Arkansas is well-known for its rich quartz deposits, so much so that it’s our official state mineral. The quartz here is unlike any other— no matter what color is it, looking at one is like looking through glass.
If you want to find quartz, there are many places to look for it, but some of the best ones are Magnet Cove, Mount Ida, Montgomery County, Hot Springs, and the mines in Garland County.
With landscapes that will mesmerize you with the finest finds and fill your eyes with the beauty of nature, exploring our state for quartz is an experience of a lifetime. Let’s begin!
The Best Places To Find Quartz
It’s no secret that there are plenty of gem mines in Arkansas, but if you’re laser-focused on finding quartz, below are our top recommended places:
Magnet Cove is a small area, about 12 square miles, that’s famous for having over 100 different minerals. This includes deposits of quartz in different forms, like clusters or single crystals.
It’s an extinct volcanic crater that’s over 100 million years old. This ancient volcanic activity is why there are so many different minerals here. Its terrain is a mix of forests and open areas, with rocky outcrops peeking through.
Magnet Cove is not far from Hot Springs, making it easy to get to. Just drive about 21 miles southwest of Hot Springs on Highway 51, and you’re here.
Remember to always respect the land and hunt responsibly when you’re here. Review Arkansas’ collecting guidelines and comply with them accordingly.
Where we found quartz in Magnet Cove
The best spots to explore for quartz are along Magnet Cove’s rocky outcrops and near the old volcanic crater. You can also search through the forests and open fields of the area. Road cuts and natural erosions also reveal quartz crystals and clusters.
The tools every crystal hunter will need
When you're out looking for crystals 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 crystal 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 crystal-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.
Known as the “Quartz Crystal Capital of the World,” Mount Ida is situated in the Ouachita Mountains. Its rich volcanic history has resulted in abundant quartz deposits.
The geography around Mount Ida is diverse, with rolling hills, lush forests, and numerous clear streams. As part of the Ouachita National Forest, it has plenty of beautiful, natural scenery. Its terrain is a mix of rugged mountainous areas and more accessible flat lands.
If you want to go here, you’ll have an easy trip. It’s about a 1.5-hour drive west from the state capital, Little Rock, along scenic roads that wind through the mountains.
Where we found quartz in Mount Ida
You can find some of the world’s clearest and most beautiful quartz in Mount Ida, especially in these specific spots:
- Fisher Mountain
- Ocus Stanley Mines
- Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines
- Area around Mount Ida
Montgomery County is actually where Mount Ida is located, but besides the Quartz Capital of the World, this county has many other great sites where you can find quartz.
It’s part of the Quartz Belt, which runs through the Ouachita Mountains. Thanks to ancient volcanic activity, the county is rich in quartz crystals that are known for their exceptional clarity and size.
The county’s geography is diverse, featuring mountains, valleys, and clear streams. Its terrain varies from gentle slopes to more rugged mountainous areas.
To get here, you can drive from Little Rock, which is about 100 miles away. The journey itself is a scenic trip through hills and forests.
Where we found quartz in Montgomery County
There are many public mines and digging sites in Montgomery County where you can pay a fee to hunt for quartz, such as:
- Crystal Mountain
- High Point Mountain
- Lewis Crystal Mine
- Monte Cristo Mines
- Pigeon Roost Mine
- Lebow Copper Deposit
Hot Springs is a city situated in the Ouachita Mountains, which are known for their natural beauty and rich geological history. Like our other recommended places, it’s part of the Quartz Belt, which means there are plenty of quartz deposits around.
The geography of Hot Springs is unique because it’s not just surrounded by mountains but also famous for its natural hot springs. These springs have been attracting people for centuries.
The terrain around the city is a mix of rolling hills and lush forests, offering a picturesque setting for rock hunting and nature walks. You can get here from Little Rock with about an hour’s drive southwest on Interstate 30 and then Highway 70.
Where we found quartz in Hot Springs
You can find several spots near Hot Springs where you can legally collect quartz. The areas just outside the city, particularly along hiking trails and near streams, are good hunting spots.
Garland County is actually where Hot Springs is located, but it also has other quartz-bearing sites that are worth visiting. It’s also part of the Quartz Belt, so you can find quartz in many forms here, with excellent clearness and quality.
The geography of this county is diverse, featuring parts of the beautiful Ouachita Mountains. These mountains are not just stunning to look at but also great for hiking and, of course, rock hunting. It has a mix of gentle rolling hills and rugged mountain areas.
Since Garland County is located in the central part of our state, it’s easy to reach. If you’re coming from Little Rock, just take Interstate 30 west and then Highway 70, and you’ll be there in about an hour.
Where we found quartz in Garland County
Garland County is the seat of many mines that have quartz deposits, such as:
- Coleman’s Crystal Mine
- Miller Mountains ridges and slopes
- Jesseville area mountain ridges
- Mountain Valley area
- Beard Mine
- Shaw Mine
- Little Utley mountain
- North shore of Lake Ouachita
Other Great Places To Find Quartz
Besides our top recommended sites, you can also opt to visit the other quartz-rich spots all over our state, as listed below:
Our recommendations by county
|Humphrey No. 34 Mine
|Small hill at the junction of Highway 51 and the barite mine road
|Hot Springs National Park
|Chamberlaine Creek Barite Mine
|W.W. Smith Quarry
|Delaney mountain ridges and sloped
|Abandoned mines in Buffalo Point
|Big Music Creek
|Iron Springs Mine
|Deckard Mountain Quartz Deposit
|Crater of Diamonds State Park
|Glory Hole Mine
|West Gap Ridge Mine
|Bigfork Wavellite prospect
|Wiles Quartz Mine
|Ferndale Quartz deposit
|Granite Mountain Mine
|Big Rock Quarry
|Broad area outcrops in Paron
|Abandoned antimony mine in Gillham
|Gillham area mines
Laws about collecting quartz
Collecting quartz is generally legal in our state. In fact, many areas are open to the public for quartz collecting here, but it’s crucial to respect private property and only collect them from places where it’s allowed.
Public lands, like national forests, often permit rock collecting for personal use in small quantities, but rules can vary, so it’s best to check specific regulations with the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism.
Commercial mines here also offer the opportunity to pay a fee to dig for quartz. These places are great if you want to ensure you’re collecting legally and responsibly. Always remember that collecting on private land without permission is illegal and can result in fines or other legal consequences.
The Best Places To Buy Quartz
If you’re one to favor easy peasy crystal collection over the tedious process of searching for them in the wild, below are some of our favorite crystal shops that have incredible quartz items:
- Blue Moon Crystals & Jewelry – 6328 Hwy 270 E, Mt Ida, AR 71957
- Coleman’s Rock Shop & Crystal Mines – 5837 AR-7, Jessieville, AR 71949
- Crystal Waters Gallery – 7 Spring St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632
- It’s About Rocks – 350 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901
- Real Earth Creations – 3024 Hwy 270 E, Mt Ida, AR 71957