Crystals, Fossils, and More
Do you love rocks as much as Cannalance does? We really dig them. That’s why we threw together this heavily linked guide on some cool rock-hounding spots across the state of Oklahoma. This guide will explore geodes, quartz, hourglass selenite crystals, Oklahoma rose stone (state stone), gold, copper, silver, and of course, fossils!
Gold, you say? Don’t get too excited. When it comes to panning for gold, folks in Oklahoma say that the most gold found panning in the state is found at your local hardware store. Don’t get disappointed just yet. There’s still hope to find gold. Pull out your metal detector and get ready to explore. Gold is very scarce in Oklahoma in the form of natural deposits, but Oklahoma is said to be rich in a different type of gold. That gold, of course, is none other than the gold buried by the legendary Jessie James and his band of outlaws.
Mountains, Deserts, and More
Oklahoma is a beautiful state with a little bit of it all. You have deserts like the Sarah Dessert State Park, dried-up prehistoric saltwater oceans like the Great Salt Plains State Park, there are rolling hillsides with rocks that are hundreds of millions of years old, and some said to as old as a billion years in the Wichita Mountains.
Explore dinosaur footprints at Black Mesa State Park and Nature Preserve, visit the shimmering trails and scenic views of the Gloss Mountains, or head east to explore what are said to be ancient Viking ruins in Heavener nestled on the edge of the Ouachita Mountains. If that is not enough, then there are the fossil-drenched Arbuckle Mountains. Not to mention there is an abundance of marine fossils that can be found all across the state.
Enough talk about all the cool places to explore. Let’s dig into where to find what.
Oklahoma Rockhounding: What You Have the Opportunity to Find and Where to Start Looking for It
Oklahoma Mudball Geodes
Geodes– You may be asking yourself if you can find geodes in Oklahoma. The answer is sort of a yes. Geodes can be found in Oklahoma, but they are different from the sparkly crystal-filled geodes that are found in upper Missouri, lower Iowa, and neighboring Illinois. Oklahoma geodes are often called Oklahoma mud balls or Mud Geodes. This is because of their muddy outer appearance. Don’t let a lil mud on the outside fool ya.
Oklahoma geodes can have a dazzling display of crystallization that contrasts nicely against the red clay-colored exterior. Alright, now, where to find them? It’s said by many rockhounds that if you sniff around Arcadia Lake Dam, with a lil digging, you might be lucky enough to find an Oklahoma geode, aka mud ball. They are also said to be found around the Lake Thunderbird area and in dried-up ponds and lake beds in the town of Tecumseh, located in Pottawatomie County.
Quartz– When it comes to finding quartz in Oklahoma, of quartz you can find some. The trick is knowing where to look. The Ouachita Mountains stretch from Arkansas, dipping into Oklahoma. You can go down into the area around Heavener and explore rivers, streams, and trails, all with the chance of finding quartz crystals. Milky quartz is common throughout streams and riverbeds, and occasionally you will even turn up a clear crystal point.
Points can also be found randomly throughout trails and scattered amongst the forest. Of course, if you want to find the honey pot of crystals, you will want to venture into Arkansas and explore one of the many crystal mines or hike the trails near Crystal Vista. Quartz crystals are also said to be found in McCurtain County, close to the city of Idabel. Always keep your eyes peeled, though, as you never know where a piece of quartz crystal might pop up in Oklahoma. They have been found across the state.
Hourglass Selenite Crystal
Selenite crystals– Hourglass selenite crystals are an amazing treasure for any rockhound. These unique pieces of earth can only be found in one place in the world. That place is none other than here in Oklahoma at the Salt Plains State Park dig site in Jet. If you’re willing to brave the elements (the hot weather with no shade), it’s easy to reward yourself with some of the beautiful hourglass selenite crystals found here.
All you’ll need is a shovel or your hands and some water. Bring water to drink and water to help dig your holes. Once you begin to dig a little hole, add a little water to it, and you can start scooping out loads of these incredible crystals. If you choose to dig by hand, just be careful, as sometimes the crystals can be sharp or jagged. People use hourglass selenite crystals for all kinds of things, from meditation and removing negative energy to heightened awareness and more. What will you use them for?
