57 Excellent Wyoming Rockhounding Sites In 2023

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

| Updated

57 Excellent Wyoming Rockhounding Sites In 2023

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


In Wyoming, adventure and rockhounding unite! With its diverse landscapes and rich mineral deposits, our state is an absolute paradise for rockhounds of all levels. No matter what level you are in your rockhounding journey, you’ll have an unforgettable experience here that will last a lifetime.

From the vibrant Agates in the Big Horn Mountains to the stunning Petrified Wood scattered across the Yellowstone National Park, there’s no shortage of fascinating specimens in our state. And if you’re here to find some truly rare and coveted specimens, Wyoming won’t disappoint! It’s home to Nephrite Jade, a prized gemstone coveted for its vibrant green color and exceptional toughness.

Aside from its geological wonders, Wyoming offers a breathtaking backdrop for your rockhounding adventures. So if you can’t wait to find yourself exploring rugged canyons, meandering through colorful badlands, or hiking along picturesque mountain trails, our state is the rockhounding destination for you!

How We Found The Best Places For Rockhounding in Wyoming
We spent a lot of time putting together the list of which of the many options for Wyoming 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 Wyoming

Stunning pieces of intricately-detailed Turritella Agate held on a palm
Turritella Agate photo provided by and available for purchase at AlchemyInProgress

Wyoming remarkably holds a plethora of hidden rocks and minerals waiting to be unearthed. It’s a geological wonderland for avid collectors and curious explorers looking for an exciting rockhounding adventure. When you explore here, you can find the following rare and more common rocks and minerals:

Rare rocks and minerals found in Wyoming

More common desirable rocks, minerals, and gems found here

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

Here are several helpful guides that you can use and refer to if you’re aiming to find specific types of rocks and minerals in Wyoming:

You can also checkout our comprehensive guide to rockhounding near you that contains more than 3,000 sites all over the US. But if you want to know more about the rockhounding opportunities in Wyoming, look no further than this article.

The Best Places To Find Rocks and Minerals in Wyoming

Stunning piece of Muscovite with an interestingly intricate structure
Muscovite photo provided by Collector’s Edge Minerals – @collectorsedgeminerals

Wyoming is endowed with many different rockhounding sites, so it can get overwhelming and confusing to choose the best ones to visit. We’ll take this load off your shoulders as we share with you our top recommended rockhounding sites here that will leave you in awe of our state’s wonders.

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.

These requirements are subject to change without notice and may differ from what we state below.

Always get updated information directly from the source ahead of time to ensure responsible rockhounding.

Atlantic City

An abandoned iron mine in Atlantic City

Atlantic City is a small historic mining town that has gained recognition among rockhounds for being a fantastic site. Nestled in the picturesque Wind River Range, this charming town has rich mineral deposits that any rockhound will find too irresistible not to uncover.

The region around Atlantic City is known for its abundance of different rocks and minerals, especially Quartz crystals, which can be found in various sizes and formations.

With its accessible locations and the thrill of unearthing beautiful specimens, Atlantic City is undoubtedly a must-visit destination for rockhounding enthusiasts seeking a memorable adventure in Wyoming.

What you can find there

You can find specimens of Agate, Agatized Wood, Chalcedony, Gold, Jasper, Muscovite, Nephrite variety of Jade, Opalized Wood, Quartz crystals, Tourmaline in the area stream gravels and draws of Atlantic City.

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 

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.


Rock formations and landscapes of one of the most famous trails in Lovell

Nestled in the scenic Big Horn Basin, Lovell is a charming town that offers a plethora of opportunities to discover a wide variety of rocks, minerals, and fossils. Lovell and its surrounding areas boast of an impressive geological diversity, making it an excellent rockhounding site for both beginners and experienced collectors.

The nearby Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area provides access to various rock formations and fossil-rich areas, where you can also uncover ancient marine Fossils.

With its natural beauty, easily accessible locations, and the potential for discovering unique specimens, Lovell is a rockhounding destination that you shouldn’t miss.

