Crystal Hunting in Washington – Where to Find Gems

crystal hunting washington

Are you curious about crystal hunting in Washington? What kind of gems can you find in the Washington state? In this guide, we will answer all these questions and more.

Washington is a fantastic state for rockhounds because of its wide variety of minerals and crystals found in the area. The state is known for its beautiful ocean beaches, and lush green forests hiding agates, quartz crystals, and other precious gems.

From the lush forests to the sandy shores, Washington holds an array of locations that promise exciting gem finds. Due to the extensive volcanic activity in the area, the state of Washington is one of the best crystal-hunting states in the entire US.

For crystal hunting, the best places in Washington are the beaches, stream gravels, and mine dumps. There are various gold mines in the area as well, and you can also find petrified wood in the forest.

How We Picked the Top Places for Crystal Hunting in Washington

In order to find the best spots in Washington for crystal hunting, we had to consider a lot of things. It can be tough to find the information we need to shortlist the best places. Here are a few things we took into consideration:

  • Input from local gem hunting associations and groups.
  • The safety of the mining location and the potential hazards.
  • The accessibility of the mining spot.
  • Private and public locations.

What Kind of Crystals Can You Find in Washington

Washington has a wide array of minerals and crystals found in the area. Due to the volcanic activity, the eastern part of the state is known for its beautiful varieties of agates, jasper, and fossilized wood.

Here are some of the crystals found in Washington:

  • Agate
  • Quartz Crystals
  • Amethyst
  • Opal
  • Geodes
  • Jasper
  • Petrified Wood
  • Chalcedony
  • Gold
  • Garnet
  • Carnelian
  • Malachite
  • Azurite
  • Turquoise
  • Obsidian
  • Rhodonite

You can also find agate in Washington. Also, check out sites for Petrified Wood in Colorado and our guide on the worth of gems and crystals.

Our Favorite Spots for Crystal Hunting in Washington

Let’s delve into seven remarkable crystal hunting spots in Washington, each offering an opportunity to discover a variety of gems.

Hansen Creek


Hansen Creek is the most recommended place to visit for crystal hunting in Washington. The creek is located in the Cascade Range, on Humpback Mountain. It is a well-known crystal hunting destination in the state, known for its abundance of agates, jaspers, and petrified wood.

The crystal formations in Hansen Creek are diverse, ranging from quartz crystals to agate nodules. You can find vibrant agates displaying intricate patterns, and the occasional chunk of petrified wood with its mesmerizing fossilized details.

Another crystal that you can find at Hansen Creek is amethyst crystals. They tend to be very light purple in color, so make sure to keep a keen eye.

Monte Cristo

Monte Cristo

Located in the North Cascades, Monte Cristo is a historic mining town that offers a unique crystal hunting experience. The area, now a ghost town, boasts a variety of minerals, including quartz, beryl, garnets, and even gold. 

Rockhounds can find quartz crystals embedded in the rocks, often with unique shapes and sizes. The presence of garnets adds a touch of red sparkle to the crystal finds. Some of the other crystals found in the area are:

  • Azurite
  • Malachite
  • Pyrite
  • Chalcopyrite
  • Scorodite

Lyman Lake

Lyman Lake

Lyman Lake is a hidden gem for crystal hunting in Washington, located in the Methow Valley. Surrounded by the breathtaking North Cascades, Lyman Lake offers not only spectacular views but also an opportunity to find unique specimens such as agate, jasper, and quartz crystals.

The volcanic rocks around the lake often contain pockets of quartz crystals, some of which may exhibit exceptional clarity and brilliance. Additionally, the variety of colors and patterns in the agates and jaspers found in this area make Lyman Lake a must-visit location for crystal enthusiasts.

You can also search the gravels of the lake for gold, especially the area near Crown Point Mine. 

Sacheen Lake

Sacheen Lake

Sacheen Lake is located in northeastern Washington and is renowned for its garnet deposits. The garnets found in this region are sought-after because they can change color from deep red to vibrant orange.

You can sift through sandy sediments along the shoreline to uncover garnet specimens. Rockhounds can spend hours exploring the shoreline, collecting garnets of various sizes and colors.

It’s advisable to bring a sieve or screen to sift through the sandy deposits and enhance the chances of finding these precious gems.

Little Spokane River

Little Spokane River

Little Spokane River winds through lush landscape in eastern Washington. The river and its surrounding area are known for its deposits of garnets and gem-quality quartz crystals. 

The mix of riverbed sediments and rocky outcrops along the shores creates an ideal environment for finding these sparkling treasures.

Rockhounds exploring the Little Spokane River may find garnets of varying sizes, nestled among the gravel and sand. Additionally, quartz crystals can be discovered embedded in the rocky formations along the riverbanks.

Make sure to bring appropriate gear for water exploration so you can examine the riverbed for hidden gems.

Long Beach

Long Beach

Long Beach on the Pacific Coast is another great crystal hunting destination in Washington. While not known for traditional crystals like quartz or garnets, Long Beach is a hotspot for agate hunting.

The sandy shores along this expansive beach are home to a variety of agates, each with its unique coloration and pattern. Agate enthusiasts frequent Long Beach to stroll along the coastline, scanning the sand for small, polished gemstones.

You can expect to find agates with colors ranging from vibrant blues and reds to translucent white. You will also be able to find other crystals on the shore such as Quartz and Chalcedony.

Tunk Creek

Tunk Creek

Heading east to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Tunk Creek is a lesser-known but rewarding crystal hunting destination. This area is known for its deposits of jasper, agate, and petrified wood.

Some other gems and crystals found in the area are:

  • Turquoise
  • Epidote
  • Corundum
  • Thulite

The creekbed and surrounding areas provide ample opportunities for digging and collecting these geological treasures. It’s advisable to bring digging tools and to explore the creekbed carefully to uncover the hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Other Gem and Crystal Hunting Spots in Washington

Apart from these locations, there are plenty of other spots where you can hunt for crystals and gemstones. Here are some of these other locations:

  • Shi Shi Beach – Gold, Platinum, Iridosmine
  • Ozette River – Gold (placer)
  • Skagit River – Gold, Hematite
  • Granite Falls – Gold
  • Fifteen-Mile Creek – Amber
  • Waterville – Opal
  • Red Top Mountain – Geodes
  • Bickleton – Agate, Jasper, Carnelian
  • Mondovi – Opal
  • Metaline Falls – Smithsonite
  • Newport – Amethyst
  • Chattaroy – Garnet, Quartz crystals
  • Pullman – Opal
  • Lucas Creek – Carnelian, Agate, Geodes, Jasper
  • Clay City – Amethyst
  • Mount Adams – Agate, Jasper, Chalcedony, Quartz, Carnelian

Important Tools to Have for Crystal Hunting in Washington

Crystal mining in Washington 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.


That brings us to the end of our crystal-hunting Washington guide. From the serene shores of Long Beach to the mountainous landscapes of Hansen Creek, Washington State has a lot to offer.

It’s essential to respect the environment, follow any regulations or guidelines for each location, and leave no trace of your presence. Additionally, bringing appropriate gear, safety equipment, and a sense of adventure will enhance your crystal hunting experience in Washington. Happy hunting!

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