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Texas Rock Collecting Sites

Posted by Tanya Cole  
Tanya Cole April 06, 2010 07:08PM
I've done a lot of exploring in my quests to find public access rockhounding sites and have started to save the GPS coordinates when I find some good stuff that I think others might be interested in. I've got coordinates for one right now and will add the others as time permits.

Llano River Public Access Entry Point, near downtown Llano: lat=30.7503786438, lon=-98.6668755605
I thought this first place was well known...but, I didn't get any results when I did the search for it here. The Llano River has an amazing variety of rocks - many are creekworn but there are some decent size rocks on the banks. I found things like schist, gneiss, mica, quartz, granite and several other pretty specimens that I haven't identified yet. The water at this point of entry was about ankle deep in most places and there are several large boulders you can rest on while you pick through the endless cache of river rocks.

Pics attached are of river & bank, rocks on the bank and pebbles & rocks in the water (keep in mind that the appearance of the rocks under water is altered from shadows).

If anyone has any coordinates on other public access entry points, please share :)
open | download - llano river and bank.jpg (595.1 KB)
open | download - bank of llano river.jpg (884.8 KB)
open | download - llano river rocks and pebbles.jpg (916.2 KB)
Denise Bicknell April 06, 2010 09:40PM
I've been there several times for rocks but mineral specimen public access sites are so limited in Texas. So sad.
Tanya Cole April 06, 2010 10:53PM
I know what you mean. I did find at least a couple of minerals there though: mica & quartz....albeit, not the most sought after :)

I'll post info on another spot I ran across with public access where I found some pegmatite which contains some crystals - but, I'm not sure which mineral...maybe tourmaline. I'll include a picture...
Tanya Cole April 06, 2010 11:31PM
Old Mason Road Pegmatite, Mason County: N 30°49.538’, W 99°14.156’

There are a couple of spots (public access/side of the road) in addition to this one along this road where you can find pegmatite bearing granite outcroppings. Attached is a picture of a chunk I got that has some nice crystals...of which mineral, I am uncertain. There's also a picture of one of the outcroppings.
open | download - Mason County Granite Pegmatite.jpg (765.9 KB)
open | download - 2010 01 Mason Pegmatic Granite Outcrop.JPG (915.5 KB)
Paul Brandes April 07, 2010 12:31AM
There are a lot of neat things out in the Hill Country to explore geologically, but as Denise says, finding public access out there is nearly impossible. We take a group of college students on a geologic field trip to the Austin/Inks Lake area and we even have to get special permission to go places. Your best bet for Texas collecting is out west near Big Bend, but I have heard of pet wood in the NE part of the state as well.
Tanya Cole April 07, 2010 12:50AM
I hear ya Paul! I have been really, really, really wanting to Big Bend! I've had a couple of opportunities and the timing wasn't right. I have my itinerary almost planned out - but, I need more than a long weekend for that trip. I'd like to go when I can stay for a whole week. It'd be different if flying was an option - but....hmmmm...I can imagine how much my airline baggage fees would be with all of the things I hope to find! I've got a few small petrified wood specimens - but, I do hope to checkout the Piney Woods area one day for a big piece for my collection.

About the public access areas - you are right! They are very difficult to find. Luckily, I enjoy searching for spots almost (at a different level) as much as looking for rocks. After spending a lot of time prospecting to find legal, public places to find rocks, I like sharing the spots with others...which is why I started this post. But, I can see how just one of two spots might not be worth the trip for someone unless they live close. Oh well...I'll still post the other spots I've found later when I have time. Maybe they'll be helpful to someone. :)
Franklin Roberts May 12, 2010 06:34AM
Hi Tanya,

For a real treat, might I suggest the Fly Gap Road? It's a dirt road that runs several miles south from highway 71, 10 miles northeast of Mason. There are dozens of pegmatite exposures on both sides of the road. Pay particular attention to the low water crossings and bar ditches, especially after a heavy rain. One day after a rain, I spotted what looked like black fingers sticking up from the roadbed. They turned out to be three perfect 5-7 cm dark smoky quartz crystals. You will find green epidote, black ilmenite crystals, orange spessartine garnets and beautiful silvery books of muscovite mica all along the road.

BTW, I'm familiar with the exposure on the Old Mason Road. The dark crystals are indeed greenish-black schorl tourmaline. You should also find nice crystalline magnetite specimens in the road at the same site. There is another site a mile or two north of that one with beautiful strawberry quartz crystals and bright gemmy green fluorite. PM me for details.

Tanya Cole May 20, 2010 07:28PM
Frank - These are great tips! I'm going rock hunting in Mason county for my birthday at the end of the month - I'll have to check these out! Thank you so much :) !

Lori Simon May 27, 2010 05:09PM
Hi Frank,

I understand that in March you arranged for the Fredericksburg Club to hunt on the Quarry at Willow City Loop. Is this something that you could do for other clubs.

