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Anonymous User February 23, 2012 05:40PM
Hello: My wife and I are leaving for Arizona on the 12th of March and although we have a couple rock and mineral books for Arizona rockhounding I have a feeling a lot of the places in the books have been flattened by others before me since one book first came out in 1992 and has had ten printings and the other came out in 1998. I would appreciate hearing from any of you that hunt Arizona, what it is that you hunt for, and if you will, where at. If you hunt only mine dumps, walk the deserts, mountains, metal detect, etc. My wife and I have hunted there for about four years and almost always for chalcedony and fire agate, petrified wood, apache tears and just pretty rocks. We know nothing about the chemical makeup of mineral specimens such as everyone posting describes. We are aghast at all the beautiful specimens that people find all over this great land of ours and in other countries as well. We don't want to intrude on anyone's "special places", just would be great to know that we would be in the right place to find different kinds of specimens other than what we are accustomed to hunting for. We are great fans of lake Superior agates and would like to know of areas in Arizona to hunt agates if there are any. If any responders, do we need sledge hammers and chisels etc.? Thank you. Bill
Chester S. Lemanski, Jr. February 23, 2012 06:25PM

Our group has been collecting Arizona for almost 20 years now. We do not go after agate per se, but if we find it, we collect it. There are still many places to collect and it would take a lot of time to list them. You need a 4-wheel drive to get to most collecting localities. I trust that are familiar with the critters which start coming out of hybernation in March. You should have a full set of tools, safety equipment, emergency survival equipment, a first aid kit (including a snake-bite kit), boxes (flats) and wrapping materials. Don't collect on private land (or cross it) without permission.
Anonymous User February 24, 2012 02:03AM
Mr. Lemanski: Thank you for responding. When we go to Arizona we stay with my sister-in-law and her husband in Tucson. They have a four wheel drive vehicle. We always take water, cooler with food, walking stick to beat the brush for "critters" and each person carries a cell phone and usually are within earshot of each other. We never trespass and if we do go on private property, we always ask permission first. BLM ground, close gates that are closed and leave gates open that are open. We carry canvas tote bags and empty them when we get back to the vehicle. We have so much fun just being out in the open. We have found out that it is more dangerous to go very far south of Tucson, close to the border. Instead of finding rocks we found hundreds of backpacks and other various clothing articles, and truck loads of trash. When we go there now, I carry my pistol (I have a lifetime carry permit good for Arizona). I guess we'll plod on till we learn the ropes. Thanks, Bill
Chester S. Lemanski, Jr. February 24, 2012 02:53PM

A good spot to go to from Tucson is the Ford Mine in Tucson Wash in the town of Mammoth. The wash is at the N side of town. Once in the wash continue straight up it . The wash narrows, keep going. Near the head of the wash, on the right side is the mine. It is quite obvious from all of the collector activity. If you can bring a scaling bar or long crow bar to pry material off the walls it will be the best collecting. The vein outcrops on the wall where the old mine adit is. It should be very rewarding with fantastic wulfenites, vanadinites, etc.
Anonymous User February 26, 2012 03:45AM
Mr Lemanski: Thanks so much. Can't wait to get out there to start having fun. Now all we have to do is look other places on this site and see what those minerals look like so we can identify them if/when we see them. Bill
Linda Smith February 26, 2012 05:04AM
Perhaps, I am mistaken but the location stated above, Ford Mine,near Mammoth, AZ, on mindat is on private property.

Linda Smith
Rock Mama and Boogie Boarding Grandma
Chester S. Lemanski, Jr. February 26, 2012 01:15PM
I do not believe that the Ford Mine is on private property, it is in an active water course (wash). At one time it was under claim but that hasn't been posted in many years. Things do change though and it is always wise to check. If it is re-posted, then noone should trespass.
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