Search for the Perfect Rock
Rockhounding in Bend
Geology — it rocks! And around Bend, there’s an abundance of places to rock out and hunt for gorgeous crystals, minerals, and volcanic glass such as agate, jasper, petrified wood, obsidian, and even Oregon’s state rock, thundereggs.
Rockhounders come from all over the world to unearth a few ancient and colorful gems because of our rich geological history, diversity, and accessibility. Because Central Oregon is a top rockhounding destination, there are loads of places nearby.
A few of the best places to rockhound in Central Oregon include Glass Butte for obsidian, Hampton Butte for petrified wood, and Eagle Rock for agate. Before you set out on your own adventure, stop into the Bend Visitor Center and purchase a Rockhounding Map. It comes complete with GPS, as well as a briefing on the geographical history of the area.
While many public lands are open to rockhounding, those looking for a more personal experience should visit Petersen Rock Garden in Redmond. For true fanatics, plan your next vacation around the Rockhound Pow Wows in June and July in Prineville and Madras. The Prineville event, which usually occurs the last weekend in June at the Crook County Fairground, includes dozens of rock-related vendors selling their wares.
Know before you go. While rockhounding can be a great family-friendly activity or for those amateur geologists looking to add to their collection, be sure to follow the rules and the “rockhounding code of ethics.” And taking arrowheads is strictly prohibited! Because many areas are remote, a GPS, plenty of water, snacks, and equipment like a pick, brush, and sturdy shoes are highly recommended.
Rock on friends!