Washington Agates: Best Spots to Find Agates in Washington

washington agates

Agates are precious stones found throughout the world, including Washington. Today we will look at the best places to find Washington agates and different types that you can unearth across the state.

Washington was a hotbed of volcanic activity not so long ago, because of which you can find some precious gemstones in the region. The Evergreen State is not only known for its stunning landscapes and diverse ecosystems but also its hidden treasures beneath the surface – agates.

However, finding agates in Washington can be tricky if you don’t know where to get started. The state has a lot of rockhounding places like mountains, forests, beaches, rivers, and creeks. So, we understand it can get a little overwhelming.

This article will guide you through the best places to find Washington agates, each location offering a unique experience and a chance to unearth nature’s colorful masterpieces.

What are Washington Agates

beautiful washington agates

Washington Agates are precious gemstones found across the state. These beautiful stones are a variety of chalcedony, which is a form of microcrystalline quartz.

Washington agates exhibit a spectrum of colors, including but not limited to white, gray, blue, red, orange, green, and brown. The vibrant and varied hues make them highly sought after by both collectors and jewelry enthusiasts.

Agates are typically translucent, allowing light to pass through the stone. This property enhances their visual appeal and contributes to their use in jewelry, where the play of light can showcase the intricate patterns within the stone.

Different Types of Agates Found in Washington

Let’s take a look at some common types of agates found across the Washington state.

Fire Agate

Fire agates are known for their vibrant and iridescent colors, resembling the play of colors seen in opals. These agates often exhibit a fiery, almost metallic luster.

Moss Agate

Moss agates are characterized by the presence of dendritic or moss-like inclusions within the stone. These inclusions create unique and intricate patterns, resembling landscapes or foliage. These are commonly found along the riverbanks of the Dungeness River.

Fortification Agate

Fortification agates are named for their banding patterns, which resemble the walls of a fort. The bands form angular and geometric shapes, creating a fortress-like appearance. The Columbia River is popular for this agate type.


Carnelian is a variety of chalcedony known for its reddish-to-orange hues. It is a translucent stone often used in jewelry, and it may exhibit banding or be entirely uniform in color.

Jasper Agate

Jasper agates combine the characteristics of jasper and agate, featuring bold colors and patterns. These stones may display scenic landscapes, and their hardness makes them suitable for lapidary work.

Sagenite Agate

Sagenite agates contain needle-like inclusions of minerals such as rutile or sagenite. These fine needles create intricate patterns within the agate.

How We Picked the Top Places for Finding Agates in Washington

In order to find the best spots for Washington Agates, 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.

Also, take a look at the best spots for Alaska Agates.

Prime Spots for Hunting Agates in Washinton

1. Dungeness River

Dungeness River

Nestled in the heart of the Olympic Peninsula, the Dungeness River provides agate hunters with a serene and picturesque backdrop. The riverbanks offer a variety of agates, including the coveted fire agate and moss agate.

To maximize your chances of success, explore the gravel bars along the river, particularly during low tide.

Dungeness River has a mix of sedimentary rocks, metamorphic and igneous. So, you can find agates in the gravel of the river.

2. Damon Point in Grays Harbor County

Damon Point in Grays Harbor County

Grays Harbor County boasts a hidden gem for agate hunters – Damon Point. This coastal area is renowned for its expansive beaches and is a prime spot for finding a variety of agates, including carnelian, jasper, and petrified wood. 

The unique geological features of Damon Point, shaped by wind and waves, create ideal conditions for agates to wash ashore. Make sure to explore the beach during a low tide.

3. Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach

For those seeking a combination of agate hunting and rugged coastal scenery, Rialto Beach on the Olympic Peninsula is a must-visit destination. Rialto Beach also has a coastal forest that you can comb through for agates.

The rocky shores and tidal pools offer a diverse range of agates, with red agates being a particularly prized find.

As you traverse the shoreline, enjoy the dramatic seascapes and keep a lookout for agates nestled among the driftwood and pebbles.

4. Cowlitz County

Cowlitz County

Cowlitz County, located in the southwestern part of the state, is a hidden gem for agate hunters. The Toutle River and its tributaries are known for yielding a variety of agates, including agatized wood and sagenite agates.

Explore the riverbanks and gravel bars, especially after periods of heavy rain, to increase your chances of finding these unique specimens.

Cowlitz County offers a tranquil and less crowded setting, allowing for a more immersive agate-hunting experience. Some of the places you must visit in the county are:

  • The base of the cliffs of Kelso
  • Cloverdale area
  • Silverlake area
  • Hills to the east of the Kalama area

5. Columbia River

The mighty Columbia River, one of the largest rivers in North America, has played a crucial role in shaping the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Its shores are also rich in agates, attracting enthusiasts from far and wide.

The riverbanks and gravel bars along the Columbia River offer a diverse array of agates, including fortification agates and scenic jaspers.

Take a stroll along the riverbanks during low tide, and you may be rewarded with the discovery of these geological wonders.

6. Glass Beach

Glass Beach

Situated near Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula, Glass Beach is renowned for its unique combination of agates and sea glass.

The beach gets its name from the smooth, tumbled glass pieces that wash ashore, creating a kaleidoscope of colors. Agate hunters can explore the shores to find a mix of agates and sea glass, creating a distinctive collecting experience.

The scenic beauty of Glass Beach, with the Olympic Mountains in the background, adds an extra layer of enchantment to this coastal gem-hunting destination.

7. Kittitas County

Kittitas County

Heading east to Central Washington, Kittitas County offers agate hunters a different landscape and a chance to discover unique specimens. The Yakima River, flowing through Kittitas County, provides opportunities to find agates, including striking red and banded varieties.

Explore the riverbanks and gravel bars, and don’t forget to enjoy the panoramic views of the Cascade Range. Kittitas County’s central location makes it accessible for agate enthusiasts from various parts of the state, adding to its allure as a top agate-hunting destination.

We recommend exploring the following areas in the county:

  • Cle Elum area
  • Areas around Ryepatch
  • Middle form of the Teenaway River
  • Williams Creek
  • Table Mountain
  • Crystal Mountain
  • Ellensburg Hills
  • Stream beds of Liberty

Other Places in Washington to Find Agates

Aside from our favorite spots to find Washington Agates, here are some other places that you can explore for the valuable rocks:

  • Whidbey Island in Puget Sound
  • North Beach in Port Townsend
  • Ocean Park
  • Railroad Creek in Chelan County
  • Crescent Beach in Clallam County
  • Soleduck River gravels and La Push Beach gravels in Clallam County
  • Bell Mountain Mine in Clark County
  • Beaches and regional stream gravels in Moclips, Grays Harbor
  • Stream banks in Oakville, Grays Harbor
  • Beach gravels of Kalaloch and Queets, Jefferson County
  • Warwick area in Klickitat County
  • Swale Creek, Rattlesnake Creek, Klickitat County
  • North Fork of Chehalis, Lewis County
  • Stream bed in Greens Creek, Pacific County
  • Gravels of Willapa River, Pacific County
  • Gifford Pinchot National Forest at Table Mountain, Skamania County
  • Coal Mine Piles in Bucoda, Thurston County


Washington State, with its diverse landscapes and geological wonders, provides a playground for agate enthusiasts. There are plenty of spots where you can find gem-grade agates in Washington.

As you embark on your agate-hunting adventure, remember to respect the environment, follow local regulations, and savor the beauty of Washington’s natural treasures waiting to be uncovered beneath the soil. Happy hunting!

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