There aren’t many places where you can just walk around picking up “treasure” like gumdrops, but this is one of them.
Here is just some of the chalcedony, agate fire agate and jasper that we gleaned from the Round Mountain Rockhounding Area in Arizona:
This area is an official BLM rockhounding area and is located off Route 70, between Lordsburg, NM and Duncan, Az.
It’s a fair trek off the highway on a dirt road, but most of the the way just about any vehicle will be able to handle the road. You can even drag your RV out there, in fact we saw a mid-size toy hauler camped there the day we went.
To get there just take the Lazy B Ranch Road south off of Rte. 70. There is a cell tower and a windmill on the north side of the road opposite your turn for Lazy B Ranch. Great landmarks!
Once on the dirt road you will travel for an interminable amount of time, but actually about 7 miles, and there will be a road with a good-sized brown BLM sign that reads ” Round Mountain Rockhound Area 5 Miles. Obviously, turn left onto this road.
Once you reach a second BLM sign that reads ” Rockhound Area” you will see some pretty flat areas on both sides of the road where you can do primitive camping. Don’t go too far if you are hauling a rig, though. There are big dips in the drainage areas and the road gets progressively rougher as you go farther.
The ladies may slow you down a bit. They really own the road out here and, yes, cow pies everywhere. But there is also chalcedony and agate everywhere too. We pulled off the road and sampled many spots and it was all good.
If your vehicle lets you get this far, and you dare drive farther, go left on Loop Road. We found the collecting much better on the left side. Be warned that the road is rough in spots…
The road splits at a point, Loop Road (of course) loops back around, but you can also continue straight out. That’s where we spent the bulk of our day, about 1/4 mile past the halfway point on loop road.
For this rockhounding expedition we made base camp at a nice Veteran’s Park in Lordsburg.
We were there unhooked for two nights and nobody bothered us. It’s also free. There were twenty or so sites available and during our 2 day stay we only saw a couple of other campers. No water or electricity so be prepared to “dry” camp. Each site has a cooking grill and picnic table. Another terrific feature of this park is that there are 2 dumpsters to chose from so it’s easy to keep the place clean. It felt safe to us, and it was very quiet. GPS: 32.331917, -108.719251
Round Mountain BLM Website: