Where to Find Agates in Arizona – Verified Locations

arizona agates where to find them

Where to find agates in Arizona? What types of agates can you find in Arizona? In this article, we will answer these questions and more.

Agates are a mesmerizing gemstone known for its vivid colors and unique patterns. These semi-precious stones belong to the chalcedony family, a variety of microcrystalline quartz.

Arizona, with its diverse geological landscape, offers enthusiasts ample opportunities to discover these captivating gemstones. If you love agates, Arizona is the best state to hunt them because fire agates are only found in Arizona, California, and central Mexico.

Today we will discuss verified locations where you can find Arizona Agates. At the time of writing these locations were open to the public, however, the regulations change constantly, so make sure to check out the official website of the Arizona State Department for more information.

What are Agates

Agates are a type of chalcedony characterized by their banded or layered appearance. These bands often display a stunning array of colors, making agates highly sought after for both jewelry and lapidary purposes.

The formation of agates involves the deposition of silica within cavities in volcanic rocks or other host rocks. Over time, successive layers of silica build up, creating the characteristic bands.

The colors in agates can vary widely, including shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The patterns within the bands are diverse, ranging from simple concentric circles to more intricate designs like fortification and plume patterns.

Also, take a look at the best spots for Alaska Agates and spots to find agates in Washington.

Types of Agates Found in Arizona

washington agates

Arizona boasts a variety of agates such as:

Fire Agate

Fire agates are known for their vibrant, and fiery colors. They are a unique and highly prized variety of agates that often display iridescent flashes, giving the illusion of flames within the stone. The Cuesta Fire Agate Mine is a renowned location for finding this captivating variety.

Lace Agate

Lace agate is known for its delicate, and lacy patterns. The pattern on the agate resembles fine lacework, creating a visually stunning effect. Lace agates can be found in different parts of Arizona, and each specimen is a testament to the natural artistry of the Earth.

Botswana Agate

Another great variety of agate found in Arizona is the Botswana Agate. It is known for its rich, warm tones, ranging from pink and brown to orange and red. The patterns in this kind of agate are very distinct, making each specimen unique.

Coyamito Agate

Coyamito agate is mostly found in Mexico, but various specimens have been found in Arizona as well. This agate is prized for its striking colors and intricate patterns. It has vibrant red, orange, and purple tones.

Best Spots to Find Agates in Arizona

Arizona has a plethora of locations for rockhounds to explore agates. Here are some verified locations where you can find Arizona agates.

Black Hills Rockhound Area

Black Hills Rockhound Area

Black Hills Rockhound Area is the best place to find agates in Arizona. It is located on the BLM land about 20 miles northeast of Safford.

The area is located in the southeastern part of Arizona and is known for its diverse range of gemstones, including agates. You can find various types of agates here, especially fire agates. You can go there using your car, and take the dirt path on the road.

The area is open to the public so you can dig for agates without paying any fees or permits. You can even camp in the area without any cost. As with any land, it is recommended to check out the land ownership before digging.

Cuesta Fire Agate Mine

Cuesta Fire Agate Mine

Cuesta Fire Agate Mine is situated near the town of Oatman, in the Deer Creek area. It is a must-visit destination for those looking for fire agates. The mine allows visitors to collect agate.

The mine is not free. You have to pay a small fee of $30-$50 per day for the mine service. You can keep whatever you find and the owners even give you a guided tour and all the help you need.

Saddle Mountain

Saddle Mountain

Saddle Mountain is located northwest of Tonopah, slightly off I-10, and is known for its agate deposits, mainly chalcedony and quartz agates. The agates found in this area are known for their wide range of colors and patterns.

You can explore the washes and canyons of Saddle Mountain for agates. Experts recommend going there after a rainfall as it makes it easier to spot fire agates. Just follow the path to the mountain and look for orange/brownish-colored stones.

A lot of private mines are also located in the area, so make sure to check the BLM land before collecting.

Aqua Fira River

Aqua Fira River

Aqua Fira River runs through central Arizona and has been a favorite destination for rockhounds when it comes to agate. The riverbed and the surrounding areas are known for agate deposits and provide ample opportunities for collectors.

The river flows through various landscapes, including canyons, deserts, and volcanic rock formations, offering various spots to discover. The ancient volcanic activity has resulted in rhyolite and basalt rocks which host agate deposits.

Ash Spring Canyon

Ash Spring Canyon

Ash Spring Canyon is nestled in the Cerbat Mountains and is a promising location for agate hunting. The canyon’s geological features and the presence of agate deposits make it an appealing spot for rockhounding adventures.

You can find different kinds of agates by looking in the creek beds, and gravel bars of the canyon. The geological formations in the area include volcanic rocks and sedimentary deposits.

Cabeza Prieta Mountains

Cabeza Prieta Mountains

Cabeza Prieta Mountains are located in the northwestern Sonoran Desert of southwest Arizona. The mountain range consists of an eleven-mountain sequence and the desert.

The place offers opportunities for agate hunting in a remote and rugged setting. The challenging terrain adds a sense of adventure to the pursuit of these gemstones.

Make sure to explore the terrain, canyons, and washes along the mountains can unveil hidden treasures. You can find agates here in various colors, and patterns.

Important Tools to Have for Agate Hunting in Arizona

Hunting for Agates in Arizona requires a set of professional tools and equipment. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Shovels and Trowels: For digging into softer soil, you need a sturdy shovel or a trowel. It also helps clear away the debris on the surface.
  2. Picks and hammers: To split rocks, and extract gems, you need a pick with one pointed end, and the other flat that serves as a hammer.
  3. Buckets: As you uncover gems, you need buckets to place them. Make sure you have durable buckets for the job to make sure your gems remain undamaged.
  4. Magnifying glass: For a closer inspection of your specimen, you need a magnifying glass to reveal details that are not visible to the naked eye.
  5. Zip-lock bags: As you collect gems, you need clear plastic containers or bags to store them. It also allows you to see the gems without having to open the bag.
  6. First aid kit: Mining is a risky venture, so make sure to keep a first aid kit with you at all times so you can address accidents or injuries promptly.


Arizona offers a treasure trove of agate hunting opportunities with its diverse geology. From the fiery allure of fire agates to the delicate beauty of lace agates, the state boasts various locations where you can explore Arizona agates.

From the Black Hills Rockhounding Area to the Cabeza Prieta Mountains, you can plenty of places to explore and find agates. As you embark on the journey, make sure to follow ethical collecting practices and check out the necessary permits.

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