The 28 Excellent Places To Find and Dig For Thunder Eggs In Oregon In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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The 28 Excellent Places To Find and Dig For Thunder Eggs In Oregon In 2024

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Finding thunder eggs in Oregon can be exciting but hard if you don’t have the right information or don’t know where to look. These unique geological formations are not technically geodes but relatively solid masses of mineral matter.

To find them, you often have to go through rocky terrain or thick forests; sometimes, you need special tools to get them out. But when you find a thunder egg, you’ll feel all your hard work was worth it.

Lucky for you, we’ve looked through a lot of sites and talked to experts to come up with a list of great options that are sure to help you find thunder eggs. Anyone can find these beautiful gems that tell a vivid Earth’s geological history story.

What Are Oregon Thunder Eggs Anyway?

A stunning polished thunder egg with different red and orange hues
Thunder egg photo provided by and available for purchase at WoodStoneFeatherHide

Thunder eggs are very pretty, with intricate patterns and a rainbow of colors that can be seen when cut open and polished. Each thunder egg is a unique piece of art made by nature over millions of years. It has swirls of agate and layers of minerals.

Oregon has made them official state rocks, which shows how important and exciting they are. They’re round or oval shapes that form inside layers of volcanic ash.

After trying all our suggestions below and still wanting to find thunder eggs in other places, we’ve put together a guide on where and how to find thunder eggs.

The name “thunder egg” comes from Native American stories and suggests that thunderstorms make these stones and are gifts from the gods of the elements.

Rock hunters and collectors are very interested in thunder eggs for their beauty and what they can tell us about geological history. The distinct geological formation of Oregon makes it a gold mine for thunder eggs.

How We Found The Best Thunder Egg Locations in Oregon
When it comes to choosing the best options for finding Oregon thunder eggs 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 thunder egg 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 thunder egg 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 Thunder Eggs in Oregon

A dazzling piece of thunder egg that looked like it captured the waves of the ocean inside it
Mirror polished thunder egg photo provided by Turkish Agate Stones

First, we’ll list the best places in the state where you can find thunder eggs. There are several options to find gems in Oregon, but only a few are good for searching thunder eggs. Even though some of these places are not popular, we’ve always found great things when we go there.

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.

Crane Mountain

A picturesque view of the landscape from a high area at Crane Mountain

Crane Mountain is a prominent peak in the Warner Mountain Range. It’s in the south-central part of the state and has an elevation of 8,456 feet. It has a rough landscape with steep slopes, rocky outcrops, and dense forests mostly made of pine and juniper trees.

The mountain is in an area that was formed by volcanic activity. This area has many different types of geological formations, such as old lava flows, basalt columns, and volcanic ash layers.

Because of its complex geological history, Crane Mountain is known as a great place for rock lovers, especially those looking for thunder eggs.

Know the most up-to-date rules before you bring anything home from Oregon.

Where we found thunder eggs at Crane Mountain

They are typically found in rhyolite or andesite formations around the mountain, so areas where these rocks are abundant might be good places to start looking.

Desolation Canyon

A gorgeous landscape of Desolation Canyon with a river flowing through the towering canyons

Desolation Canyon is a remote area known for its dramatic landscapes and different types of rock. The canyon is part of a large ecosystem in a high desert. It’s surrounded by cliffs and cut through by a web of creeks and dry washes.

The only plants that grow here are sagebrush, juniper trees, and other hardy desert plants. The area’s geology is fascinating, with sedimentary layers, basalt formations, and pockets of volcanic ash that show how its geology has changed over time.

Rock hunters who go to the canyon are especially interested in the chance to find thunder eggs, often found in places with many volcanic deposits.

Where we found thunder eggs at Desolation Canyon

Look for areas in the canyon with many volcanic rocks, especially rhyolite or andesite layers. Thunder eggs are usually found within these layers.

Forked Horn Butte

A scenic view over at the Forked Horn Butte with formations that are distinct and pretty

Forked Horn Butte is a unique rock formation in Central Oregon that draws the attention of outdoor enthusiasts and rock collectors. The butte is about 4,450 feet high and has a landscape of sedimentary layers, columns of basalt, and sometimes lava flows.

The area around the butte is a mix of high desert plants, like sagebrush and juniper trees, and rocky outcrops that show how complicated the site’s geology is.

The butte and surrounding areas provide a habitat rich in rhyolite or andesite formations, making it a viable location for a successful thunder egg hunt.

Where we found thunder eggs at Forked Horn Butte

You can locate thunder eggs at Forked Horn Butte in its surrounding areas with a volcanic history.

Harvey Gap

Crisp blue waters of Harvey Gap where you can locate thunder eggs

Harvey Gap is a hidden gem in the northeastern of the state. It’s known for its beautiful landscapes and varied geology. The area is full of rock formations, from sedimentary layers to igneous rocks, amidst rolling hills and large meadows.

Dense clusters of pine and fir trees contrasted the rocky terrain, while streams and ponds dot the landscape, adding to its natural beauty.

