The 56 Confirmed Spots To Find Quartz In Utah In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist

| Updated

The 56 Confirmed Spots To Find Quartz In Utah In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist

Updated

Utah’s landscape is dotted with areas rich in quartz. The Dugway Geode Beds, Thomas Range, and Tooele County are some of the best places to start. Each location offers a unique experience and an opportunity to discover these crystals

Learning how to find quartz is an exciting journey, and we’re here to guide you through it. Finding quartz can be challenging without the right knowledge, but we’re going to share some top spots in Utah where quartz hunting is most rewarding.

We’ll also equip you with tips to enhance your chances of success. Whether you’re a seasoned rockhound or a curious beginner, these tips will help you in your quest for quartz.

What Is Utah Quartz Anyway?

translucent white scepter quartz pocket
Scepter quartz provided by TerrapinMinerals

Quartz can be found in various environments, from mountains and deserts to riverbeds and beaches. Its presence is widespread because quartz is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth’s surface.

Identifying quartz is also usually straightforward because of its distinct features. It often forms beautiful, six-sided crystals that can be as small as pebbles or as large as backpacks.

You can usually find quartz in different types of rocks, like granite and sandstone. It’s also common in geodes, which are rock cavities with crystal formations inside.

The value of quartz depends on several factors, and it’s useful in a lot of ways. Some people use quartz in jewelry, and others find value in its beauty and uniqueness as a natural specimen.

Also, quartz can be used in making glass, electronics, and even watches.

The Types Of Quartz Found In Utah

You can come across different kinds of quartz in Utah, including the following:

  • Smoky quartz
  • Prase
  • Amethyst
  • Citrine
  • Ferruginous quartz
  • Agate
  • Carnelian
  • Chalcedony
  • Scepter quartz

We also have a guide for finding more of these crystals in Utah. It’s packed with exciting information about the different kinds of crystals found across Utah’s vast and varied terrain.

How We Found The Best Quartz Locations in Utah
When it comes to choosing the best options for finding Utah 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 geode 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 Quartz in Utah

smoky dark yellow citrine crystal
Citrine provided by Weinrich Minerals

Finding quartz can be a challenging adventure, but it’s incredibly rewarding when you know where to look. Through our experiences, we’ve gathered valuable insights on the best places and methods for finding quartz.

For those who are eager to learn more, we can give you tips on how to mine gems in Utah. Our experiences and knowledge can help guide you on your own gem mining adventures.

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

Dugway Geode Beds

sign for the Dugway Geode Beds in Utah
Dugway Geode Beds by Amanda Outside

Located in a remote desert area, the Dugway Geode Beds are known for their abundance of geodes. Geodes are special rocks that might look ordinary outside but hold beautiful crystal formations inside.

These geodes formed millions of years ago in volcanic ash beds.

This location’s geography is mostly flat with hills and small mountains nearby. The terrain is covered with a layer of sediment from ancient volcanic activity.

While walking over this desert landscape, you’ll come across these geodes. Cracking them open reveals the stunning crystal-lined cavities, often filled with quartz.

When planning a trip here, or any other publicly owned land, it’s important to remember that it’s a public land area. We always make sure to check with the Utah Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for current guidelines and rules about collecting rocks.

The BLM provides important information on what we can collect and how much, ensuring that we enjoy our hobby responsibly and sustainably.

Where we found quartz in the Dugway Geode Beds

The geodes in this area are usually hidden in the sediment layers, formed from ancient volcanic ash. Look for round or oval rocks on the surface, as these are likely to be geodes.

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 tools 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 

Southwest Treasure Hunter's Gem & Mineral Guide 

Earth Treasures: The Southwestern 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.

Tushar Mountains

grassy field and snowcapped mountains

The Tushar Mountains are among the highest in their region, with several peaks reaching over 11,000 feet. The terrain here is rugged and diverse, featuring steep slopes, deep canyons, and high plateaus.

In these mountains, you can find evidence of intense volcanic activity from the past. This includes ancient lava flows and ash deposits that tell a story of a much more active geological past.

The area is also known for its rich mineral deposits, including areas where you can find beautifully colored rocks and crystals.

Where we found quartz in the Tushar Mountains

You can find smoky quartz in the area, embedded within the rocks and soil. These quartz deposits are typically found along the mountain trails and in the creeks, especially after rainfall when new material is exposed.

We also find quartz in the veins of larger rocks, where it has crystallized over time.

Thomas Range

grassy field, shrubs, and mountains

The Thomas Range, with its rugged terrain, offers a distinct landscape formed by a combination of volcanic and sedimentary rocks. This range features a mix of rugged mountains and vast, open valleys, offering a variety of terrains to navigate.

The mountains are not extremely high, but they are rich in different types of rocks and minerals. Geologically, the range is particularly famous for its topaz, but you can also come across a variety of other minerals and crystals.

