Off the Beaten Path: Dig for Quartz Crystals on Arkansas Mountain
Arkansas is well known worldwide for being the only state in the United States where you can dig for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park. But did you know Arkansas is also the home of some other precious gems you can dig for too?
Quartz Crystals! The best part is that you can dig for FREE at a former commercial crystal mine near the small town of Mount Ida in the Ouachita National Forests at Crystal Vista Trail.
You'll need to wear some hiking shoes to hike up the side of Gardner mountain that rises 1,200 feet above sea level make sure you bring plenty of water as the hike to the crystal mine is steep and will take you about an hour to reach the top.
It will be well worth the hike as you will get some amazing views while you dig for crystals that are in abundance. They don't call this, Crystal Vista for nothing.
Make sure to bring some bags or a backpack to take home your newfound gems. The only tools allowed in the area are a small shovel, 3 prong rake, a pick, or a rock hammer like geologists use in their excavation.
Whatever you find has to be for personal use only and cannot be sold on-site because selling on-site requires a person to pay for an industrial mining permit since the land is federally protected.
Crystal Vista Trail lies south of Mount Ida on Highway 27 about 3.8 miles then turn left and go east to county road 2237 known as Owley Road then continue on until you get to Crystal Vista trailhead. The trail is open all year and is a great place to have fun if you are up for an adventure this summer.
There are some other crystal mines nearby but you have to pay to dig in those areas. Crystal Vista Trail is FREE. Visit their Facebook page here for more information about this hidden gem in Arkansas.
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