May 27, 2022

Where to Find Rocks? The Best Places to Collect and Why?

by Bernice

Humans have been using rocks from the start of civilization to make tools.

People collect rocks these days as their hobby. Even famous rock climbers collect rocks and minerals.

Every new rock collector wants to know where to find rocks that amaze everyone.

We have compiled a guide to help you with the rock collection locations.


Table of Contents

What Makes a Great Rock Collecting Location?

A safe place where you get permission to collect from the freshly exposed rock makes a great rock collecting location.

All rock collection locations are different because a mountain is better for collecting rocks than farmland. There is a high probability of finding a specimen for your collection at mountainous.

It is crucial to look for many parameters for the rock collection location to find an ideal place. Many collectors get to suitable sites after a lot of effort and keep them a secret.

Some may tell only close friends about the newly discovered location.

Where to Find Rocks
Where to Find Rocks?

Fresh Exposures

Finding a rock with fresh exposure is excellent because you will find a good quality stone. Most rocks with a long time of exposure to natural forces change color.

It is hard to collect a suitable specimen from these rocks because most parts of the surface are degraded. There are two reasons to find the fresh exposure rock.

You can collect high-quality samples as it does not have deterioration. Finding the newly exposed rock is also beneficial because you can get a high-quality specimen without effort.

The other way to do it is to take a hammer and break the rock. When you select a freshly exposed rock, nature has done hard work for you by frost wedging or other forces.

Related Article: Can You Bring Rocks on a Plane?

Exposed Rock

Most people think about cliffs when someone talks about the exposed rock. You do not need to climb the mountains to reach the exposed rock. There are many other ways to find it.

You can find a place that does not have dirt covering the surface. The area should not have plants on the rocks because they will cover the native rock.

You can go to the beach as it does not have dirt covering the native rock. The side of the rivers is also an excellent place to find specimens.

You get different rock types because some natural forces move rocks miles away from the source.

Safety

Rock collecting is a safe hobby unless you take risks to collect high-quality rocks. It is crucial to choose a safe place for the rock collection.

You can take the example of the roads. You may find mineral veins on the roadsides. If there is not enough space on the roadside, you should avoid collecting there.

You need to avoid the roads with sharp turns because stopping vehicles can put your life in danger. You can pick from the mine tailings but not from the mineshaft.

If you go to the mineshaft, there is a high risk of injury due to shaft collapse. You can look for the falling rocks in the mountain areas to avoid trouble in rock collection.

You can wear a helmet to protect yourself in the mountains.

Related Article: What Rocks and Minerals are Worth?

Permission to Collect

You cannot collect specimens from the public or private land before you make sure that you have permission to collect the rocks.

You can check with the government officials to find out about the local laws. Some places allow rock hunters to collect rocks.

It is unsuitable in some locations due to natural reserves or local laws. You need to ask for permission from all the private landowners.

You can send them an email or call them to ask for permission. It is better to keep a permission record to avoid unfortunate circumstances.

You can ask locals about the landowner. It is also crucial to learn to accept no because some may not allow you to collect from their land.

Related Article: Can You Take Rocks from Nature?

Best Places to Collect Rocks

There are many places to collect rocks. This is a list of the best places to find and collect rocks. We explain further why these places are the best to find rocks.

  • Beaches
  • Overturned Soil
  • Road Cuts
  • Quarries
  • Pay-to-Dig Sites
  • Creek Beds
  • Outcrops
  • River Banks
  • Mine Tailings

Beaches

The beach is one of the cool places to enjoy and collect rocks. There is no need for permission on most beaches.

You can enjoy a long walk along the sea to search for the rocks. It is better to visit the rocky beach because of the high chances of finding specimens.

You may have to spend some time on the sandy beaches to locate the rocks. Sandy beaches are safer and easy to navigate.

Where to Find Rocks The Best Places to Collect and Why
Where to Find Rocks? The Best Places to Collect and Why?

Related Article: How to Find Quartz Crystals?

Overturned Soil

If you find an area of construction where the workers use heavy machines to overturn the soil, you should check it for rocks.

No one can estimate which type of rocks are lurking beneath the land. You can ask for permission from the landowner to check for rocks.

Most will permit you without any issues. If they overturn freshly, there are higher chances of getting a good quality specimen. If you live in an area with snakes, you should use safety equipment.

You can scroll the mass with a stick till you find some rocks, as you can inspect them with your hands if you feel it is safe to do so. Safety should be your priority during the rock hunt.

Related Article: Beautiful Minerals and Cool Rocks to Collect

Road Cuts

You can find mineral veins in the road cuts. These are excellent places to collect rocks because you do not need permission to collect from the road cuts in most areas.

If there is a protected area nearby, it is better to be sure. The government has done the hard work for you by cutting the rocks. You only need to go there and find the piece of rock you want.

It is better to go to the road cuts when they open the road because you will get the advantage of a fresh-cut surface. You need to stay careful as some road cut areas do not allow parking.

It is also dangerous to walk on these roads. You need to find the road cuts with large side walking areas. It is better to walk on the pavement because you will be out of danger.

If you find a perfect rock on one side of the road, it is better to explore the other side as you may find many suitable specimens on the other side also.

Related Article: How to Identify Your Rocks?

Quarries

Quarries are some of the best places to collect rocks. There are many benefits to collecting from the quarries. These areas provide access to larger trucks.

You can go there in your car because there is no need to hike to get to the quarries. Ease of reaching there is one of the advantages of this location.

You will find many rocks with surfaces exposed. Quarries dig deep in the ground. It is easy to collect rocks from the deeper parts of the earth.

You can also see the natural environment for the rocks because quarries will give you access to different layers of the ground.

The only downside to hunting rocks in the quarries is to get permission to collect them. Most landowners do not permit individuals because they feel that people are a liability.

It is hard to collect rocks from the active or abandoned quarries because of permission issues. You can contact the landowner and request permission.

Pay-to-Dig Sites

Pay-to-dig sites are some of the best places to collect rocks because there is no issue with permission. You can pay a small fee to dig at the location all day.

You have the right to pick whatever you find on the land. People found high-quality crystals and rocks at these sites. Some of the pay-to-dig sites consist of the mines.

You can go to the mine to collect the best rocks. These are excellent if you know what to look for. You might be looking for quartz and miss some more unique rocks on these sites.

Some people use the services of guides to help them with the rock hunt. It is a perfect way to find the most exceptional stones.

You may have to pay the guide and the site owner. These fees are not as much. If you go to a shop to buy the rocks, you may have to pay much higher.

You need to check the area as some of these locations specialize in one type of rock.

Related Article: Best Gifts for Rock Collectors

Creek Beds

You can visit the creek beds to collect rocks of local origin. You will not find different rocks on the creek beds because it does not allow the rocks to move long distances.

You can navigate the area with ease because creek beds are safer. The water cuts the soil and exposes some of the best rocks for rock collectors.

It is better to find natural creek beds as some people build them to improve the land’s beauty. You may find many in the city, but these are unsuitable because humans make most.

You need to go to the mountains or lakes to look for the natural creek beds. It is also essential to wear gloves for scrolling through the stones.

There are chances that insects or snakes hide behind these rocks. You may have to break some rocks to find more about the composition of the rocks in the area.

Outcrops

Outcrops are the rock surfaces coming out of the mountains or other places. You can find outcrops in every country.

These are the best places to collect rocks because you will get them from the natural source without human intervention. You can go to the base of the outcrop to check different rock pieces.

If you find the specimens you want, you can collect them or look for the specimen source. It is better to give some time to look for the source if you find crystals at the base.

You may find a crystal pocket above the outcrop. You also need permission from the landowner if a private landowner owns it.

It is better to collect only a few rocks if you ask for permission for a small specimen. Some rock hunters take boulders from the outcrops.

It can irritate the landowner as they may not permit other rock hunters to scroll the area. If the land is public and does not come into the natural reserve area, it is suitable to take the boulder.

Related Article: Why Does Pumice Rock Float on Water?

River Banks

You can collect rocks from most riverbanks without permission if you know the area. Some places are the property of the private owners. It is better to check with locals if you do not know the area.

You can always find high-quality rocks on the riverbanks because rivers force the rocks to travel long distances. You can find rocks in the round shape because of the river currents around the rock edges.

Experts suggest that you visit riverbanks after a thunderstorm because it can take out the rocks from the deeper part of the river. You can go to the locations on the river with slow water flow.

Water flows slower at the places where rivers make a turn. You can go to the turn corner and look for the rocks.

You may have to use the safety rope to enter the river or wait for the water to recede in the winter to get the best quality rocks.

Related Article: Why River Rocks are Smooth?

Mine Tailings

You can collect rocks from the mine tailing after permission from the landowner. Many landowners will allow you to collect rocks from the tailings because these are useless pieces for them.

You can check online rock hunting communities to find them. You can also ask the locals because they may know about the mines. If you can locate a mine with different rocks, it is excellent.

It is unsuitable to go to the mineshafts when the owner permitted you to scroll through tailings only. Mineshafts are dangerous because you do not have the safety equipment.

Some rock collectors have safety equipment, but it is not enough for the mines because mines can contain toxic gases also.

There is always a chance of the shaft falling as beginners may start digging at the shaft supports. You may not find high-quality stones there because chances are many others checked the pile before you.

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About the author 

Bernice

Bernice often jokes that she is better at climbing than walking. With avid parents of climbing, her first encounter with the high vertical rock walls was at the age of one. Her favorite style of climbing is bouldering.

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