Where to Find Crystals in California for Free

Where to Find Crystals in California for Free

California is renowned for its diverse geological formations, making it a treasure trove for crystal enthusiasts. If you’re looking to find beautiful and unique crystals without breaking the bank, there are several locations throughout the state where you can dig and collect them for free. Here are some popular spots to consider:

1. Crystal Mountain, San Bernardino County:
Located near the town of Apple Valley, Crystal Mountain offers a wide variety of crystals, including quartz, amethyst, and calcite. Visitors can collect crystals from the designated areas using hand tools.

2. Oceanview Mine, San Diego County:
This mine in Pala is famous for its gem-quality tourmaline crystals, as well as other minerals like morganite and kunzite. Visitors can pay a fee to mine in the designated areas and keep what they find.

3. Himalaya Mine, San Diego County:
Known for its exceptional quality tourmaline, the Himalaya Mine allows visitors to dig for crystals for a fee. The mine also offers guided tours to educate visitors about the mining process.

4. Dudleya Trail, San Luis Obispo County:
Located near Morro Bay, this trail is famous for its flower-like succulents known as Dudleya. These plants grow on serpentine rocks, which sometimes contain pockets of crystals like jade and serpentine.

5. Little Blue Heron Mine, Fresno County:
This remote mine offers a range of crystals, including quartz, amethyst, and jasper. Visitors can dig for crystals on the mine’s tailings piles and keep what they find.

6. Benitoite Gem Mine, San Benito County:
While not entirely free, the Benitoite Gem Mine offers a unique opportunity to dig for the state gem of California, the rare and beautiful benitoite. Visitors can pay a fee to mine in the designated area and keep their findings.

7. Soledad Canyon, Los Angeles County:
Located in the Angeles National Forest, Soledad Canyon is known for its beautiful green and blue semi-precious stones called vesuvianite. Visitors can collect these crystals from the creek beds and surrounding areas.

8. Emerald Hollow Mine, Kern County:
Although primarily known for its emeralds, this mine also yields other gemstones such as garnets, aquamarines, and quartz crystals. Visitors can pay a fee to dig for crystals and take home their discoveries.


1. Do I need any special equipment to collect crystals?
While some locations provide tools, it’s recommended to bring your own digging tools like shovels, hammers, and chisels.

2. Is it legal to collect crystals from these areas?
Most locations permit casual collecting, but it’s essential to research and respect any regulations or restrictions in place.

3. Can I find valuable crystals in California?
While valuable finds are possible, it’s important to approach crystal collecting with a sense of wonder rather than expecting monetary gain.

4. Are there any safety concerns when collecting crystals?
It’s crucial to wear appropriate safety gear, including gloves and eye protection, as well as being cautious of hazardous terrain or wildlife.

5. Can I bring my children to these crystal collecting sites?
Most locations are family-friendly, but it’s advisable to check specific guidelines and ensure your children are supervised at all times.

6. Can I sell the crystals I find?
Yes, you can sell your findings, but it’s important to check local laws and regulations regarding the sale of minerals.

7. Are there any best times or seasons to go crystal hunting?
While crystals can be found year-round, spring and autumn are popular seasons for crystal hunting due to milder weather conditions.

8. Can I find rare or unique crystals in California?
California is known for its diverse range of crystals, and while rare finds are possible, they can be quite elusive. Embrace the joy of the hunt rather than focusing solely on rare specimens.

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