SINGLE DAY TRIPS
Geology for Rockhounds class
Bob teaches this popular prospecting course indoors, usually during winter or spring. You’ll have 2 days of fun with pretty rocks, and a few ugly ones, as you learn to identify which rock types and structures to look in for crystals, agates, and gems.
No science or geology background is needed. The class is jargon-free. You’ll learn to interpret the often confusing information in geologic reports, maps, and other references. By the end of this class, you’ll be able to recognize clues to geologic goodies from a distance, you’ll know which construction areas and road cuts are worth a look, and you’ll have the confidence to walk away from over-dug localities to find new ones nearby.
- Usually taught on two consecutive Saturdays, in the Seattle area. Or can be presented for your group at any NW location.
- For groups, minimum number of participants is 15.
- This is an adult course, but interested teenagers are welcome.
Amber collecting / a.k.a. Palm Trees in Seattle
Collect remnants of Seattle's tropical past on Tiger Mountain, near Issaquah. We will find amber specimens in 3 colors: yellow, orange, and blue, and occasional tropical plant fossils. We´ll examine the geologic forces which shaped our region, and investigate historic coal-mining ruins. Access requires a two mile hike, round trip, with little elevation change. Amber is a rare and treasured substance. Our Issaquah locality is one of only five places in North America where amber can be easily found. Join us for a real geologic treasure hunt! Trip takes place on land we lease, you cannot return without a Geology Adventures guide. Trip takes place 5 miles inside a locked gate, so we cannot accommodate late arrivals or early departures. Any vehicle can access this trailhead. This is our most popular locality for school trips and birthday parties. Keep everything you find!
Collect abundant quartz crystals, pyrite, bornite (aka: peacock copper), and other minerals at our copper mining prospect overlooking the Snoqualmie valley. Kids learn to identify minerals as they dig for treasures on this exciting day-trip near North Bend. This is our most adventuresome family day trip! Kids can fill their backpacks with pretty rocks. On all our family trips, you can keep everything you find!
Trip takes place on our private property, 6 miles behind a locked gate; you may not return without a Geology Adventures guide. We caravan (drive your own vehicle) to the locality, about a 90 minute drive (24 miles) on a logging road. This road requires high clearance vehicles, like pickups or SUV's. Sedans, mini-vans and station wagons will bottom out on stream crossings. 4WD is NOT necessary, but high clearance is! Driving on logging roads involves particular skills. This trip is not recommended for drivers who are acrophobic: the beautiful views along our road include cliffs and waterfalls.
Big Rock Candy Mountain offers family-friendly nature tours to this BC Heritage, internationally famous crystal collecting area. Cominco’s Rock Candy Mine operated here in the 1920’s.
Your family can collect sparkling quartz crystal geodes, fine fluorite in green & purple, and beautiful barite, while enjoying spectacular mountain scenery & abundant wildflowers. Your guide will help you learn to collect, and explore the remains of the Rock Candy mine historic artifacts. Two levels of tours are offered to families: Safaris and Colorful Crystals. Adult mineral collectors love our Vugs tours, where we guarantee access to a fresh vug for each collector, and the possibility of beautiful barite crystals, for which the mine is famous. The mountain continues to produce museum-quality specimens of fluorite and barite on quartz. Join us to take home a piece or a packfull!
Click for Rock Candy photos.
Some minerals glow in the dark when illuminated with an ultraviolet light. On this evening trip you will learn the fascinating story of fluorescence, then collect fluorescent minerals after dark. If your kids think playing with flashlites is fun, they'll love our lights which make rocks on the ground light up in bright colors! We provide shortwave ultraviolet lights. You provide a small flashlight for the short hike to the locality. Trips run rain or shine ... moonlight, in this case!
Imagine a place where the ground sparkles with crystals of quartz and pyrite. And the land owners are friendly, so you can pick up all you want. Spruce Ridge is a crystal collector's paradise.
You can climb into a crystal cavern or learn the techniques to collect those fabulous minerals seen in museums. We provide tools and instructions to help you extract beautiful pyrite and quartz crystals, including doubly terminated, scepters, and phantoms.
Access to Spruce requires a strenuous hike: 1,000 feet elevation gain in one-half mile. That's about the energy equivalent of taking the stairs to the 30th floor of an office building. Our "office" is at 3,000 feet in a beautiful mountain valley. You'll hike through an old growth forest, with many stops to admire the view (and catch your breath!).
Gold prospectors called all red stones they found "rubies", and kept their stash of "rubies" until they could have them identified by a jeweler. As real rubies are seldom found with gold, most prospectors were unhappy when they learned what they had collected: "Garnet, darn it".
At our locality near Darrington, you will find small garnets in abundance. Access requires a long drive and a short hike. we'll stop at two localities, one of which requires getting wet. We screen for the garnets beside a stream, making it difficult to stay dry.
Your young geologist can take a group of up to 10 friends crystal or amber collecting. They'll all collect cool specimens to keep, and have a grand time celebrating the occasion (and getting dirty!).
For trip descriptions, click on Crystal Kid or Palm Trees trips under the Adventures button. Price is $255 (Amber) or $355 (Crystal) for up to 11 kids, up to 15 people total, including parents. We carpool to the localities. Amber birthday parties are from 2 to 3 hours, including drive time from Route I8, Hobart. Crystal parties are at least 5 hours, as the drive time from North Bend is at least 90 minutes each way. High clearance vehicles are necessary for the Crystal trips. Any vehicle can access the Amber locality.
Explore the geology of your 'backyard' ... the most easily accessible part of the Cascades. Did you know that when driving I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass, you pass within a mile of a world famous mineral locality? On this day trip we collect igneous and metamorphic rocks, and their associated crystalline minerals: quartz, pyrite, epidote, garnet, scheelite, calcite.
Trip is usually run in conjunction with one of the Parks & Recreation departments with which we contract, or other private groupl
We provide educational adventures for private and corporate clients. Since 1979, we've developed hundreds of individualized packages for family reunions, non-profit organizations, and company picnics. A partial list of clients includes:
In 2001, we created a new variety of trips at Rock Candy Mountain, where all participants had a crystal-bearing vug waiting for them. This has proved to be our most popular Rock Candy trip.
How it works:
We mine as usual for a week, setting aside any vugs we encounter at the edges of the locality. The day before the trip, we set aside vugs we find at the center of the locality. When you sign our liability release, the number you sign next to is your vug number. That way, vug assignment is totally random. Everyone will start the day by collecting their own vug, even if they have never seen a vug before! To be able to guarantee each person a vug, space is limited to 8 people per trip. To assure that new collectors have good access to our guides for instruction, we also limit the ratio of newcomers to experienced collectors. At least half of the collectors on most vugs trips are repeat customers!