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Lake Superior Agates

Posted by Ryan B.  
Kim Benning
Re: Lake Superior Agates
June 06, 2009 04:07PM
Anyone know of a good place to find Lake Superior agates (not just tiny chips) in the Grand Marais area? E-mail me at : Thanks!
avatar Re: Lake Superior Agates
June 07, 2009 05:36AM
Michigan or Minnesota, Kim???
avatar Re: Lake Superior Agates
June 19, 2009 03:15PM
I have heard that the beaches in Luce County, MI are a great spot for Lake Superior Agates. The area right around Muskallonge Lake is known to have some good samples, as well as down near the mouth of the Two-Hearted River, east of Muskallonge Lake. I am heading there in a few weeks time, and I am hoping to find some while I am there. I will post after I return.
Max Action
Re: Lake Superior Agates
July 24, 2009 05:42AM
Howdy - I found this "small potato sized" agate in western Wisc not far from Stillwater ... anyone see one with this kind of orange, opaque, and messy banding? I've seen a lot of Lake Superior agates, but never one that looked quite like this:

Re: Lake Superior Agates
October 19, 2009 10:45PM
Cool rock Max! I do have one kind of like that but smaller.
Re: Lake Superior Agates
October 23, 2009 05:08PM
I grew up on a farm near Canby, Mn. on the South Dakota state line,100 or so miles north of Sioux Falls. A moraine ran through our farm and it was so rocky that we used a 16 tine "silage" fork to "pick" them. Hundreds of tons. At the time, I didn't know that this was a moraine and believe me, I hated rocks when I was a kid. Is it possible we threw Lake Superior agate in the rock pile or were we too far west for that occurrence?
Mark Mahlum
Max Action
Re: Lake Superior Agates
October 29, 2009 06:41PM
This was found by a friend of a friend ... who photographed it ... and LEFT IT THERE.

Yes, that is a boot for scale.
avatar Re: Lake Superior Agates
October 29, 2009 07:06PM
That is an amazing agate and the image should be uploaded to the Mindat image gallery for use in the Best Minerals article.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Lake Superior Agates
October 30, 2009 06:58AM
hmmm, so apparently that might NOT be an agaye, but a banded iron formation instead ...
avatar Re: Lake Superior Agates
October 30, 2009 12:20PM
Well, I guess there is no way to know for sure at this point. If it were an agate, it would have been the grand daddy of them all of that kind of agate.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Lake Superior Agates
October 30, 2009 02:59PM
It's apparent that the photographer knew exactly where to stand to get that photo so as to make it look like an agate. However, the metallic sheen of the bands are a dead give-away it's a BIF; most likely from the Minnesota iron range.
Re: Lake Superior Agates
May 21, 2010 07:43AM
I`m a rockhound, fine art photographer, and firefighter near St Louis and love Lake Superior Agates...would love to make a trip up there to look for some but would prefer to drive up in the fall as its my favorite time of the year and I have heard it gets quite pretty up there with the foliage.

have read with interest on places to go and look for the agates...can anyone tell me the best time to drive up there to find the foliage in bloom ?

all information much appreciated.

James :)
St Louis area
avatar Re: Lake Superior Agates
May 22, 2010 07:37AM
Hi James,

On most of the Twin Cities news websites you will find "fall colors" maps, each autumn season. Google is your friend!
Here is a map of typical peak color dates:

Agate picking is quite rich in the Moose Lake area, several gravel mines still allow collecting, rocky logging and quad trails can be productive as well.

Good Luck Picking~!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2010 07:40AM by John Truax.
open | download - 003-agate.jpg (213.4 KB)
avatar Re: Lake Superior Agates
May 22, 2010 09:14PM
It really depends on where you'll be traveling to this fall. If your heading to the Arrowhead of Minnesota, figure about late September. If your in northern Wisconsin or Upper Michigan, usually the first part of October; however, these are only averages. The weather can really play tricks on the exact timing of the best foliage. As John mentioned, check the local Natural Resources department for the state you are visiting, and also either NOAA or the NWS as they put out a foliage forcast that is updated frequently during the Fall season.

In my opinion, the Great Lakes region can't be beat for colours in the Fall.....
Re: Lake Superior Agates
May 23, 2010 01:02AM
Thanks guys, appreciate the information, will look those sites up, sounds like good time to take another vacation by then..we had a great fall down here for colors last year and Arkansas in November last year was phenomenal as well...I have also been out to Colorado a few years in the fall and its beautiful out there too...

my blog site contains alot of photos of my trips and rockhounding adventures as well :

Just got back from taking the Tulsa Club to some nice druse locations today...

James :)
Dave Miller
Re: Lake Superior Agates
January 25, 2012 09:32PM
Hey Ryan,
Me and my g/f went rock hounding last summer around Grand maris and found some nice agates. Best time I guess is in the spring. My g/f and I are planning on having friends come with us going up to the kewana area to look for more good spots + look for stuff with some metal detectors in some abandoned mine areas. Maybe if your interested give me an email back. Its hard finding people that are rock hounds. Thanks and hope this helps a little bit
avatar Re: Lake Superior Agates
January 25, 2012 10:52PM
I'm assuming "kewana" is the Keweenaw Peninsula of Upper Michigan, also known as the Copper Country? If so, there are many places to search for minerals and I can give you some pointers if you'd like. Just shoot me a private message or visit the Mineral Chatroom sometime.....
Re: Lake Superior Agates
March 07, 2012 03:38AM
good hunting my friend.....
Anonymous User
Re: Lake Superior Agates
March 07, 2012 12:22PM
The best people to ask about which gravel pits are open for collecting agates would be Bob and Nancy Lynch at Agate City Shop in Two Harbors, MN. Nearly all of the gravel pits have posted signs and do not allow collecting anymore. If you stop at the Chamber of Commerce building in Moose Lake, MN (an old train station on the edge of town) they can provide a map and permission for you to collect in several nearby pits that are no longer actively working. There is also a small, but very good mineral museum showing Lake Superior agates and other minerals that form in the basalt vesicles of that region near Moose Lake. It's in the visitor's center at a state park (to my recollection).
Pieces of agates and very small ones can be found along the shoulders of gravel roads anywhere near Carlton, Moose Lake, and nearby areas, since the gravel came from the nearby sand & gravel operators in that area.
The beaches of the Keweenaw yield very small agates, and they can be more easily found by waiting until late afternoon or evening, wearing a hat with a brim and walking toward the sun. The agates show up more easily since most of them are translucent. A lot of the beaches east of Grand Marais, Michigan, are not collected from as much as here, and do yield good agates, but those found there were most likely transported by the glaciers since the area has no basaltic rocks.
Jason Simonson
Re: Lake Superior Agates
June 13, 2012 07:47AM
Would love to trade places were ya find agates I have just found a couple nice ones on the shore of superior plz get ahold of me email is Simonson4728@

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