Seek and Find

Thanks to the long and varied geological history surrounding Mountain River Lodge, we are in the best location for amateur Rockhounding. Rockhounding is the recreational activity of searching for rocks, fossils or minerals from the environment. A popular activity in these areas, where the possibility of finding a geological treasure is real. Learn more at the Lake George Gem and Mineral Club, or simply trek out your cabin door in search of a unique rock or quartz. The hunt for buried treasures is something we all dream about. Come explore!

Lake George, Colorado

This area yields quartz, amazonite, dark and smoky crystals, topaz, and fossils. Take a walk around the trails and start digging.

Florissant Fossil Quarry, Colorado

A privately-owned quarry located just 10 minutes from Mountain River Lodge and one hour west of Colorado Springs. Visitors can split open chunks of shale to search for fossils of the more than 1,700 species of plants and animals that were entombed in the muddy bottom of a lake that covered this area 34 million years ago. These are the same types of discoveries preserved in the nearby Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. Weather permitting, the quarry is usually open daily from 10am – 5pm in summer and on weekends in September, but it’s best to call ahead (719-748-3275) to confirm.

Fairplay, Colorado

One of the best spots to try your luck searching for gold is in the chilly waters of the South Platte River’s Middle Fork near the town of Fairplay. Founded in 1859 after placer gold was discovered nearby, the town is nestled in a high-elevation valley between two spectacular mountain ranges. After obtaining a permit (PDF), you can pan or sluice along the creek at the town’s “beach” and, if you’re fortunate, find a few flakes to take back home.

Mount Antero, Colorado

Located southwest of Buena Vista and high above the Arkansas River Valley, Mount Antero is part of central Colorado’s pegmatite belt, where veins of exceptionally coarse rocks contain large concentrations of rare minerals. The collecting site, which is just below the mountain’s 14,269-foot-high summit, is the continent’s highest gemstone locale. It’s renowned for large smoky quartz crystals (up to 50 pounds!), phenakite, and brilliant blue beryl crystals that (thanks to their color) are also called aquamarine.

For More Colorado Locations

Read Terri Cook’s article posted September 19, 2017:

Best Sites for Rockhounding in Colorado.

Examples of Terri Cook’s Prospecting Accomplishments

We want to make certain you find every treasure you are seeking while staying with us at Mountain River Lodge. We will help you plan the perfect trip. Enjoy luxury lodging while discovering geological gems in Colorado at Mountain River Lodge!
If you are looking for an exclusive and private event venue, the entire property is available for rental upon request.

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