Black Hills Rockhound Area

Black Hills Rockhound Area, Safford: Address, Phone Number, Black Hills Rockhound Area Reviews: 4.5/5

Black Hills Rockhound Area
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Nature & Wildlife Areas • Geologic Formations
From the intersection of Highway 70, east of Safford, travel 10 miles north on Highway 191 to Black Hills Rockhound Area. Follow the dirt road 2 miles to the center of the rockhound area.
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28 reviews
Very good

Sheena P
United States1 contribution
Hands down BEST for Fire agate & chalcedony!
May 2021 • Family
Family fun & adventure!

The road of the highway to the actual rock hound area is a rough road and RV or non 4 wheel drives we have seen not make it.

If you get luck and go after the roads have been bladed..then your golden! If it's raining or recently extra careful the roads were washed out completely in a few spots.

If you make it past the drive...then get ready for the time of your life....we have taken our boys there since they were around 2-4 years old! They called it Easter egg hunting because there are SOOOOO many agates you can't miss's truly fun for everyone!

BLM keeps it very well kept up and even has a board you can sign your family's name and write a fun note about your experience!

Bring loads of ice water or whatever u will need to keeping out of the sun. There is nothing near be prepared!

I'm the end...worth it!!! Family fun all the way!

Wanted to add this information....
We also took my mom and dad and they both walk with a cane and can't climb or navigate over rocks. The ground there is so well maintained and flat....other than the rode up to the rockhounding area's "parents friendly"!
Written July 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Seattle, WA53 contributions
Great place to explore
Jan. 2021 • Solo
First off, the 1 star review that talks about price gouging must have been a mis-post. There is no-one watching this area and there is no pit. It’s just a big open area, with a simple BLM sign. Take highway 191 N and turn left, shortly after mile marker 141. Then its 2 miles down a bumpy dirt road. The first mile is just dirt, but the second mile is pretty rocky and would be best for a higher level vehicle. Once you’re out there, just wander around and look for rocks. It is dry, desert landscape and not very interesting, unless you’re really into desert rocks. But there is a lot of land to explore, with no-one around and no cell service. We packed a lunch and spent all day out there.
Written January 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Colorado Springs, CO58 contributions
Top 3 rockhounding sites we've ever been to
Sep. 2020 • Family
I think some of the negative reviews below might have accidentally reviewed the wrong location: this place is 100% free (on BLM land), and the road is in great condition all the way out to the site. We had no problem getting there in our mini van.

Once we were out there, we had a great time, even on a hot September day. We parked near the sign (which says "Black Hills Rockhound Area"), and spent about two hours searching further and further east and north of the sign (the same side of the road as the sign). We found lots of good samples out there, and our best find of the whole day was a beautiful fist-sized fire agate in a creek bed about half a mile northwest of where we parked.

We evenly returned to the car to eat lunch and cool down for a while, then crossed the road to search on the west side. I couldn't believe what we found! Thousands of agates just lying on the ground everywhere you look! We spent about an hour on that side of the road. While we didn't find anything as big as what we had found earlier in the creek bed, we found lots of beautiful samples over there. It's impossible not to in that area, they are so plentiful.

If you aren't really into rocks (like me - rockhounding is more my wife's thing than mine), but you enjoy desert solitude, I would still very much recommend this location. The desert was beautiful, and we didn't see about person the whole time we were out there, even though it was a Saturday.
Written September 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tucson, AZ765 contributions
Interesting, peaceful.
Apr. 2020
While camping in the area, we read about this unique area where you can find fire agate; one of only a handful of such places in the world. So, we loaded up the truck and drove out. Once you turn off the main road (US Hwy 191), it's about 1-2 miles on a dirt road to get the the area where you can park, walk around and find these rocks. This area is marked with a BLM sign and Guestbook stand. Some of the dirt road is very rough and rocky so you will have to drive slowly in some areas. Four-wheel drive is not required, but could help on some parts of the trail, although we saw a non-4x4 SUV that made it without any problems. Once you get out and start looking for these rocks, the ground is littered with fire agate. No special tools or equipment required. I think I enjoyed the scenerey more than finding the rocks. Quiet and peaceful, but still a very interesting place. A nice way to spend about two hours or so.
Written April 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Scottsdale, Arizona8 contributions
Beware!!!, bait and switch!!!
Mar. 2020 • Friends
We made contact a few weeks ago with a very personable gentleman Allan who works with the mine owner to set up time to visit. The website clearly states pricing as a from to $30.00 - $50.00 and in parentheses (hobbyist, enthusiast) 4 of us read the page all concluded the same thing hobbyist 30.00 enthusiast 50.00. It also makes remarks about professional diggers you know who you are pricing discussed. We are not rock people. We wanted the fun of getting a few somethings and the joy of mining it.