What you can find there

When you explore the Little Sheep Mountain and Big Horn Mountains in Lovell, you’ll find amazing samples of Ammonites, Dinosaur bones, Fossils, Gastroliths, and Gypsum.

Green Mountain

View of the wide field at the Green Mountain

In the scenic Medicine Bow National Forest, you’ll find Green Mountain, a hidden gem for rockhounds seeking a unique and rewarding experience. This picturesque mountain is particularly renowned for its abundance of rare and valuable gemstones, making it an exceptional rockhounding site for those seeking extraordinary finds.

Green Mountain is known for its rich deposits of different fascinating rocks and minerals. Its diverse range of specimens and the scenic beauty of the surrounding forest make this site an ideal destination for rockhounding adventures.

More than the thrill of finding unique specimens, this remote location also provides an immersive experience for rockhounds who’d appreciate finding these natural treasures while being surrounded by stunning vistas.

What you can find there

If you get the chance to explore here, you can find specimens of Aventurine, Banded Agate, Garnet, and Sapphire.

Rock Springs

Aerial view of a reservoir and its surrounding landscapes in Rock Springs

Rock Springs is a vibrant city known for its rich geological heritage, making it another excellent rockhounding site in Wyoming. This bustling hub is surrounded by a diverse range of landscapes, including high desert plains, rolling hills, and stunning rock formations.

Rock Springs is a gateway to numerous rockhounding opportunities, offering access to a variety of rocks and minerals that can captivate both seasoned collectors and aspiring beginners.

Rock Springs itself boasts of a vibrant community of rockhounds and resources for the hobby. The local rock shops and clubs here provide valuable information, equipment, and expertise to aid in the exploration and identification of specimens. The city’s central location and proximity to other rockhounding hotspots make it an ideal base for embarking on rockhounding adventures throughout the region.

What you can find there

This place abounds in different natural wonders, such as Agate, Chalcedony, Chert, Jasper, Quartz, and Silicified Wood.


Aerial view of Casper Mountain in Casper

Casper is a vibrant city known for its scenic beauty and rich geological offerings. Situated along the North Platte River and surrounded by the rugged landscapes of the Casper Mountain Range, this site provides a gateway to a wide range of rockhounding opportunities.

Casper is particularly known for its Agates, which can be found in various colors and patterns, ranging from vibrant reds and oranges to soothing blues and purples. You can explore the riverbanks, scour the nearby hillsides, or even visit designated Agate hunting locations to uncover these beautiful gemstones.

Beyond its rockhounding offerings, Casper offers a range of amenities and attractions for visitors. The city has a vibrant downtown area with diverse dining options, museums, and art galleries. Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy recreational activities along the North Platte River or the trails of the Casper Mountain Range.

What you can find there

You can find samples of Agate, Alabaster, Amazonite, Beryl, Carnelian, Muscovite, Petrified Wood, and Tourmaline at the quarries and pegmatite outcrops of Casper.

Our Other Favorite Spots Around Wyoming

Vibrant red Beryl crystal attached to a rock
Beryl photo provided by Mineral Masterpiece

Aside from our top recommended rockhounding sites in our state, Wyoming has plenty other spots that you can visit and explore. We’ve listed them down by region below so you can easily use this guide when creating your itinerary here.

Rockhounding sites in Northern Wyoming

Northern Wyoming is a scenic part of our state that’s characterized by its majestic mountain ranges, expansive plains, and pristine river valleys, creating a varied and rich geological landscape. It’s home to a multitude of interesting rocks and minerals, making it a paradise for rockhounds.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Downstream from US-212 to mouth of principal north-flowing drainage from Windy Mountain Agate, Carnelian, Jasper, Petrified Wood
Wapiti area streambeds Moss Agate
Elkhorn Ranch Fossils, Petrified Wood
Dikes running north of Burgess Ranger Station Leopardite
Botth sides of US-16 Agate, Chalcedony, Petrified Wood
Crazy Woman Petrified Forest Petrified Wood
Copper Prince Mine Chrysocolla, Copper, Gold, Malachite

