Rock Hounding in Crook County

Central Oregon is considered a rock hounding paradise. Prineville has the unofficial title of Rock Hound Capital of the United States! Few places offer the variety of precious gemstones as the high deserts and forests of this part of Oregon. With a little preparation, people of all ages can enjoy the opportunity to discover a piece of Oregon’s geologic past by visiting one of the many public recreational collection areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Visitors can find thundereggs (Oregon’s state rock), which tend to be unimpressive on the outside, but contain colorful silicic material and, when sliced and polished, make beautiful collector’s items. Many other rocks and gems, including Oregon sunstone (Oregon’s state gem), can also be found by visitors. This is an age-old Oregon tradition and fun for the whole family.

  • Seasonal activity, spring to fall
  • Trained guides available
  • Interpretive materials
  • Visitor center nearby
  • Some sites require 4-wheel-drive vehicle



Oregon’s state rock can be collected at fee and free sites in central and southeastern Oregon.

Get more information on this area from

National Geographic