The 44 Proven Oklahoma Rockhounding Sites In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist

| Updated

The 44 Proven Oklahoma Rockhounding Sites In 2024

By Keith Jackson - Geologist


Rockhounding in Oklahoma is an absolute blast! Whether you’re a seasoned rockhounder or just starting, the state offers a treasure trove of opportunities to satisfy your collecting cravings.

From stunning gemstones to fascinating fossils, there’s something for everyone to discover. Oklahoma’s diverse geology and rich mineral deposits make it a haven for rock-hounding enthusiasts.

The best part about rockhounding is the thrill of the hunt. Oklahoma provides plenty of exciting locations to explore.

You can head to the Caddo Mountains, where turquoise glistens amidst rugged landscapes, or venture to the Ouachita Mountains, known for their hidden gems and minerals. And let’s not forget the Wichita Mountains, home to unique copper deposits that may hold some surprising finds.

The success of rockhounding in Oklahoma is undeniable. Rockhounds from all over have discovered fantastic treasures in the state’s diverse terrain. You’ll be amazed at what you can find with the right tools, knowledge, and a dash of luck. You never know what rocks and minerals await your eager eyes!

How We FoundThe Best Places For Rockhounding in Oklahoma
We spent a lot of time putting together the list of which of the many options for Oklahoma rockhounding we were going to recommend. We wanted to have a nice variety of locations for experienced and novice rockhounds in a variety of settings. Here are the main factors we used when determining the recommendations we set out :

  • The extensive local experience and understanding of our team
  • Input from multiple local rockhounds and rockhound groups
  • The accessibility of the various locations
  • Safety and potential hazards when collecting
  • Private and public locations
  • A desire to include locations for both experienced rockhounds and those who are just starting out

Using these weights we think we’ve put together the best list out there for those who love finding new rocks, gems, and minerals for our collections!

What You Can Find Rockhounding In Oklahoma

An elegant fluorite mineral with purple, blue, and white hues
Fluorite photo provided by and available for purchase at PoppyRocksGems

Because of their enormous diversity, we could not cover all of the rocks and minerals that may be found in Oklahoma. Most of the more common and uncommon specimens that rockhounds look for in the state consist of the following:

Rare rocks and minerals found in Oklahoma

More common desirable rocks, minerals, and gems found here

In-depth guides to finding specific types of rocks in Oklahoma

If you’re looking for a specific specimen, look at the additional directions we’ve created to find it.

We’ve compiled a list of over 3,000 magnificent locations of rockhounding places near you. Continue reading this article to learn more about the treasures that Oklahoma has to offer.

The Best Places To Find Rocks and Minerals in Oklahoma

A gorgeous green epidote crystal with different hues

We wanted to list some of our favorite rock-hunting spots in Oklahoma to get things started. Despite having many possibilities, we concentrated on our best picks. You could enjoy visiting these locations and seeing some beautiful rocks and minerals.

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

Cottonwood Canyon

Cottonwood Canyon with green lands and a river where minerals and rocks are found

Cottonwood Canyon is a true haven for rock-hounding enthusiasts. This scenic canyon, carved by the meandering Cottonwood Creek, offers a rich history and an abundance of geological wonders waiting to be discovered. Once inhabited by Native American tribes, the canyon bears witness to the footsteps of those who came before, adding an intriguing layer of cultural significance to your rock-hounding adventure.

The exposed layers of sedimentary rocks provide a glimpse into the area’s geological history, with fossils dating back millions of years. Whether a beginner or an experienced rockhound, Cottonwood Canyon offers endless possibilities for discovering unique specimens that will leave you in awe of the Earth’s natural beauty.

What you can find there

You can find various minerals at Cottonwood Canyon, but agate is the most abundant mineral here.

Rock pick being used

The tools every rockhound will need

When you're out looking for rocks and minerals having the right tools for the job is really going to make or break your success. 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 rockhounds 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 rockhounding 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.

Glass Mountains

A picturesque view of the Glass Mountains where there are different specimens located

The history of Glass Mountain dates back millions of years, when an ancient sea covered this area. Over time, as the sea receded, layers of gypsum were deposited and compressed, forming the stunning selenite crystals that now cover the mountain.

The unique formation and accessibility of these crystals make Glass Mountain a fantastic place for rockhounding. The name “Glass Mountain” stems from the unique selenite gypsum crystals adorn its slopes, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. These translucent crystals have attracted rockhounds and nature lovers for decades, making Glass Mountain a must-visit location for those seeking geological wonders.