I am the field trip coordinator for the Dallas Gem and Mineral Society and we would love to be able to come and hunt there.

My email is Lori.Ltr@gmail.com Could you email me. I would love to talk about places to take my group to hunt. I also have some questions about other places I have heard from but cannot find.

Thank you so much
Franklin Roberts June 11, 2010 05:47AM
Hi Lori,

I sent you an e-mail, but so far, no response. I'll answer your questions here.

Yes, I take groups, mostly clubs and university geology students to many sites in the Llano Uplift. I also take individuals from time to time. I almost never charge for this because I enjoy the company. There is only one site, the White Eagle copper-silver mine where the land owner requests $10 (US) per person, per day to dig copper minerals. PM me if you are interested.

Mark Stave August 18, 2010 01:24AM
Coming to Texas for about a week just before Thanksgiving to do some rockhounding. Any suggestions? I have already ordered the Gem Trails of Texas book, is it worth following. Some of the other Gem Trail series are a bit off, sometimes
David Aldridge August 18, 2010 05:27AM
The Gem Trails Of Texas book is a decent book, but, if you're like me and looking for mineral specimens, I think you'll find it a bit lacking. It's got some pretty good localities in it (including many classic ones for the state), but sadly, a good majority of the book focuses on agate and fossils. There are many localities in Texas, but the problem that you're going to run into is that a good number of them are either no longer accessible, or are now on private property, and unless you know the owners, or the right people (some of which post on these message-boards, actually), there's no real way to get on them (and this is not a state that you want to accidentally stumble onto somebody's private property in).

--David Aldridge
Tanya Cole August 20, 2010 03:48AM
Hey Mark - What part of Texas are you planning to visit?
Amethyst Girl August 30, 2010 04:33PM
Hi Tanya and Frank --- have read both of your tips and suggestions for Texas Rock Collecting Sites, and they are a great help. I just started rockhounding this year. Have ran into some research about the Sequist Ranch and Lindsay ranch having some blue topaz, have any of you guys heard of this and if so, is it true?
Amethyst Girl August 30, 2010 04:53PM
Hi Frank --- I just start with the wonderful hobby of rockhounding and am interested in getting lots and lots of help from the more experienced rockhounds.

I read the tip you gave Tanya on May 12, 2010 and I have just discovered and was sooo excited that Mason County is known for the blue topaz and that it is found within the borders of the state only in Mason County and that it occurs in granite outcroppings principally in the Streeter, Grit, and Katemcy areas. That blue topaz is usually found in streambeds and ravines but occasionally can be located atop the ground. I want to go to these sites, but it is still soooo very hot here in Texas right now.

This particular website mentions Sequist Ranch and Lindsay Ranch, have you been to either one of these places for topaz hunting, if so, did you find anything?

Also have in mind to go agate hunting at the Woodward Ranch in Oct. or Nov., but blue topaz hunting is more appealing to me before agate hunting.
Aleš Tomek August 30, 2010 07:45PM
I was to Seaquist Ranch in november 2 years ago. Whole day working in the stream bed and doing some digging into the pegmatite rock (the place was shown to me by Mike Seaquist) - just one small (4mm) topas in the river bed (none at the pegmatite..) was the result! But the the nature was the biggest adventure - the first time I have seen alive armadillo...exciting for a guy from central Europe. At least I have seen (and hold) some big pieces of topas in jewellery shop in Mason.
Good luck on Your trip!
Elizabeth Muniz August 30, 2010 08:54PM
Thanks for your input about the Seaquist Ranch --- Right after lunch, I called and talked to Mike's son, Scott and he was very nice and told me to dig at least 3 feet deep, because topaz is buried down deep. Well, its not rare for us to see those animals any day when we are traveling from town to town here in Texas. Sometimes, you even see them when you go out at least 45 mins. away from the city and you visit some friends out in the country. We have some friends who have 13 acres close by the Brazos Bend State Park and they have a pond in the back of their property, and they encountered a baby alligator in their pond.
Franklin Roberts September 01, 2010 04:43AM
Hi A.G., Hi Elizabeth,

I've heard that Delores Lindsey is no longer permitting rockhounds to hunt topaz on her ranch. Evidently one of the guests did something to ruin it for the rest of us. As far as I know, that leaves only the Seaquist Ranch open for collecting. I'll call D and find out what's going on. I've never hunted on the Seaquist, but have found small crystals of topaz in miarolytic cavities in a shallow pegmatite on the Lindsey Ranch. I also found two water-worn 1 cm pieces in a low water crossing on Blackjack Road, northeast of Mason. Strangely enough, the first blue topaz I ever found was taken from the Llano River at Kingsland, 40 miles east of Mason, in Llano County. No doubt it worked its way downstream from Mason County.