It can be very easy to confuse some of the more common rocks and minerals, so we created a few guides to telling specific finds apart:

Rockhounding sites in Southern Wyoming

With its diverse geological wonders— from towering mountain ranges to vast high desert plains— and abundant mineral wealth, Southern Wyoming is an enticing destination for rockhounds eager to uncover nature’s hidden treasures.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Northeastward of Eden Agate, Chalcedony, Petrified Wood, Quartz
Green River to Fort Bridger Chalcedony, Jasper, Petrified Wood, Quartz
Edge of Delaney Rim Fossils, Turritella Agate
Slopes of Steamboat Mountain and in the Leucite Hills Agate, Chalcedony
Few miles below Seminoe Dam Nephrite variety of Jade
Cow Creek to mouth of Calf Creek Agate, Fossils, Petrified Wood
Medicine Bow River and its tributaries Fossils, Petrified Wood
Foothills of west slopes of Laramie Mountains Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Quartz

Rockhounding sites in Eastern Wyoming

Eastern Wyoming showcases a unique blend of geological features and a wide variety of rocks and minerals. Its vast prairies, rolling hills, and ancient rock formations provide a diverse and fertile ground for rockhounds to explore.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Both sides of US-34 in Wheatland Labradorite, Moonstone
Along shores of Guernsey Reservoir Agate, Jasper, Quartzite, Youngite
North of Guernsey area Calcite
Bear Lodge Mountains Fluorite, Gold
Copper Prince Chrysocolla, Copper, Gold, Malachite
Stockade Beaver Creek Gypsum
Numerous Badland exposures in Sundance Bentonite

Rockhounding sites in Western Wyoming

The breathtaking landscapes and rich variety of rocks and minerals in Western Wyoming make it a dream destination for rockhounds seeking an unforgettable adventure in our state. Its rugged mountain ranges, expansive valleys, and dramatic landscapes all contribute to its appeal as a rockhounding paradise.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Mines along Buffalo Fork of the Snake River Azurite, Chalcocite, Chalcopyrite, Copper, Malachite, Pyrite, Quartz
Southwest slopes in the area of Atlantic Creek Opal
Headwaters of Berry Creek, especially below east slope of Survey Peak Amphibolite, Chrysotile
Badlands area along the Green River and Hams Fork Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Petrified Algae, Petrified Wood, Quartz
Both sides of Snake River and on the adjacent north slopes of Bradley Mountain Agate, Chalcedony, Jasper, Petrified Wood
Warfield Springs Fossil Quarries Fossils
West of Myers Bridge Bentonite

Rockhounding sites in Central Wyoming

Central Wyoming is a captivating region that offers an assortment of other interesting rocks and minerals. Rockhounds will have a blast exploring its vast plains, rugged mountain ranges, and expansive plateaus.

Location Minerals & Rocks
Half Moon Lake Agate, Petrified Wood
Copper Chief Gold Mine Gold, Nephrite variety of Jade, Quartz
East of Wind River Canyon, virtually on the Hot Springs County border Aquamarine, Beryl, Feldspar, Mica
Split Rock area on the Sweetwater Divide Ruby
Abernathy Claim Nephrite variety of Jade, Quartz
Thermopolis area Alabaster variety of Gypsum
Pathfinder Reservoir Nephrite variety of Jade
Upstream along tributary of South Fork in Hells Half Acre Jasper, Quartz
Upstream along Box Elder Creek Chalcedony Geodes

Where To Find Jasper In Wyoming

A piece of raw, red Jasper with black lines of details

Jasper is a captivating gemstone known for its exquisite beauty and diverse range of colors and patterns. It’s a form of microcrystalline quartz, often exhibiting vibrant hues, intricate banding, and unique combinations of colors.

