Rockhounding Oregon: Santiam river

Rock hounding is a fascinating hobby that is enjoyed by many people around the world. It involves searching for and collecting rocks, minerals, and gemstones from different locations, often in natural settings. If you’re interested in rock hounding and happen to be in Oregon, then the Santiam River is one of the best places to explore. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at rock hounding on the Santiam River and what you can expect to find.

The Santiam River is a beautiful waterway that flows through the Cascade Range in Oregon. The river begins at the crest of the Cascades and flows westward for over 100 miles before joining the Willamette River. Along its length, the river cuts through various geological formations, creating a diverse range of rock types and mineral deposits. This makes it an excellent location for rock hounding enthusiasts.

Oregon Agate

To start your rock hounding adventure on the Santiam River, you’ll need to get a permit. The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries issues permits that allow you to collect rocks, minerals, and gemstones from the river. These permits are valid for one year and can be obtained online or in person at the department’s offices.

Once you have your permit, it’s time to hit the river. The Santiam River has several locations where you can find a variety of rocks and minerals. Some of the best spots include:

  1. Quartzville Creek: This creek is a tributary of the Santiam River and is known for its deposits of agates, jasper, and petrified wood. The area is easily accessible by car, and there are several pullouts where you can park and explore.
  2. Three Pools: Three Pools is a popular swimming hole on the Santiam River that also happens to be a great spot for rock hounding. You’ll find a mix of agates, jasper, and petrified wood in the area.
  3. Detroit Lake: Detroit Lake is a reservoir on the North Santiam River that is popular for fishing and boating. However, it’s also an excellent spot for rock hounding. You’ll find a mix of agates, jasper, and quartz crystals in the area. As a reminder you cannot rockhound inside the lake boundaries due to restrictions by the Corp of Engineers
  4. Quartzville Road: Quartzville Road is a scenic drive that runs alongside the Quartzville Creek. The road offers several opportunities to stop and search for rocks and minerals.

When you’re out searching for rocks and minerals, it’s important to follow a few basic rules. First, always respect private property and obtain permission before entering any private land. Second, be mindful of the environment and leave no trace of your visit. Finally, be safe and wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

Rock hounding on the Santiam River in Oregon is a great way to spend a day or weekend. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can find a variety of interesting rocks and minerals that will make great additions to your collection. Just remember to obtain a permit, follow the rules, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Santiam River.

Some books and equipment that can be helpful. We receive a small advertising fee for anything purchased through links. Any fees go to more fishing trips and more videos and blog posts


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