Where To Find Petrified Wood: Top Places To Discover Fossilized Wood
Have you ever looked down on the ground and a rock caught your eye? But when you pick it up you notice somethings different about it. Then you look a little closer and see that it's not even a rock. Or is it? It looks just like a piece of wood. It has wood grain just like a piece of wood would have.
But its hard like a stone, and solid as a rock. That's because what you've found in fact used to be a piece of wood. But over millions of years, that piece of wood became a fossil.
Petrified Wood Is An Example Of What Type Of Fossil?
Petrified wood is an example of altered remains type of fossil.
Petrified wood forms when trees that die millions of years ago fell and became covered in mud, sand and water. Over time, minerals seeped into the wood of the trees depositing minerals. Eventually, the wood rotted away and the only the minerals remained. The trees "turned to rock," or became petrified. This entire process is called petrification.
Unlike other types of fossils which are typically impressions or compressions, petrified wood is a three-dimensional representation of the original organic material.
Why Collect Petrified Wood
So why do so many people like to collect petrified wood? One of the most popular reasons is because petrified wood is considered a gemstone.
Just like other gemstones, you can polish petrified wood and create things like jewelry and even furniture. In some instances, petrified wood is even considered very valuable and can be sold for quite a profit.
Where To Find Fossilized Wood
There are many places you can find petrified wood. As a matter of fact, there are entire petrified forests. But if you're looking for specimens to add to your collection, or turn into jewelry, then you may want to turn to places that are made for just this kind of thing.
Below I list some of the more popular locations in some of the more popular states in the US to find petrified wood. But if you don't live in or visit one of these states, not to worry! You can hunt for and find fossilized wood in your own back yard!
In Or Near Water
The best place to look for fossilized wood in my opinion is in or near water. I've found almost my entire collection in the rivers near my house. The best thing to do is to pay attention to the gravel bars, or any other area where there might be a collection of gravel.
Take some time and stroll through those areas. Pay attention to any rocks that just don't quite fit in. Remember, that fossilized wood looks like wood. So anything with grain or lines running through it is worth stopping to take a closer look at.
There's so much fossilized wood in gravel bars that I've even found some in my own gravel driveway!
On The Beach
Do you live on or near the beach? Maybe you travel to the beach throughout the year? If you do, you're in luck. The beach is another great place to look for petrified wood.
Just like you would do when walking the gravel bars, walk the beach in areas where gravel or rocks tend to be more numerous. My favorite place when looking for petrified wood on the beach is to find streams or creeks that enter the ocean. I've had great luck finding fossilized wood in those small creeks.
Take your time and carefully inspect any rocks that catch your eye. If you're lucky, you'll not only find petrified wood, but other fossils and agates as well!
Paid Locations To Look For Petrified Wood in Oregon
Below is a list of locations in Oregon that you can go and look for petrified wood, but it'll cost in order to do so.
Holleywood Ranch in Holley, Oregon is home of some of the highest grade fossilized wood in the Pacific Northwest. Researchers have identified 65 species on the property so far! Many of which were said to be among some of the highest quality and widest variety found worldwide!"
Holleywood Ranch near Sweet Home, Oregon offers two different ways you can buy petrified wood. For the adventurous, Holleywood Ranch allows you to dig for the petrified wood yourself on their property. Then you pay a per pound fee for the petrified wood. At the time of writing this post, they were charging $1.50 per pound.
For a look at what it's like to spend a day digging up petrified wood at the Holleywood Ranch, check out this post from Northwestrevealed.com. It looks like they had a great time out there!
FREE Locations To Look For Petrified Wood in Oregon
Now here's a list of locations you can find fossilized wood and it won't cost you anything to do it! Can't beat that price!
- On the west side of the cascades there is petrified wood in most stream beds from Eugene to Portland / from the coast to the foot hills of Mill city. I have found a lot of petrified wood and agates while canoeing and fishing on the Willamette River.
- East of Mill city there are basalt layers covering the Petrified wood. From a Gas station called Little Sweden East to Black Butte is a basalt flow that is about 25 million years old! Above 1800 Ft. in this area there is petrified bamboo as well, although it is very rare to find.
- The best hunting on the West side of Oregon is in the foot hills around Sweethome, Lebanon, Scio, Lacomb, Gates and Eugene.
- The material from this area is highly agatized and there is great Cell pattern in most of the material found.
- Crab Tree Creek just east of Scio, Oregon and south of Roger Mt.
- Bear Creek in Central Oregon
- Fischer Canyon
Locations To Find Fossilized Wood In Texas
Did you know that most of the state of Texas is composed of sedimentary rock with layers of volcanic ash.? This bodes well for fossil hunters in general, including fossil hunters looking for petrified wood in the great state of Texas.
Petrified wood can be found all over Texas. But below is a list of locations in Texas where you should be able to find petrified wood perhaps a little easier than others.
- College Station/Bryan area of Texas
- Jewett in Leon County, Texas
- Mount Pleasant in Titus County Texas
- Alvoro pyrite locality (Mitchell 1987) in Wise County. It is said that logs of petrified wood are abundant here.
- Area around Jasper, Texas.
- Live Oak County, Texas
Do you know of other good locations in Texas to find petrified wood? If so, post it in the comments below!
Locations To Find Fossilized Wood In California
- Mule Canyon California
- Boron Travertine in Boron, California: At this location you can find Travertine, Jasper, Petrified Wood and Palm, and Banded Limestone.
- Rosamond Gem Hill in Rosamond, California.
- Castle Butte Petrified Palm in North Edwards, California: Here you can find Petrified Palm Fiber and Wood, Chapinite, and Jasper here at this location.
- Warner Mountains Obsidian in Eagleville, California: Here You can collect obsidian, petrified wood, obsidian needles, and gemstones on the east side of the Warner mountains. Search the exposed rock up the many canyons on the east side of the Warner Mountains range. Last I heard, you are limited to surface collecting one bucket per day. Please check regulations before you visit.
Do you know of other locations where you can find petrified wood? We'd love to have you share those with us. Feel free to leave a comment below or email me with your suggestions.
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If you're unable to visit any of the places I mentioned above, and you want to get your hands on some petrified wood, either to just have, or maybe to polish, check out my post, Petrified Wood For Tumbling. There, you'll find a few good sources for high quality wood fossils to add to your collection.
Amazon also carries a wide variety of petrified wood!