The 56 Favorite Spots To Find And Mine For Quartz In Oregon In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist

| Updated

The 56 Favorite Spots To Find And Mine For Quartz In Oregon In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist

Updated

You can successfully find quartz in Oregon if you know where to look. We’ll share with you our favorite spots to explore for these natural treasures. Why are they our faves? Because we had the most success on these sites!

Among them are Bear Creek, Steens Mountains, Prineville area, Crater Lake National Park, and Quartzville Creek. Many quartz deposits here are found in areas with a volcanic past, making them more memorable and exciting to visit.

Without further delay, let’s start our quest to the quartz-bearing sites in our state!

How We Found The Best Quartz Locations in Oregon
When it comes to choosing the best options for finding Oregon quartz 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 rock 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 rock 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 Quartz

A piece of clear quartz with drusy rosettes from Oregon
Quartz with drusy rosettes photo provided by and available for purchase at EmsgemstonesOR

When it comes to different rocks and minerals, Oregon’s great gem mine sites have tons to offer. But if you’re specifically after quartz, below are the best places where you can look for 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 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

Bear Creek

A look at the running waters and surrounding area of Bear Creek

Bear Creek is tucked away in Central Oregon. It runs through a region rich in geological history and marked by its rugged terrain. It’s part of the high desert, featuring rolling hills, steep canyons, and sparse vegetation.

The terrain of this place was shaped over millions of years, influenced by volcanic activity and erosion. It’s this dynamic geological past that makes Bear Creek an ideal spot for finding quartz.

If you want to go to Bear Creek, it’s located in Crook County, east of the Cascade Range. The most common route is via Highway 26, turning onto one of the several smaller roads that lead towards it.

Just remember to stick to Oregon’s local collecting guidelines as you are exploring here and all the other spots we will discuss.

Where we found quartz in Bear Creek

There are two prime spots where you can find quartz, specifically drusy quartz, in this spot. The first is on the east side of Taylor Butte, and the second is on gravel bars of the whole length of Bear Creek.

Rock pick being used

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 supplies 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:

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.

Steens Mountains

Mesmerizing view of the interesting varied terrain of the Steens Mountains

Located in southeastern Oregon, the Steens Mountains stretch over a large area that’s rich in geological treasures. The Steens are unique because they’re one of the largest fault-block mountains in North America.

This uniqueness they were formed by huge blocks of the earth’s crust being tilted, creating a steep cliff on one side and a gentle slope on the other. This dramatic formation results in a variety of terrains, from steep cliffs and rugged canyons to rolling hills and flat plateaus.

The Steens are known for their volcanic history, which has significantly impacted the types of rocks and minerals found here. This volcanic activity has led to a rich presence of quartz.

These mountains are located in a remote part of our state, about 60 miles south of Burns. You can drive on State Route 205 to get here. This route takes you through some beautiful scenery and gets you right to the heart of the mountains.

Where we found quartz in the Steens Mountains

In the Steens Mountains, your options to find quartz are plenty. You can explore all its land surfaces, draws, and washes to uncover this natural wonder.

Prineville

Aerial view of the vast and diverse landscapes of Prineville

Prineville is situated in the heart of Central Oregon. It’s endowed with a diverse geology, featuring everything from rolling hills and flat valleys to rugged mountains.

The Crooked River winds through the town, adding to the scenic beauty. This variety in terrain is not just great for sightseeing; it also means there are lots of different types of rocks and minerals here. In fact, this region is considered one of the finest gemstone-collecting areas in the country.

Prineville is near some of our state’s volcanic areas, which is great news for quartz hunters. This contributed to the formation of quartz crystals in the area.

This town is about 35 miles northeast of Bend, so the best route to take going here is Highway 26, which leads directly into it.

Where we found quartz in Prineville

You can find quartz, among other rocks and minerals in Prineville in free collecting claims owned by the Prineville Chamber of Commerce. Also, there are a handful of other sites here that require permission for exploration as they are on private lands.

Crater Lake National Park

Picturesque aerial view of Crater Lake

Crater Lake National Park is famous for its deep blue lake and stunning scenery. Located in southern Oregon, it covers a wide area around the caldera of an ancient volcano, Mount Mazama.

The lake itself was formed about 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama collapsed after a major eruption. This event created a huge crater, or caldera, that eventually filled with rainwater and snowmelt to form Crater Lake. Its terrain includes a deep blue lake, steep rocky cliffs, and forests.