Bait and switch: we arrived no one is around. After many minutes pass I walk up to the road where I get a signal and call the owner Don acts like he is clueless of us even though we booked the time. But that was with Allan. Don comes out fairly cranky and asks what we know about the fire agate. We know nothing. After about 40 minutes of getting information he outright asked do you just want to "walk around " or go to "the hole" the website fee mine page says nothing about this. We ask what do you mean? We are here to "mine fire agates"

The tone changes if you want to mine dig for fire agate "the hole is $50.00" if you want to "just walk around" 30.00. Astonished my friend asked what's the difference. Don looked like a deer in headlights and finally managed to respond you walk around and maybe find something or go in "the hole" and will find something.

We told him his website doesn't say that. Suddenly he became mad barked that there were others in "the hole" that had no problem with pricing and were back for second day.

We were shocked. The area is ramshackle reminiscent of Appalachia unclean garbage everywhere. I responded that again his site does NOT state this and again request information on the difference. He became more agitated and insisted it was clear on the website.

We drove over 3 hours for this and we all looked at eachother and said no thanks.

If it was clear none of us would have had an issue but we felt he wanted to play games and screw us over. My friend attempted to negotiate with him at this point and he agreed. But we all felt that we needed to get out of there. We opted to say we needed to go to the ATM for cash (he is cash only) and made our escape.

Ask heaps before you go the website is misleading. Get it in writing via email if you get to mine "the hole" we think where the good stuff is or "walk around" where other friends told us after must be tailings? Whatever that means.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ashland, OR, United States5 contributions
Black Hills Rockhounding
Feb. 2020 • Friends
We found lots of fire agates on the ground- no digging required. It is a pretty area with good hiking around the desert and into a little gorge.
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Prattsville, AR313 contributions
Rockhound in a “marked” area?
Mar. 2019 • Couples
The road is primitive and considered two lanes so go slow and easy you will be ok, we were in a truck.
We did see a couple of people boondock camping.
No good pieces found and we searched hours but found parts of pieces that will look pretty cleaned.
Was sad and did not understand why we found areas where it was obvious that people had purposely broke off pieces of Fire agate ?? Found many rocks busted open?
Picked up a good size bag of trash :(
It is beautiful country, wear good shoes and watch for ants , bugs and snakes.
Take the second BLM road to the left and better pieces at the second pull off to park on the left. Next one up from the picture below “BLM” it had more pieces.
Go to enjoy the adventure and beauty not to find a magical fire agate.
Written March 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mindy and Roger A
Janesville, WI578 contributions
Fun Day Collecting Fire Agates
Feb. 2019 • Couples
MOST IMPORTANT: If you intend to Rockhound here, DO NOT take the Black Hills Backcountry Biway!!! You can still get to the Rockhounding area this way but with some tripidation! Look for the signage that specifically says, “Black Hills Rockhounding Area” off Hwy 191. The 2 mile drive to the site is rough, but we were fine with our SUV.

WE were able to find several Fire Agates among all the rocks. There is also abundant translucent milky quartz that you can collect to your heart’s content. BE AWARE: There are no services here, bring in everything you need, especially water.
Written February 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

8 contributions
A fun stop
Jan. 2019
The road is a bit rough, but definitely passable. We did it on Harley touring bikes, so any vehicle can make it through. We went in January, the weather was perfect. Ground is covered in quartz and I found four nice nickel size fire agates in about one hour of looking around. There are many tiny 1/8 - 1/4 inch fire agates laying around as well. Stopped in for lunch in Safford after. I am a beginner rockhound, but I think this is a great spot for any enthusiast.
Written February 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

64 contributions
What fun!
Nov. 2018 • Couples
Not well marked. On 191 N pass the first BLM sign; drive a few more miles to the 2nd BLM turnoff on the left. It’s another 2 miles on rough unmaintained road. High clearance vehicle recommended. No services at all. Wear boots, gloves and a hat; bring a bag for collecting, water, toilet paper and baggies to remove your waste. Found lovely rocks, fossils and bone.
Written November 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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