving, with lush vegetation surrounding the creek. 

Exploring Finney Creek has been an insightful journey into the region’s geology. We’ve discovered a range of rock types, from shale to sandstone, each with its own unique properties and history.

It’s important to remember that rock collecting here, like in many places, has guidelines to follow. Before heading out, we always make sure to check with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the latest rules and regulations on rock collecting.

Where we found jade in Finney Creek

The creek’s banks, where water flow has exposed different layers of rock, are often good places to start looking. You may be able to find smaller pieces of jade among the gravel and stones in these areas.

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.

Darrington

rocky mountain peaks and green trees

Darrington is surrounded by vast forests and towering mountains. The area’s geology is diverse, with a mix of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks.

The terrain in Darrington ranges from steep mountain slopes to more accessible valleys and riverbeds. On our explorations, we’ve encountered a range of geological features, from exposed rock faces to hidden mineral deposits.

The rivers and streams add to the region’s geological diversity, carving through the land and revealing layers of rock and sediment.

Where we found jade in Darrington

Understanding where to mine for jade in Darrington involves observing the landscape and recognizing the likely spots where jade might settle or be uncovered.

We’ve found jade in areas along the riverbanks and near the mountain bases where erosion exposes various minerals. The jade here often appears embedded in larger rocks or as smaller pieces in the gravel and soil.

Jumbo Mountain

snowy and rocky mountain peaks
Jumbo Mountain by johnwporter

Jumbo Mountain is characterized by its rugged terrain, with steep slopes and rocky outcrops. The mountain is part of a larger range that includes various types of rock formations.

We’ve found that Jumbo Mountain’s geology is diverse, featuring a mix of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.

The mountain’s higher elevations are challenging to navigate but reveal fascinating geological structures. Lower down, the terrain becomes more accessible, with forested areas and streams.

Where we found jade in Jumbo Mountain

You can discover jade in the areas where streams and rivers cut through the landscape, especially near the base of the mountain. The jade here is often found in the gravel beds of these waterways, mixed in with other rocks and sediments. 

Focus on searching around the bends and slower parts of the streams, as jade stones tend to settle in these spots.

Skagit River

tree branches with the green waters of a river in the background

Skagit River flows through a diverse landscape, from rugged mountains to fertile valleys, offering a variety of geological formations to explore. The river’s path is marked by rocky banks and occasional sandy stretches, where we often find interesting rock specimens.

Fast-flowing sections of the river are particularly interesting, as they transport and deposit a mix of sediment and rocks. In these areas, we sometimes come across Washington jade, especially after heavy rains or when the snow melts in the spring.

The calmer parts of the river also provide great opportunities for closer examination, allowing you to study the contents of the riverbed in detail.

Where we found jade in Skagit River

Focus your search around bends in the river and behind large boulders, as these natural barriers tend to collect various stones, including jade.

The slower sections of the river, with their calmer waters, are also great spots to explore, as they allow for a more detailed examination of the riverbed’s contents.

Common Jade-Hunting Questions

grayish green egg-shaped jade stone
Jade provided by AriJadeandGemstones

We’ll answer the most common questions that people have about hunting for jade:

Is it illegal to collect jade in Washington?

Collecting jade in Washington is not outright illegal, but there are important rules and regulations that we must follow. These rules are in place to protect the environment and ensure that rockhounding activities are sustainable.

On public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS), rock collecting, including jade, is usually allowed for personal, non-commercial use.

However, there are limits on how much you can collect without a permit.

In state parks and some other public lands, collecting rocks, including jade, might be restricted or prohibited to preserve the natural environment. It’s crucial to check the specific regulations of the area you plan to visit before collecting any jade.

On private land, you must always obtain permission from the landowner before collecting jade or any other rocks. This is both respectful and necessary to avoid trespassing.

The Best Places To Buy Jade In Washington

display shelves in a rock shop filled with various rocks and minerals
First Creek Treasures and Gifts

Our recommended shops stand out for their quality selection of jade. They’re great places for both beginners and experienced collectors to find beautiful jade pieces.

Here are our five favorites:

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.

Leave a Comment