You’ll often find these minerals in the eroded cavities of the rhyolite deposits in the area.

Where we found quartz in the Thomas Range

You can find types of quartz, including amethyst and carnelian, in the famous Topaz Mountain. This area is not just known for topaz; it’s also a spot where to mine for quartz.

Another place you can explore is the Spor Mountain Mining District. Areas like Garnet Basin and Starvation Canyon are also great places to check out.

Mexican Hat

red soil and layered rock formations

The community of Mexican Hat is named after a nearby rock formation that looks like a sombrero. The terrain around Mexican Hat is characterized by its striking rock formations and layered sandstone.

Geologically, Mexican Hat is part of a larger rock layer known as the San Juan Basin. The area is part of the larger Colorado Plateau, known for its layered rock formations.

Here, you’ll find a variety of sedimentary rocks, including sandstone and shale. Erosion from the river and weather elements has sculpted the landscape, revealing layers of geological history.

Where we found quartz in Mexican Hat

You can start your quartz search in the Honaker Trail Formation, which is known to have citrine crystals.

Tooele County

green mountain slopes

Tooele County’s landscape is a mix of mountains, deserts, and salt flats, offering a variety of terrains. In the mountainous areas, we often find rugged peaks and deep canyons, while the desert regions are vast and open.

The Great Salt Lake’s western shores, part of the county, present a unique and starkly beautiful salt flat.

Geologically, Tooele County is a treasure trove. The Oquirrh Mountains, part of the county, are known for their rich mineral deposits. There are various rock types here, from sedimentary layers to igneous and metamorphic rocks.

Where we found quartz in Tooele County

The Cedar Mountains, the Dugway Range, and the county’s various mining districts are hotspots for finding quartz. We’ve also found quartz in areas like Clifton, Gold Hill, and the Leppy Range.

Other Great Places To Find Utah Quartz

geode fragment with small quartz crystals
Dugway geode quartz provided by Thunderegghead

We’re excited to share a list of other areas where you can find Utah quartz:

Our recommendations by county

County Location
Beaver County Rock Corral
Beaver County Milford
Box Elder County Crater Island
Box Elder County Red Butte Mining District
Cache County Paradise Mining District
Daggett County Jesse Ewing Canyon
Daggett County Red Creek (Browns Park)
Davis County Antelope Island
Davis County Woods Cross
Duchesne County Avintaquin Canyon
Duchesne County East Tintic Mountains
Emery County Cedar Mountain Mining District
Emery County Green River
Garfield County Henry Mountains
Garfield County East Henry Mountains Mining District
Garfield County Henry Mountains
Grand County Cisco
Grand County La Sal Mountain Mining District
Iron County Iron Springs Mining District
Iron County Antelope Range
Iron County Table Butte
Juab County Desert Mountain
Juab County Jericho
Juab County San Pitch Mountains
Kane County Kanab Creek Mining District
Kane County Paria East Mining District
Millard County Detroit Mining District
Millard County House Range
Piute County Dry Creek Canyon
Piute County Monroe Mountains
Rich County Bear River Range
Salt Lake County Argenta
Salt Lake County Little Cottonwood Mining District
San Juan County Lisbon Valley Mining District
San Juan County Red Canyon Mining District
Sanpete County Moroni Area
Sanpete County Mount Pleasant
Sevier County Gold Mountain Mining District
Sevier County Monroe Canyon
Summit County Park City Mining District
Summit County Woodland
Uintah County Dinosaur National Monument
Uintah County Fantasy Canyon
Utah County Alpine-Silver Lake Mining District
Utah County Sunshine Mining District
Wasatch County Wasatch Mountains
Washington County Beaver Dam Mountains
Washington County Silver Reef Mining District
Wayne County Hanksville
Wayne County Caineville Area
Weber County Sierra Madre Mining District

Common Quartz-Hunting Questions

clear brown smoky quartz crystal
Smoky quartz provided by Spirifer Minerals

Below, we’ll answer common inquiries about quartz-hunting in Utah.

Is it illegal to collect quartz in Utah?

Collecting quartz in Utah is generally legal, but there are important rules and regulations to follow.

On public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service, recreational rockhounding, including collecting quartz, is allowed.

However, there are limits on how much you can collect without a permit. Typically, you can take up to 25 pounds plus one piece per day, with a maximum of 250 pounds per year.

National parks and state parks in Utah have their own rules, and usually, removing any rocks or natural resources is prohibited.

In some areas, especially those with archaeological or ecological significance, collecting may be restricted or banned to protect the environment or historical sites.

It’s important to remember that collecting on private property without permission is illegal, so make sure that you have permission from the owner of the property before you explore.

The Best Places To Buy Quartz In Utah

display shelves with various rocks and minerals
Bryson’s Rock Shop

Here is a list of our favorite shops where you can find quality quartz in Utah:

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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