Our Rockhounding trip to Utah - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 06-05-2011, 01:11 PM   #1
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Default Our Rockhounding trip to Utah

Thought I'd repost on here incase you don't use the other forum
Decided to go to Utah for my 50th. Had a blast scouring the hills, valleys and pits for rocks, fossils and gems. Landed in Salt Lake City, picked up the rental with 7 miles on it and off we went. First stop to get something to eat and this was the view.

They just got snow in the "upper elevations", I think that means above 7000'. Headed to Delta, got a room and settled in. Next morning headed to our first stop.

After a slow bumpy ride 20 miles off road, we got to the pit and started splitting shale to look for Trilobites, 500-544 Million yrs old.
A few we cleaned up.
Also found a pretty good specimen of a Gigio Spiralis which is not too common in that area, only second one found in 7yrs. About 520 MYO.

Here's some we didn't get to yet.

After half a day there and talking to other hounders we were told of a place to look for Garnets. Hey, it's onlt 2hrs away and across the state line. After a quick call to the rental comp to check about out of state- off we went. Headed to Ely, Nevada to look for :

Was awe struck of the mountains and flat lands. Everywhere you looked seemed like a postcard pic. Absolutely loved it.

Spent the few daylight hrs left trying to get our bearings looking for Garnets. Found some and decided to spend the night in Ely. Next morning back to the mountain. Had a great morning busting rocks (and fingers), checking washouts and digging. Started getting warm (40-45 deg) and hungry so decided to stop for lunch. What a place to put a picnic table!

Heres one still in the matrix, didn't take many pics of those.

After lunch decided to start heading for the next stop, Southern corner of Utah!
I better save this and start a Part II.
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:12 PM   #2
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Part II
On the road again, heading for Southern Utah. Looking on the net and doing research, I see blue lights in the rear view! DANG! 81 in a 65. After a quick check and a confused question about needing a boating license in Al., he let me off with a warning to slow down and keep an eye open for Mule Deer in the upcomming mnts. Cool! During the ride remembered tomorrow would be Sun. and the rock shop I wanted to go to would be closed. So, changed course and started heading back to Delta. Saw a road side rest sign and decided to take a break.

We just keep getting lucky.




Along the way I saw a sign for the town of Parowan. I remembered it from doing net searches so I turned around to go find the Paroan Petroglyphs. Always wanted to see them! What luck again!

Made you think about the Indians carving them so many yrs ago.

Very cool. While there ran into another hounder that said there were a few Dinosaur tracks up the road. Dang, another one on the list to see! Had to hunt around for them and the pics don't really do them justice.



Next day, off to the Obsidian beds (volcanic glass). This was an area in a few ancient volcanic domes.

We were like kids in a candy store! Started picking up all kinds of pieces.

We also found some Snowflake and Mahogony Obsidian which is a little more rare than the black.

While there and searching a washout, I came around the corner and saw something move. What do you know, a male Antelope about 80' away! Awesome! Backed off and got Karmens attention and then snuck back up the hill. This time he saw us and sprinted off . Man can those things run! Then he stood off a ways and barked at us!
Found a really nice piece with the Mahogony(fire), Snowflake and Black all mixed.

This is part of a volanic tube that had really small Obsidian crystals in it.

Very cool place, had a blast that day again!
Standby for part III.
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:13 PM   #3
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Part III
Part III
So, the next day wanted to look for Topaz. Was told to go to the amphitheater and look around. Wasn't really sure where that was until we saw this.


Even from a mile or two away you knew what they where talking about. Found the roads to get there and with the sun shining was easy to find small bleached out Topaz crystals. They turn clear when weathered for awhile. After finding enough of those I decided I wanted to dig and find my own. So, backpack loaded with hammers, pics, water and coat, set off to climb the mtn side. About halfway up I found some cracks in the rock and started busting away. Thought I was going to find the "motherload" till a rainstorm kicked me off the mountain. Found a few but not alot.


At least I can say I found some.


Along the way we stopped at Sunstone Knoll to look for a few Sunstones. Found some but didn't impress us much after finding all the other neat stuff. Looked like pieces of glass in the raw, but can be ground to look nice.
Next, off to;

This was an adventure! 45 miles off road, so many diff roads to take, washed out roads, ditches, hills and whatnot! Came across another neat sign and just had to ride on the "Trail" for a bit.

The ole Pony Express. Passed a bunch of Antelope along the way. Was a bunch of females with young. Never saw a wild Antelope before, so another neat one!

After miles and hours we finally found the pit! Couldn't believe we took all the right roads.


Found some good looking clay layers and picked away. Here's a few I already split with a hammer.





And a neat one that looks like a Geode inside a Geode.


And the rest of them. Still unsplit.



Last day and wanted to find one of the neatest looking rocks.
Picasso Stone (Jasper). The directions I got was take the roads up the mtn past the Sage Brush till you get to the Cypress trees.


Searching around we found a bunch of old mines and diff kinds of rocks. Some cool looking Malachite. Some is florescent under short/long wave UV light.


A cool looking piece of Calcite.


Tried a diff part of the mtn.


With some questionable roads.


Last part coming up!
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:14 PM   #4
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Part IV
We didn't really know what Picasso looked like in the raw so we were guessing and collecting.We felt like somebody was watching us and look what we found!


We took our collection back to our now favorite rock shop, West Desert Collectors in Delta, Utah. Got to give Bob (owner) and Jay a very heartfelt "THANK YOU". They went well out of their way to show us and expain to us so much we didn't know. Well we found out we collected a bunch of Leaverites (leave er right there) and Indian Sex Stones (Just another effin rock). But did manage a few good ones. We found the Green and Gray but not the Blue, so Bob cut me a piece of his. This is the three color phases together.


Beautiful rock!




Can't wait to cut some more up and polish them (which I've never done). Anyone know how to polish stone? So we finish our trip back to Salt Lake and power wash the vehicle. Turned it in the next day with 1450 miles on it. Told them it was probably time for an oil change!
Well I hope you enjoyed the snap shot of our little trip. I know I did and can't wait for another one! I want to say "Thank you" so very much to my wife for making this happen. Definitely a Birthday to remember!

Tight lines everyone!
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:34 PM   #5
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What a great trip!
If you were in Ely, did you see the Bonneville Salt Flats Speedway?
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:08 PM   #6
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No. sure didn't. Was just looking for Garnets in Ely.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:55 PM   #7
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Very cool, looks like a great trip. Excellent pictures too!
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:18 PM   #8
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Beautiful country! Lived in Western Colorado for a while and spent quite a bit of time in Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and New Mexico for my job. Picked up quite a few interesting pieces while I was there but spent most of my free time chasing mulies, elk and antelope. Can't wait to get back out there.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:02 PM   #9
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I've always wanted to take the family and do something like that. Those rocks and specimens look great. Looks like ya'll had a good trip.

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Old 06-08-2011, 08:34 PM   #10
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PC, most of the places we went to were very family oriented and kid friendly.

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