Wyoming’s natural history is rich in jade, a precious gemstone mostly found in the central and southwestern parts of the state. Jade is famous for its high quality and bright green color.
Exploring the exciting world of finding jade in Wyoming is what our article is all about. It has helpful information for both new and experienced rockhounds.
This detailed guide is written to improve your jade hunting experience in the state, making sure you have a fun and satisfying trip. Whether you are a beginner or a die-hard gem fan, this article will help you discover the beauty of jade!
What Is Wyoming Jade Anyway?
The smooth, shiny surface of jade and its rich green color make it a unique and beautiful gemstone. It can also be found in white, orange, yellow, and black. Jade is made up of two different minerals, nephrite and jadeite.
Nephrite is more common and creamier green, while jadeite is rarer and can come in brighter, more vivid greens.
Because it’s so strong and does not break easily, jade has been used for thousands of years as both tools and decorations. It’s common to carve it into complicated shapes, and bands and pendants are often made from it.
By giving you a better idea of what jade looks like, our article might help you narrow down your search.
These different places where they are found help make jade more valuable around the world. Each has its own cultural and geological importance for this amazing stone.
The Types Of Jade Found In Wyoming
The variety of geology in Wyoming has given jade many colors, shapes, and names. Below the surface of the state, you can find these kinds of jade:
The Best Places To Find Jade In Wyoming
Here are some of the best places in Wyoming to look for jade. There are many great places to mine for gems in Wyoming, but only a few are good for finding jade. Some places are not as well known, but they often have great chances to search.
Beaver Rim is known for being a hot spot for finding jade, one of the most sought-after gemstones in the state.
The region’s geological history makes it so popular for jade; millions of years ago, the movement of tectonic plates and volcanic activity created the perfect conditions for jade to form in this area.
Over time, erosion and natural processes have brought this jade closer to the surface, making it more accessible for people to find.
Where we found jade at the Beaver Rim
Jade is often found in riverbeds or along the rim, where it’s been washed down from the higher mountains.
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.
Christina Lake is a hidden gem for jade hunters. For those seeking the adventure of finding jade, the vast Wyoming wilderness that surrounds this picturesque lake provides a serene setting.
The area around Christina Lake is particularly well-known for its deposits of nephrite jade, a durable and beautifully green variant of this precious stone.
Nephrite jade is treasured for its deep, rich colors and is often used in jewelry and ornaments.
It’s a great place to find jade because of its geological history. In the past, volcanic activity and the movement of the earth’s crust made it easy for jade to form.
Over millions of years, erosion and natural forces have brought the jade closer to the earth’s surface, making it easier for collectors to reach.
The natural beauty of Christina Lake, its geographical diversity, and the high quality jade that can be found nearby make it a popular place for people who enjoy collecting jade or just want to feel the thrill of finding this ancient stone in the wild.
Where we found jade at Christina Lake
The lake’s surrounding areas, especially the riverbeds and streams feeding into it, are hotspots where jade is often uncovered, especially after heavy rains or snowmelt.
Granite Mountain is a great place to look for jade because it’s in the middle of a rough landscape formed by ancient geological processes. These processes created nephrite jade, which is known for being strong and having a beautiful green color.
Granite Mountain’s unique geological history, which includes volcanic activity and shifting earth plates, has made it a rich source of this stone.
Jade has moved from higher elevations to easier-to-reach areas over time due to natural erosion. This makes it easier for jade hunters to find and collect these valuable stones.
Not only is jade abundant in Granite Mountain, but the stone itself is of exceptional quality; pure color and fine texture set this jade apart, making it a sought-after find for enthusiasts and collectors.
The area’s natural beauty paired with the excitement of jade discovery create an unforgettable and fulfilling experience for anyone interested in exploring the stat’s natural treasures.
Where we found jade at Granite Mountain
The jade at Granite Mountain is mostly found in the mountain’s riverbeds and along its slopes.
The vast, sprawling Red Desert is well-known for its dramatic landscapes and for being a hotspot for finding jade. With its distinctive reddish-brown soil and rocky terrain, the desert provides an exciting environment for those who hunt for jade.
Nephrite jade in particular is highly valued for its durable rich green color. The earth’s crust movement and ancient volcanic activity in the Red Desert have created the ideal conditions over millions of years for the formation of this precious stone.
The Red Desert is a great place to look for jade because it has a lot of wide open spaces where jade can be found on the ground. The dry climate and erosion help bring out jade that has been hidden for a long time.
When it rains, which does not happen often in this area, your chances of finding jade go up because the water can wash away dirt and reveal jade.
Where we found jade in the Red Desert
You can often find jade in the dry riverbeds and on the rocky outcrops that are spread out across the desert.
For those seeking jade, a stunning and priceless gemstone, Seminoe Mountain is a noteworthy location.
Part of the state’s rich geological history, this mountain area features rugged terrain mixed with picturesque landscapes, and is home to nephrite jade, a type of jade renowned for its toughness and deep green color.
Nephrite jade was formed over millions of years thanks to the geological history of Seminoe Mountain, which is marked by ancient volcanic activity and the shifting of the earth’s crust.
Where we found jade in the Seminoe Mountain
Jade in the Seminoe Mountain area is often found in riverbeds and along the mountain’s lower slopes.
Other Great Places To Find Wyoming Jade
We wanted to talk about the other places on our list after we talked about our top picks. Here is a list of the other places where we were successful, with a breakdown of each place by county.
Our recommendations by county
|Medicine Bow, all regional washes, draws, and cut banks
|Atlantic City-South Pass City, all regional stream gravels, draws, washes, gullies, and hillsides
|Tin Cup Mountain
|Jeffery City, Green Mountains
|Wind R. Range
|Gros Ventre Range
Common Jade-Hunting Questions
If you want to know where to find jade in the state, here are some questions that people often ask:
Is it illegal to collect jade in Wyoming?
Collecting jade in Wyoming is generally legal, but there are important restrictions and guidelines to follow. The legality of collecting jade depends on where you are in the state.
If the jade is located on private property, you must obtain permission from the landowner before collecting it. Collecting without permission is considered trespassing and theft.
On public lands, such as those managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or the U.S. Forest Service, recreational rock collecting is usually allowed.
However, there may be limits on the amount you can collect, and commercial collecting might require a permit.
To ensure you are collecting legally and responsibly, always check the current laws and regulations for the specific area where you plan to collect jade in the state.
The Best Places To Buy Jade In Wyoming
Finding jade can be dirty and hard work for some people. If you want to find them without having to do that, this is for you!
Here are some of our favorite rock shops in the area where you can buy and find different kinds of jade:
- J L Gray Rock Shop – 614 3rd St, Big Piney, WY 83113, United States
- Matoska Trading Company – 125 N Cache St, Jackson, WY 83001, United States
- Star Valley Rock Shop – 300 Stockhorn, Thayne, WY 83127, United States
- Stone Age Industries – 654 Ln 5, Powell, WY 82435, United States
- Tynsky’s Rock & Jewely – 706 Dewar Dr, Rock Springs, WY 82901, United States