What you can find there

Selenites are just one of the many minerals produced in the area.

Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge

The digging area of the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge

Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge is known for its vast salt flats, created by an ancient sea that once covered the area. This fascinating geological phenomenon attracts visitors from far and wide, drawn by the opportunity to unearth beautiful selenite crystals, also known as hourglass selenite.

The history of Salt Plains can be traced back millions of years, when the Permian Sea covered the region. As the sea evaporated, layers of salt were left behind, creating the expansive salt flats we see today. The selenite crystals make a good find with their distinctive hourglass shape and sheer beauty.

What you can find there

Selenites are just one of the minerals known to be formed at the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge.

Tom Steed Reservoir

Tom Steed Reservoir with surrounding lands and trees

Tom Steed Reservoir boasts a diverse geological landscape with the potential for exciting rockhounding discoveries. The surrounding areas feature exposed rock formations and eroded cliffs, providing opportunities to find an assortment of rocks, minerals, and fossils.

The reservoir was created in the 1960s as a part of the Washita River project, designed for flood control and water supply purposes. Over time, the reservoir has become a popular destination for outdoor activities, including rockhounding.

What you can find there

The Tom Steed Reservoir offers the chance to find more uncommon geological artifacts such as agate, carnelian, chalcedony, and jasper.

Washita River

Flowing Washita River with dry grass and trees

The Washita River’s geological diversity and the continuous erosion along its banks make it a prime rock-hounding location. Over time, the river has carved its way through various rock formations, exposing an array of minerals and fossils.

The river’s meandering path creates unique opportunities for discoveries with each visit. The Washita River offers a serene setting to embrace the beauty of nature while indulging in the excitement of uncovering geological treasures.

What you can find there

Agate, chalcedony, carnelian, and jasper are just a few minerals and crystals that can be discovered along the Wichita River.

Our Other Favorite Spots Around Oklahoma

Falls at the Pennington Creek where minerals and rocks are found

Many exquisite and rare rocks and minerals can be found in Oklahoma. For more specimens, you can look through the options below.

Rockhounding sites in Northern Oklahoma

Northern Oklahoma provides a playground for rockhounding enthusiasts seeking to unearth fascinating specimens. The area is known for its abundant fossils, including ancient marine creatures such as ammonites and trilobites.

With its wide variety of rocks and minerals, northern Oklahoma is a captivating destination with endless excitement and discovery for rockhounds of all experience levels.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Arkansas River Calcite, Quartz
Stillwater Creek Azurite, Malachite

Rockhounding sites in Northeastern Oklahoma

Northeastern Oklahoma beckons rockhounds with its rich geological heritage, making it a beautiful region for those fascinated by rocks and minerals. From the rolling hills of the Ozarks to the winding rivers and lush forests, this area offers a diverse landscape with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered.

Northeastern Oklahoma is renowned for its abundance of crystals, including quartz varieties such as smoky quartz, clear quartz, and even rare Herkimer diamonds. With its scenic beauty and a wide range of fascinating rocks and minerals, northeastern Oklahoma provides an exciting playground for rockhounding enthusiasts, promising countless adventures and thrilling discoveries.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Bill Patch Strip Coal Mine Jasper
Ames Gravel Pit Agate, Jasper
Lovett Gravel Pit Agate
Tiger Quarry Fluorite

Rockhounding sites in Northwestern Oklahoma

The Northwestern Oklahoma region boasts a unique blend of geological formations, from expansive plains to ancient mesas and buttes, creating a diverse and rich rock-hounding environment.

With its enchanting scenery and abundant intriguing rocks and minerals, northwestern Oklahoma beckons rockhounds of all levels to embark on exciting adventures and unlock the mysteries of its geological wonders.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Cherokee Gravel Pit Agate
Tri-State Marker Agate
Layton Ranch Agate
Roberts Ranch Agate
Marquette Creek Agate, Jasper
Wolf Creek Agate, Jasper
Buffalo Creek Agate

Rockhounding sites in Southern Oklahoma

From the ancient mountains of the Arbuckles to the sprawling wilderness of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Southern Oklahoma holds a treasure trove of rocks and minerals.