Earlier this month, I identified a couple of potential hot collecting spots in the Katemcy area that are on public right of way and therefore legal to access without permission. Until this brutal heat slacks off a bit however, they will have to wait. If either (or both) of you want to come along the next time I head to Mason County, you're more than welcome.

Tanya Cole September 03, 2010 05:51AM
Hi Amethyst Girl - welcome to the fun world of rockhounding....I'm somewhat new to it myself...only been at it about a year.

Anyway - in answer to your question, I've hunted on Lindsey Creek Ranch (didn't know it was closed to us now - that's too bad) and I've hunted at Seaquist Ranch. You can definitely find Topaz at Seaquist Ranch. I didn't find any myself - but, several people found some while we were there. There were a couple of guys that come to hunt fairly often that seem to have a lot of success finding Topaz. Mr. Seaquist said they usually overturn enough dirt/gravel to fill up the back of a dump truck. They were working the creek the day I was there (probably for the same reason I was digging in the creek - it was rather hot!). From what I could tell, their strategy seemed to involve picking a spot, taking turns shoveling and sifting (using an oversized screen box) and then moving on to a new spot. I’d like to go back again when it’s not as hot so I can do some exploring. They have a lot of land that you can access, including a lot with granite outcroppings. We tried banging on some when we were there – but, it was just too hot to be on those rocks!

Ahhh Big Bend – that is an excellent choice for rockhounding. I haven’t been there yet - but, I really, really want to plan a trip sometime soon. I just got an email with some information about some Big Bend rock hunting trips. I think Frank probably got the message too. So, if you send a private message to either me or Frank, one of us can forward the email to you.

Have fun enjoying your new hobby! :)
Tanya Cole September 03, 2010 05:54AM
Frank - you know I've got an itch now to check out those spots you mentioned in the Katemcy area! Let me know next time you plan on heading that way :).
Franklin Roberts September 03, 2010 02:58PM
We've had a major cold front blow through just in time for the Labor Day weekend. The weatherman says it might go down as low as 90. Unfortunately, I've already committed to going to the Aggie football game in College Station on Saturday, but that does leave Sunday and Monday free. Now if I can only find my long johns.

David Oberle September 07, 2010 05:33PM
I am curious about Big Bend rock hunting trips and any others in the Alpine area. Have been to the Woodward Ranch a number of times but understand there are other places to hunt.
marilyn olson September 21, 2010 03:27AM
hi Frank I am going to Texas in Oct. could you give me more information about collecting on or near the Fly Gap Rd. site? thanks Marilyn
Franklin Roberts September 24, 2010 11:12PM
PM sent.
Stephen C. Blyskal October 15, 2010 08:35PM

The Woodward Ranch is the only public place to hunt that I know of in the Davis mountains area. There are some places along the road to Ft Davis from Alpine, and from Ft Davis N, just outside Wild Rose Canyon where agate can be found if you are lucky. My wife and I have found some nice pieces of Balmorhea Blue agate and brown moss agate along the road in outcrops and gravel in stream crossings. We even found some pink opal at an outcrop N. of Alpine where there had been a rockfall last winter. The lady who runs the rock shop in Ft. Davis (n. of downtown, on the left) has information about collecting on the roads.

For getting into other ranches you need to contact Teri Smith at the Antelope Lodge in Alpine. She has agreements with several of the ranchers and leads field trips to the ranches for agate. If you PM me with your email address I will forward an email she sent out this fall advertising her services to lead trips. She knows where a lot of the good hunting places are on the ranches.
Stephen C. Blyskal October 15, 2010 08:39PM
Check out the Houston Gem and Mineral Society website - www.hgms.org for information on field trips to various parts of the state. I have been collecting petrified wood on public lands in Texas for over 7 years, and know of several localities. Others are fee based, but not expensive. See my note to Dave about W. Texas agate hunting. Denise, another HGMS member, has been to a number of TX sites and is a good resource. Frank Roberts is the best for the Hill Country.
Scott Galbraith October 19, 2010 03:50AM
Here is a good website about geology around Llano and Mason including specific places to observe the geology is found on this website: http://geology.uprm.edu/Morelock/thcgeol.htm

I started to catalog the GPS coordinates of those locations on my website findingrocks.com last year, but I realized that most spots weren't field collecting sites but just geological points of interest.
Jennifer Pocurull Pocurull February 09, 2011 04:00AM

I am new to serious rockhounding. As a kid I used to go with my grandmother but now would love to take my 10 year old son on a trip over spring break weekend to the Llano uplift. I've been following this post and made note of places suggested by Franklin and would also want to know if Franklin would be available as a guide and teacher. Just to recap the places mentioned here are some places I would love to get an assortment or rocks and minerals...