The volcanic activity that formed the Crater Lake also led to the presence of different types of rocks and minerals, including quartz.

If you want to visit, the park is located about 80 miles northeast of Medford. You can go here by driving on Highway 62.

Where we found quartz in the Crater Lake National Park

You can find beautiful quartz specimens, some possibly tinged with colors due to the various minerals present in the volcanic soil if you explore the general area of the Crater Lake National Park.

Quartzville Creek

Scenic view of Quartzville Creek's clear waters

Quartzville Creek is nestled in the western part of our state, not too far from the city of Salem. It’s named for its abundant quartz deposits, that’s why it’s among our fave spots.

This creek is situated in a lush, forested area, part of the Cascade Mountain Range. It runs through a valley surrounded by tall, green mountains. Overall, this area is rich in natural beauty, with clear waters, dense forests, and wildlife.

Quartzville Creek is located near ancient volcanic sites, which have played a big role in the types of rocks you can find here. The volcanic activity from long ago caused hot, mineral-rich water to seep into cracks in the earth. As this water cooled down, it left behind quartz crystals.

To go here, you can take Highway 20 to Sweet Home (the creek is northeast of this spot). From there, you can follow signs to the Quartzville Creek.

Where we found quartz in Quartzville Creek

You can find quartz in the streambed and along the banks of Quartzville Creek, where erosion has exposed various rocks and minerals.

You may also find it in the surrounding areas, where the flowing water has washed down minerals from the nearby hills.

Other Great Places To Find Quartz

Clear quartz crystals with great quality
Clear quartz photo provided by Saphira Minerals

If you’re looking for more places that you can explore to find quartz, we’ve listed more options below by county:

Our recommendations by county

County Location
Baker Area surfaces, draws, and washes
Baker Powder River
Baker Durkee area
Baker Cracker-Summit Mine
Baker Little Eagle Creek Occurrence
Clackamas Cheeney Creek
Clackamas Ogie Mountain Mine
Clatsop Nehalem River
Columbia Jaquish roadcut
Coos Chickamin Mine
Coos Jupiter Group (Little Jupiter)
Crook Maury Mountains
Crook Salt Creek Occurrence
Crook Barnes Butte
Curry Rogue River gravels
Curry Hilltop Mine Group
Curry Eagle Creek Group
Curry Mammoth Occurrence
Deschutes Sugarloaf Mountain
Douglas Bonanza Mine
Douglas/td>

Elkhead Mine
Douglas Nickel Mountain
Douglas Zinc Creek Area
Grant Ajax Mine
Grant La Belleview Mine
Grant Little Blue Occurrence
Grant Ibex & Bald Mountain
Grant Silver Bell Claims
Grant St. Anthoney Mining Company Occurrence
Harney Broad general area of Burns
Harney Harney Valley
Harney Jack Pot Claims
Harney Ponderosa Sunstones Mines
Hood River Shellrock Mountain
Jackson Mount Ashland, Siskiyou Peak, Pilot Knob, and Grizzly Peak
Jackson Ashland area mines
Jackson Eagle Point
Jackson Juby Lode
Jackson Town Mine
Jackson Medford area draws, washes, slopes
Jackson Own Hollow Prospect
Josephine Althouse Creek
Lake Warner Canyon
Lane Mt. Pisgah
Lincoln Newport area beaches, especially Agate Beach

Laws about collecting quartz

Collecting quartz is generally legal in Oregon, but there are some important rules and guidelines to follow.

On public lands, like national forests, you are allowed to collect small amounts for personal use without a permit. However, this collection is meant for hobbyist rockhounds and not for commercial purposes.

It’s crucial to respect any posted signs or regulations in specific areas, as some locations might have restrictions or be protected for environmental or historical reasons.

Additionally, collecting on private property without permission is illegal, so always ensure you have the right to collect in a particular area. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to check with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries for specific rules about rock collecting in the area you’re interested in.

The Best Places To Buy Quartz

Showroom and available items at The Crystal Guide

If you want an easier way of finding captivating quartz, you can also opt to visit our local crystals shops. Some of our favorites are:

  • Best Crystals – 6635 N Baltimore Ave # 216, Portland, OR 97203
  • Dragon Crystals – 107 W 1st St, Phoenix, OR 97535
  • Flux Crystals – 280 W Broadway, Eugene, OR 97401
  • I’ve Got Rocks In My Head – 110 N Water St, Silverton, OR 97381
  • The Crystal Guide – 8145 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266

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.

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