The geology of Harvey Gap is fascinating to rock hunters because it has a lot of different minerals, including the rare thunder eggs. Most of the time, these interesting geological features form in places with volcano history.

Where we found thunder eggs at Harvey Gap

You can find thunder eggs at the shores of Harvey Gap and its surrounding areas.

Wildcat Mountain

A gorgeous view of the landscape and the snowy mountain on the background from an area of the Wildcat Mountain

Wildcat Mountain is located in Clackamas County and was formed by volcanoes over millions of years. This geological wonder rises to about 4,400 feet and comprises alpine meadows, rocky escarpments, dense firs, and western hemlock forests.

There are also winding creeks and waterfalls, which add to the beauty of the landscape and make it attractive to both nature lovers and geologists. Because volcanoes formed it, it’s an excellent place to look for rocks, especially thunder eggs.

Where we found thunder eggs at Wildcat Mountain

Exploring the vicinity of the mountain, where rhyolites and andesites formations are, can yield thunder eggs. You can also find them at the famed Ochoco Nodule Beds.

Other Great Places To Dig For Thunder Eggs In Oregon

A gorgeous formation of the Hart Mountain where thunder eggs can be found

After telling you about our favorite places, we wanted to give you more options in the rest of our list. Before discussing more general locations, we’ll list our top picks for counties.

Our recommendations by county

County Location
Crook Prineville area, Viewpoint, several excellent locations on private lands (fee charged)
Crook Dry Creek
Crook Prineville area, Harvey Creek
Crook Prineville area, all along both sides of US-26, northwest to Jefferson County border
Crook Prineville area, on both sides of SR-126, southwest to the Deschutes County border
Crook Prineville area, White Fir Spring
Crook Prineville area, White Rock
Crook Prineville area, Whistler Spring
Harney The Steens Mountains, Alvord Ranch, Andrews, and Fields give access to the E side of the range, all regional land surfaces, draws, washes, etc
Harney Harney Valley
Jefferson Ashwood area
Jefferson Madras general region
Jefferson Fulton Agate Beds
Jefferson Willowdale general area surfaces, draws, washes, etc.
Lake Plush area, Hart Mountain
Malheur Nyssa area immediately surrounding town
Malheur Nyssa area, basalt rimrocks along regional cr. valleys
Wasco Pine Grove, West and Southeast of Bear Springs Forest Camp, at Sunflower Flats, all hillsides and creek gravels

Additional areas you should try

We want to help you with your search even more because there are so many places to look for thunder eggs in Oregon. There are a few important places where they are often found that you should look into:

Pay to dig mines

Pay-to-dig mines give rock collectors an experience they can’t get anywhere else. They combine the thrill of the hunt with the guarantee of a good find. These sites are often in geologically rich areas studied and confirmed to have certain minerals, gems, or fossils.

This gives enthusiasts a sense of what to expect. Unlike public lands, where you might or might not find a valuable specimen, these commercial mines make it more likely that a collecting trip will be a success.

Rivers and riverbanks

Rivers and riverbanks are great places to find rocks because they naturally move rocks from one place to another. Flowing water can wear away rocks and minerals, which it does by moving them, smoothing them, and leaving them along the riverbanks.

One of the things that makes collecting along rivers so interesting is that these places are constantly changing. Seasonal changes in the water flow can reveal new treasures and give collectors a sense of discovery and a chance to explore a changing landscape.

Streams and creeks

Streams and creeks are great places for rock collectors because they have a lot of different geological treasures in one place. These waterways act as natural sifters, moving sediment from other geological formations and depositing it in areas where the water flow slows down.

Because of this, there are a lot of rocks, minerals, and even fossils that are easy to find. Creeks and streams are great places to find well-preserved treasures because they flow more slowly than larger rivers and don’t wash away fragile things as often.

Washes and ravines

Washes and ravines are great places for rock collectors to find exciting rocks because their unique shapes let minerals and sediments flow through them. Rainfall and eroding forces work together in these places to move and gather different kinds of rocks, minerals, and even fossils.

Because they are natural drainage ways, washes and ravines collect materials from many geological sources. This gives collectors a wide range of things to look at in a small area.

Common Thunder Egg-Hunting Questions

A stunning intricate detail inside a Wiley's Well thunder egg
Wiley’s Well thunder egg photo provided by and available for purchase at Hawkeyestonesdisplays

People who come to Oregon to look for thunder eggs have many questions, and knowing the answers is essential.

Is it illegal to collect thunder eggs in Oregon?

In Oregon, you can collect thunder eggs if you follow the rules. If you’re on government property, make sure you’re following the local laws. If you’re on private property, ensure you have the permission to collect.

The Best Places To Buy Thunder Eggs In Oregon

Mystery Gallery rock shop in Oregon where you can find and purchase various thunder egg specimens

Not everyone enjoys going outdoors and spending hours just looking for thunder eggs. Sometimes, you only need a new piece to display or add to your collection. Here are some rock shops in the state where you can find thunder eggs:

If you have any recommendations for our list, please leave a comment 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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