Rockhound Field Trips


Rockhound Field trips are an important part of

Clackamette Mineral and Gem Club experience.

Image by University of Arizona

What is a Rockhounding Field Trip?

Rockhounding is the recreational collecting of rocks, minerals, fossils and gemstones

in their natural environment. Rockhounding field trips make this possible. While on the field trips prospecting we learn about geology, minerology, and identification of stones.

Where do we collect rocks and minerals?

The Pacific Northwest has a wide variety of rocks, minerals, fossils and gemstones. We explore and prospect many interesting places such as rivers, streams, valleys, mountains, beaches, roadcuts, desserts and forests. We also occasionally visit museums and rock shops.

What do we collect?

Below is a sampling of materials that have been collected on club field trips.

We have collected many “varieties” of all the following materials.





Oregon Fire Opal

Petrified Wood



Who can participate in field trips?

Any current member is welcome to participate in club field trips.

Rockhound field trips are a great way to meet interesting people, ask advice, and learn how to use tools and gear. Field trips are a member benefit. All ages are invited to join our club and become a member. Visit the Membership page for more information on how to join the club or contact us by email at

2021 Field Trip Schedule

January - Tour of the Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals -Cancelled due to COVID

February 26-28 - Southern Oregon Coast. North of Bandon. There are minus tides and we would be beach-combing. There is camping and lodging available in the area.

April 30 - May 3rd - Succor Creek, far Eastern Oregon.

May 14-16 - Congleton Hollow and surrounding Central Oregon locations.

May 28-29 - Owyhees, Graveyard Point, Oregon Jaspers, agates, plume agates and thundereggs. Dry Camp. Join MHRC

June 5 - Cota's Rock Castle. Lebanon, Oregon. Join MHRC

June 12-13 - Hampton Butte, Oregon, Petrified Wood. Possible stop Glass Buttes for obsidian. Join MHRC

June 12 - 20th - Central Idaho

July 2-5 - Virgin Valley. Denio, Oregon. Precious opal fee mine plus petrified wood, copper mine tailings, etc. Join MHRC

July - Joe Cota's Rock Castle in Lebanon for picnic and rock piles.

July 17-18 - Ochocos, east of Prineville. Thundereggs at club claim and nearby spots. Join MHRC

July 24 - Cota's Rock Castle. Lebanon, Oregon.

July 30- August 1 - Hansen Creek. Snoqualmie, WA. Small crystals and amethyst crystals. Join MHRC

August - Ape Caves. Great one for the kids.

September 3-6 - McDermitt, NV. Jaspers, agate, petrified and opalized wood, thundereggs. Join MHRC

September 9-13 - Southern Oregon Opal Mine/Sunstones. We may combine the opal mine with a different 2nd location this year.

September 18 - Fossils, TBA, Join MHRC

September 25th: Hampton Butte Clean Up. We will once again join up with the Oregon Council and the BLM to help fill in holes left by rockhounds at Hampton Butte.

If anyone has a place they'd like to go, or a particular type of rock they'd like to look for, please let me know.

Please email me to either sign up, or give suggestions or options at

2020 Field Trip Schedule

February 15th-Molalla Day Trip#1.

February 22nd – Rice Museum. Garret Romaine tour guide.

March 21st-Molalla Day Trip #2. Cancelled

April 17-19, 2020, Friday - Sunday - Southern Oregon Coast Cancelled

May 8-10- Yachats Beach Combing. Group Campground at Cape Perpetua Campground for three nights. There are minus tides this weekend so a great time for beachcombing. Cancelled

May 15-17th (Weather delay date: July 9-13) - Succor Creek. Public Campground camping. Free collecting of Thundereggs and various other materials. Cancelled

June 12-14 – McDonald’s Rock Ranch, Ashwood, Oregon. This is a fee dig site that offers thunder eggs, petrified wood and plume agate.

August 15th – Ape Caves, Gifford Pinchot NF, WA. This is a long day trip that takes us into one of the longest lava tubes in the US. Cancelled

August 27-31th – Oregon Fire Opal. Private Claim. Outside Lakeview in Southern Oregon. Then on to the Double Eagle Sunstone Mine

September 26th – GIVING BACK --National Public Land Use Day. Maybe Hampton Butte. Filling in holes from other rockhounds. Hosted by Oregon Council of Rocks and Mineral Clubs. More details on the Home page under Events.

Photo Gallery

Joe Cotta Field Trip

Succor Creek Agate and Thunderegg

Oregon Coast Field Trip

Molalla, Oregon Field Trip

Oregon Fire Opal and Spectrum Sunstone Dig Site

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Last update 5-23-2021

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