Where To Find Geodes In Washington State (Plus Agates, Petrified Wood and More)
1. Walker Valley Geodes
The Walker Valley Geode location is located in Skagit County and is approximately 9 miles east of Mt Vernon, Washington. The Walker Valley geode dig site is one of the more popular areas for finding Geodes in Washington State, with good reason
The geodes you can expect to locate at the Walker Valley geode site are absolutely are known for being filled with quartz crystals and even beautiful purple Amethyst Crystals. The geodes you find here are all different sizes, most commonly no larger than than 4″ in diameter. It can be a real task trying to dig the Geodes out of the Hard Rock without breaking them, so be sure to use great care when swinging your Rock Hammer.
According to this website, “There are many different methods one can use for looking for Geodes at Walker Valley. I have seen people have some luck digging through the loose rock that others have knocked down and find some pretty nice over looked pieces this way. However, 9 times out of 10 you will be digging through someone else tailing’s pile using this method. In my opinion one can find much nicer specimen pieces and of greater quantity if you are prepared and have the right Tools!”
2: Cedar Ponds
Cedar Ponds is a small location in Snohomish County, and it’s known for its high concentrations of quartz and amethyst, but you’re more likely to find plain old quartz throughout most of the area.
The highest concentration of specimens is found almost two miles away from the main parking area, and it’s along a 150’ cliffside. So, some caution is required for you to safely dig for quartz. The pond system that gives the location its name is located on the other side of the dig site.
There aren’t any fees associated with rockhounding at Cedar Ponds, but the main road is gated off, now. So, you’ll have to travel on foot through fairly dense vegetation to reach the best dig sites. You’ll also want to bring a map. It’s easy to get lost in the area.
While you’re at Cedar Ponds, consider keeping your eyes open for some of the state’s best petrified wood specimens. They’re not common at Cedar Ponds, but they’re worth picking up if you spot any.
3: Damon Point and Olympic Peninsula
There are tons of agates scattered across the state of Washington. The amber-colored rocks are impressive in any collection, and their abundance makes it easy to acquire them. You also shouldn’t have to dig very much if you go to Damon Point or Olympic Peninsula.
Agates can be found along the beaches and creeks at both locations. You shouldn’t even have to bring any tools to collect the smaller specimens. Make sure you stick to the shallower bodies of water when you go rockhounding, though. Agate tends to get washed up near the banks and shorelines.
If you’re looking for agates, and the last two suggestions are a bit too crowded for your taste, you can also go to the Columbia River. Agate tends to wash up on the sand bars in the area. You’ll have to get to the sand bars, and you’ll have to dig a little more than usual, but there are some impressive agate specimens ready for you to collect.
4: Oak Harbor
Oak Harbor is one of the best spots to find true jadeite in the United States. It’s also home to nephrite, agate, and various other precious rocks and minerals.
Oak Harbor doesn’t charge you to go rockhounding by yourself, but there are a few things that you can do that will cost money. There are various eateries for you to fill your belly at when you’re done hunting rocks, and their prices vary, and you can join a treasure hunting club that does require a modest participation fee.
The club can help point you towards the best digging spots, and it can provide you with tips and tricks to up your rockhounding game. That can be particularly useful for beginners since jadeite and nephrite are in the area. It’s somewhat difficult to tell the two apart, and jadeite is what most collectors want.
Finally, Oak Harbor Senior Center also provides you with the opportunity to show off your favorite gems or gaze at the collections of others. Every year, the senior center has a gem show, and barbecue is provided during the event.
5: The Entire State of Washington: Petrified Wood
Regardless of where you live in Washington, you’re not far from a beautiful piece of petrified wood. While petrified wood is a bit different than the rocks that most collectors go after, it is similar, and it can be valuable.
Petrified wood is so common in the state that Washington officials actually decided to make it the state’s gemstone. You can find it in any wooded environment, next to creeks and ponds, and there might even be some in your backyard.
Obviously, large chunks of jade, amethyst, and golden nuggets are more valuable, and some collectors will prefer to have them in their collections, but there’s something charming about a piece of fossilized wood with shimmering gems encrusting it. Anytime you’re in Washington, you must try to find the state’s most abundant gemstone.
6: King County
King County is another great spot if you’re looking for quartz. You can find large chunks of clear and smokey quartz throughout the area, and they’re pretty easy to pull out of the ground. If you’re looking to quickly build a foundation for your rock collection, without going to a paid dig site, your best bet is to start in King County.
Amethyst is also somewhat common in the area. You’ll have to look closely to find some, and you’ll want to look in spots that others might have passed over, but you can find some high-value pieces to really boost your fledgling collection’s value.
7: Okanogan County
Okanogan County has some large concentrations of most crystal geodes, but I don’t recommend going unless you’re ready to put in quite a bit of work. It’s one of the hardest spots to dig at, and actually pulling anything out of the ground can take quite a bit of time. However, it is an option, and you should go at least once if you want to find some incredibly clear specimens.