The Rockhounding BlogAbout usEquipment

Rockhounding in the Coast Ranges: A Guide to the Best Spots in California and Oregon

Created 08/01/2017 02:24 AM
If you’re a rockhound who loves the great outdoors, the Coast Ranges of California and Oregon provide some of the best locations for rock collecting. From gemstones to fossils, the Coast Ranges are a great place for rockhounding and discovering unique finds. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best spots in California and Oregon for rockhounding and provide tips on how to make the most of your rock collecting experience.

Rockhounding California

California is home to some of the best rock collecting locations in the Coast Ranges. In the northern part of the state, the Klamath Mountains are a great spot for rockhounding and offer an abundance of different types of rocks and minerals. In the Central Coast Ranges, the San Benito and Monterey counties are known for their abundance of agates. The Santa Cruz Mountains are also known for their abundance of agates, as well as jasper, quartz and petrified wood. In the southern part of the state, the Sierra Nevada mountains are home to some of the most diverse rockhounding locations in the state, with an abundance of quartz, jasper, petrified wood and more.
In addition to these areas, the Pacific Coast of California offers some great spots for collecting beach rocks and driftwood. Some of the best spots for beach rock collecting in California include Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Rockhounding Oregon

Oregon is home to some of the best rockhounding areas in the Coast Ranges. The Cascade Mountains are known for their abundance of obsidian, agates and jasper. The Columbia River Gorge is also home to some great rock collecting spots, with an abundance of agates, petrified wood, jasper and more. Other areas to consider in Oregon include the Rogue River Valley, the coastal beaches and the High Desert.

Tips for Rock Collecting

No matter where you go rockhounding, there are some important tips to consider that will help make your experience safe and enjoyable. First and foremost, it’s important to always have the proper safety gear, including sturdy shoes, long pants, a hat and sunscreen. It’s also important to check the weather before you go, as some spots may be too dangerous to explore in inclement weather.

When you’re rockhounding, it’s important to be respectful of the environment. Bring a bag for trash, and don’t take anything that you don’t intend to keep. If you’re planning to take any fossils or rocks, make sure to get permission from the landowner before collecting.
Finally, make sure to always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t venture too far from the main trail, and be aware of any wildlife that may be in the area.


Rockhounding in the Coast Ranges of California and Oregon can be an enjoyable and educational experience. From gemstones to fossil, the Coast Ranges offer some of the best rock collecting locations in the country. Whether you’re in the Klamath Mountains of California, the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon, or any of the other great spots for rockhounding, if you follow the tips provided in this guide, you’re sure to have a safe and successful rock collecting experience. So, grab your safety gear, pick your spot and start rockhounding!

Happy Rockhounding!

More articles: