Map highlights 11 public recreational collection areas for rock hunting
An updated version of the Central Oregon Rockhounding Map is now available through a joint effort from the Ochoco National Forest, the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management, and the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce.
This collaboration has been ongoing since the original map was published in 1964. The new and improved map is printed on durable waterproof plastic, and expands on the previous 2004 edition to include additional tips and geological information.
The map highlights 11 designated public recreational collection areas, offering opportunities to discover petrified wood and limb casts (stones molded in the shapes and textures of wood); obsidian (volcanic glass); and various types of semiprecious gemstones and minerals including thunder eggs, jasper, and agate.
Thundereggs are one of the most unique and highly sought after stones in Oregon, which earned them the status of the official state rock in 1965. Though inconspicuous and drab on the outside, these round rocks often reveal colorful designs and crystals within.
Central Oregon contains a wide variety of semiprecious gemstones not encountered many places. Rockhounding is a fun activity for people of all ages and encourages enthusiasts to learn about Oregon's geologic past while exploring the state's diverse forest and high desert environments.
Rockhounding for personal, noncommercial use is free on Central Oregon USFS and BLM lands as long as certain stipulations are followed. You can find the list of stipulations, as well as safety information and the Rockhound Code of Ethics on the Central Oregon Rockhounding map.
The Central Oregon Rockhounding map can be purchased for $4 (plus shipping and handling) online at www.nationalforestmapstore.com/product-p/or-75.htm, or in person at Ochoco National Forest Supervisor's Office 3160 N.E. Third Street Prineville, 97754, or call 541-416-6500.