Oklahoma Rose Stone
Rose Stones– Oklahoma Rose Stones are another unique treasure to the state. They are also the state rock. Rose Stones are found in and around Norman, OK. They are common in the red clay in this area. You might have luck looking in ditches along dirt roads like myself and many others have had.
People have a lot of luck finding these treasures in a certain area of Lake Stanley Draper. If you’re wanting to hunt down these precious little finds, a little research can point you to a honey hole. I could tell you exactly where, but since I had to do a little digging to find the honey hole, you will too. It’s a satisfying adventure when you finally find them.
Gold– You won’t find very much gold panning for it in Oklahoma. Rumor has it your best chance to find some gold panning for it in the state is to head to your local hardware store to score some sand to pan. Beyond that, there are two areas said to offer a minuscule opportunity of finding a few colors in your pan. The Wichita Mountains in central OK and the Ouachita Mountains dancing along the border of Arkansas. When it comes to finding gold in Oklahoma, though, panning isn’t the only way to do it.
Legends tell tales of stashes of Spanish gold and gold stolen and hidden for later by the legendary Jessie James and his gang. There are rumors of Spanish gold caches stashed away in the Arbuckle Mountains, also abundant with fossils. Then there’s the hidden bounty across the Wichita Mountains that offer up the bonus of 500-million-year-old rocks! A great place to start the hunt for Jessie James’s treasure is Buzzards Roost. Be warned, though, not everyone takes kindly to outsiders poking around trying to find gold. Remember, it’s still the wild west, and gold fever is real.
Oklahoma Rockhounding Leads to a Fossil Hunters Paradise
Do you dig fossils? If you do, you will love digging for them in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is rich with marine fossils and is even known to turn up a dinosaur fossil from time to time. On the northwest side of the state, fossilized horses and camels have even been found. The dinosaur tracks at Black Mesa show proof that all kinds of creatures have roamed where so many of us call home today.
Fossils of the creatures and the footprints they left behind are abundant all across the state of Oklahoma. Trilobites, bryozoans, rugose coral, ammonites, and more are just some of what you can find. You can find them along river beds, roadsides, shorelines, and pretty much anywhere that you stare down at long enough. The small islands on Lake Texoma are the place to find ammonites. The hills of Spavinaw, OK, are rich in shells, corals, sea fans, and more.
Blastoids are awesome! The name is fun to say, and it’s just as much fun to discover these creatures of the past. If you find these things as cool as I did, you’ll love this next part. Here is where to look for them!
Blue Bill Point public use area AT Ft. Gibson Lake is supposed to be a hotspot for blastoid fossils. Rumor has it that the shoreline there is rich with fossil life, especially when the water is down by an average of 2-3 feet.
Great Ideas for Anyone Who Loves the Outdoors
If you’re ready to get out and dig up the past, here is a great place to start. The Sam Noble Museum can help get you on a path to learning about what is found in Ok and where to start looking.
I made a great investment in purchasing an Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Passport. This thing is amazing for $35 a year. If you love nature and love to be in places that are clean and beautiful, free from gang tags and graffiti art, you might want to get yourself one of these passes. It allows you access to land only accessible by permit. I could tell you all the reasons I love mine, but the best advice is to get yourself one and see all the amazing land Oklahoma has to explore with an Annual Wildlife Conservation Passport.
Remember to always respect the land. Don’t trespass on private property to look for rocks. Ask for permission to access private property. Leave the land in better condition than it was when you got there. Don’t leave trash and pick it up when you can. Remember to keep a first aid kit handy.
Some antibiotic ointment, liquid stitch, snake bite kit, band aides, gauze, clean bottled water, and non-perishable food can make all the difference. Bug spray is another must if you plan to avoid ticks and other pests during certain times of the year. Ticks and seed ticks in particular. The little buggers can be a real nuisance. Last but not least, have fun!
I hope you dig this guide on some of the cool crystals, stones, and fossils to look for in Oklahoma.