The region also boasts rich deposits of unique minerals like barite and celestite, with its scenic beauty and fascinating rocks and minerals, Southern Oklahoma beckons rockhounds to explore its geological wonders and embark on unforgettable rockhounding adventures.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Dolese County Gravel Pit Agate, Carnelian, Chalcedony, Epidote, Jasper, Serpetine
Hinkle Company Quarry Agate, Carnelian, Chalcedony, Epidote, Jasper, Serpetine
Canadian River Agate, Jasper
Pennington Creek Agate, Calcite, Chalcedony

Rockhounding sites in Southeastern Oklahoma

Southeastern Oklahoma is known for its rugged beauty, encompassing ancient mountains, dense forests, and winding rivers that have shaped a rich and diverse geological tapestry. Southeastern Oklahoma is renowned for its deposits of vibrant and valuable gemstones, including beautiful varieties of quartz.

With its scenic vistas and an array of captivating rocks and minerals, southeastern Oklahoma beckons rockhounds to embark on thrilling adventures and uncover the hidden rocks within its geological wonders.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Horseshoe Mountain Jasper

Rockhounding sites in Southwestern Oklahoma

Southwestern Oklahoma is known for its rich deposits of vibrant alabaster, a beautiful and soft stone used in sculpting and crafting. In addition to alabaster, rockhounds can discover fascinating examples of gypsum, dolomite, and chert.

The area also boasts a variety of fossils, including ancient marine creatures like brachiopods and gastropods. With its scenic beauty and a wide range of intriguing rocks and minerals, southwestern Oklahoma offers endless opportunities for rockhounds to indulge in their passion and uncover nature’s hidden treasures.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Tindel Company Gravel Pit Agate, Carnelian, Chalcedony, Epidote, Jasper, Serpentine
Fort Sill Military Reservation Azurite, Chalcedony
Hazel Quarry Epidote, Quartz
Red River Agate, Carnelian, Chalcedony, Epidote, Jasper
Wilkerson Gravel Pit Agate, Jasper
Altus Reservoir Quartz
Government Quarry Hematite, Opal
Altus Reservoir Dam Agate, Carnelian, Jasper
Little Beaver Creek Selenite

Where To Find Turquoise In Oklahoma

Although turquoise is not always easy to get, our state is fortunate to have them. Turquoise has always been admired for its rarity and beauty. Today, collectors and rockhounds place a great value on them.

Caddo Mountains is our favorite place to look for Turquoise

Caddo Mountains with a lake at its foot and grasslands surrounding it

The Caddo Mountains are known for producing high-quality turquoise in Bryan County. The Stone Cabin Mine in this area is particularly famous for its turquoise deposits.

Other good options to find Turquoise

  • Black Mesa
  • Ouachita Mountains
  • Witchita Mountains

Public Rockhounding Options For Kids

A kid looking for rocks and minerals at the Dark Water Ranch

Finding the best rockhounding locations can be challenging, even though rockhounding can be entertaining and educational for kids. But locating kid-friendly rockhounding sites might be a terrific approach to get kids interested in the hobby.

The more accessible terrain and prospects for easily-located specimens in these area will appeal to the entire family.

Oklahoma Rockhounding Clubs

A rock show organized by the Oklahoma Mineral and Gem Society

Both novice and experienced collectors can benefit significantly from the opportunities offered by rockhounding clubs. These clubs provide novices with a welcoming and knowledgeable environment where they may pick the brains of more seasoned members and learn about the finest sites, methods, and identification of rocks and minerals.

Rockhounding clubs in Oklahoma worth checking out

Oklahoma Rockhounding Laws And Regulations

Rockhounding and collecting in Oklahoma is a legal and enjoyable activity for enthusiasts of all levels. However, following all local and state collection laws and regulations is crucial to ensure a responsible and sustainable approach. Oklahoma has specific guidelines to protect its natural resources and ensure the preservation of geological sites, especially the ones governed by the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

When engaging in rockhounding activities, it’s essential to research and familiarizes yourself with the specific rules and regulations for each location you plan to visit. Some areas may restrict the types or quantities of rocks, minerals, or fossils that can be collected. Additionally, specific sites may require permits or permission from landowners or relevant authorities before engaging in any collection activities.

By respecting and adhering to these laws, rockhounds can help preserve Oklahoma’s geological wonders’ natural beauty and scientific value for future generations.

Our Favorite Rock And Mineral Shops In Oklahoma

Good Earth Rocks rock shop where different mineral specimens are available

While some people like scouting expeditions in search of rocks and minerals, others prefer the convenience of buying specimens from reliable rock shops. Oklahoma’s best rock and mineral shops are listed here, where you may find various unique specimens.

Additional Places To Rockhound In Nearby States

If you’ve already tried all of our recommendations above or are planning a trip out of the state, you should check out our guides for neighboring states:

If you have any recommendations we haven’t covered, please leave them in the comments below!

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