The Jasper found in Wyoming is highly regarded for its quality and variety. It can be found in an array of captivating colors, including rich reds, earthy browns, vibrant yellows, and soothing greens. The colors and patterns within each piece of Jasper are unique, often resembling landscapes, abstract art, or intricate designs.

Jasper is also valued for its metaphysical properties and symbolic meanings. It’s often associated with grounding, stability, and strength. Many believe that it can bring about a sense of balance, calmness, and nurturing energy, making it a popular choice for those seeking holistic well-being.

Wind River and its tributaries are our favorite place to look for Jasper

Wind River and its tributaries offer an excellent opportunity for rockhounds to search for Jasper in Wyoming. This picturesque river system, flowing through scenic valleys and cutting through ancient rock formations, has contributed to the formation and deposition of various minerals, including Jasper.

Along with its tributaries, the Little Wind River and the Big Wind River, Wind River has eroded the surrounding rocks over time, exposing different layers and formations. This natural erosion process has revealed pockets of Jasper, allowing you to discover specimens of varying colors, patterns, and quality.

Wind River not only provide a scenic backdrop for Jasper hunting, but also an immersive experience of its natural beauty. Amidst the breathtaking landscapes, you can engage in the thrill of discovering unique Jasper specimens while enjoying the serenity and tranquility of this picturesque river system.

Other good options to find Jasper

  • Area draws and hills of Warm Springs
  • Big Sandy River gravels
  • Fort Washakie
  • Greybull River gravels
  • Kemmerer

Public Rockhounding Options For Kids

A man proudly smiles around kids who are also gold panning at South Pass City

One of the most effective— and frankly, most fun— way of exposing and getting children interested in the exciting hobby of rockhounding is by allowing them to tag along your adventures. If you plan on doing this, make sure you’re visiting and exploring family-friendly sites.

Good thing, Wyoming has a handful of these sites that children and adults alike will enjoy. Below are some of them:

Wyoming Rockhounding Clubs

Shiny Labradorite specimen with a play of yellow, green, blue, and black hues
Labradorite photo provided by @finemineralphotography

Joining rockhounding clubs in Wyoming can be a fantastic way to connect with like-minded individuals and dive deeper into our state’s rich geological heritage. You can gain access to local expertise and insider knowledge about the best rockhounding sites here.

Wyoming’s vast and diverse landscape offers a multitude of hidden treasures, and rockhounding club members often have valuable insights into lesser-known locations and prime collecting areas. Club activities, such as group outings, field trips, and educational events also provide chances to explore these sites together, fostering a sense of community.

From learning opportunities and field experiences to building connections and sharing the excitement of rockhounding, these clubs serve as valuable resources for you to enrich your hobby and forge lasting friendships within the vibrant rockhounding community of Wyoming.

Rockhounding clubs in Wyoming worth checking out

Wyoming Rockhounding Laws And Regulations

Rockhounding is legal in Wyoming for as long as you comply with all our local and state laws and regulations on it. While our state offers a diverse and abundant range of rockhounding opportunities, it’s important to respect land ownership, follow collecting guidelines, and obtain necessary permits or permissions.

The Wyoming Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages and regulates rockhounding activities on public lands here. They play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainable and responsible practice of rockhounding, while conserving the natural resources and cultural heritage of our state.

BLM provides information and resources to educate rockhounds about the rules and guidelines specific to each area, including any seasonal closures, restricted zones, or permit requirements.

The Best Rock And Mineral Shops In Wyoming

Beads made out of different selections of rocks and minerals at Serenity One Sanctuary

If you want to add to your collection of rocks and minerals, but don’t have much time and resources to go on a full-blown rockhounding adventure, we highly recommend visiting out local rock and mineral shops in the area.

Below are some of the best ones that we have:

Additional Rockhounding Places In Nearby States

If you want to extend your rockhounding adventure to nearby states, check out the following guides that we prepared for you:

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

About Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He has worked as a professional Geologist for over 20 years and holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Masters Degree in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelors Degree in Geology from the University of Connecticut.

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