Rockhounding in Prineville, OR

Central Oregon is considered a rock hounding paradise. And Prineville rockhounding is second to none. In fact, Prineville is unofficially known as the Rock Hound Capital of the United States. Few places offer the variety of precious gemstones as the high deserts and forests of this part of Oregon. Each year thousands of rockhounds, pebble puppies and newbies visit Crook County to unearth the widest variety of rock types found anywhere. There are many popular rockhound areas near Prineville:

  • White Fir
  • Maury Mountain
  • Limb Casts
  • Vistaite
  • Glass Butte

The Chamber of Commerce offers visitors a Rockhound Map that is produced by the BLM, Forest Service, and the Chamber. This map is a full-color guide, which includes pictures and descriptions of the sites, directions using landmarks and GPS coordinates; and showing the local rock materials found at each site. There are also safety tips and historic and geologic information. The map also lists the rules and regulations pertaining to Rockhounding. If you would like to learn more about what to look for and the rules involved, you can read more here, in this Rockhounding/Mining Overview.

Not to be missed: The annual Prineville Rockhound Pow Wow is Oregon’s premier rock and gem show. The event showcases the areas’ geologic treasures. Rockhound dealers from far and wide sell, trade and give away rock material from all over North America.