Fly gap road and 1-2 miles north where there Is strawberry quartz and green florite.
Streeter, Grit and Katemcy
Sequist, Lindsey and Woodward Ranches
Blackjack road NE of Mason

Would love to hear from someone as soon as possible so we can begin planning our trip, where to stay etc. I've never been there so will need a lot of direction. Also tips on supplies and things we would need, where to get them and so on would be great. And if anyone happens to know of activities for the rest of the family we could use this too.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/15/2012 07:35AM by Jennifer Pocurull Pocurull.
Nick Spero September 21, 2011 07:54PM
I'll be in Big Bend National Park in February/March for about 4 days and would appreciate any information regarding mineral/fossil locations in the surrounding area.
Ken Goslee October 28, 2012 02:09AM
I am wanting to schedual a trip for a few members of my rock club (Spring River Gem and Mineral Club, Cherokee Village, AR) for March or April next year and am checking to see if this site is still an active site. I don't see any entries since Sep, 2011. Could use some help on avaialble collecting sites. Thanks for any help. Ken
kenny howell October 30, 2012 11:02AM
would like to know who to contact about white eagle copper -silver mine. just starting and would like to find something.
alex November 15, 2012 03:30PM
Hi......I will be travelling/rockhounding in Big Bend and other SW TX regions in December. Can you please advise me on sites??....contacts??....anything??
Alex Diner
Gainesville, FL
Franklin Roberts January 02, 2013 03:17AM
I would be the person to contact for access to the White Eagle copper-silver mine.

Amber January 18, 2013 06:17PM
We'd be going to the Fredricksburg area for the rock show weekend. Would you have any suggestions for us? We have three little "rock houndlings" (one of which dreams of becoming a geologist one day) so we'd like to find one really good place to hunt that's easily accessible. Thanks for any suggestions.
Jacob Tanner February 28, 2013 06:08AM
hello, im a clueless amateur at this, really interested in finding some crystals though. Mr Roberts, any good sites near San Antonio? Ill drive out to Mason when I get the free time, but just wondering about anything more attainable? fee collecting sites, mine dumps, or just general areas to try? My girlfriend is madly in love with crystals and I know it would make her year to find a good one. =)

Thanks in advance for your time! I have huge respect for your guru status and geologic knowledge =)
Franklin Roberts April 08, 2013 10:13PM
As you can tell, I don't log onto Mindat as often as I should. You're not going to find much around San Antonio other than fossils as it's all limestone thereabouts. Mason has a few fee access ranches for collecting topaz, but most people who go that route come home with quartz crystals and mica books instead. Unless you're just lucky, or prepared to do some serious digging, the chances of finding topaz are slim. These ranches have been picked over for decades and the easily found material is long gone. That's not to say that there isn't anything left to find, you're just going to have to work for it. I'm currently negotiating for access to a new site near Mason that is rich in quartz crystals, green fluorite and even topaz, but so far the landowner is not allowing collectors to access his property. I have a feeling that if I do get access, it will be by paying a relatively high annual lease, which means that I will have to pass that cost on to any collectors that I bring there. More news on that at it happens.

Guru, really?


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/08/2013 10:14PM by Franklin Roberts.
Franklin Roberts April 22, 2013 05:00PM
Last weekend, I was successful at negotiating a one-year trial lease on the above mentioned topaz mine site in the Katemcy Batholith area of Mason County, although it cost me more than I had hoped. The lease covers an existing mine pit, three unexcavated pegmatites and three wet-weather creeks on the property. The landowner has imposed restrictions on the number of people I can bring in at one time and has asked that I impose a limit on the amount of material that can be removed per trip. Further, during deer season from September to January, only the mine pit and one quartz pegmatite will be open to collecting.

This site was a private hard-rock topaz mine from the mid 1950's until the lease was terminated for non-performance in 1990. During that time it was only worked on weekends from about 1954 until 1968, when both lessees became too old to continue. Most of the gem bearing pegmatite is unexcavated. The pegmatite itself is composed of miarolytic granite studded with pockets of beautiful emerald-green fluorite and the occasional light blue euhedral topaz crystal. Next to the pegmatite is another composed of millions of small 1-5 cm quartz points, many colored pink with inclusions of hematite. They occur singly and in beautiful clusters. This pegmatite also contains many tons of perfect 3-6 cm crystals of pink microcline weathered from the granite.

The site is located in rolling ranch land with no undue hazards to collectors, other than the occasional cactus and rattlesnake, so the site is perfect for children. There are also several large tailings piles loaded with quartz and fluorite for those averse to heavy rock work. From time to time I will probably put in small low energy blasts across the pit to fracture the granite and expose fresh material for collection.

If you are interested in collecting at this new site, drop me a PM. Collecting will only be permitted on weekends as I do have a full time day job as a television engineer in Austin. In no circumstances will unescorted access be made available.

Fluorite from this site: http://www.mindat.org/photo-329611.html


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/23/2013 05:29PM by Franklin Roberts.
Franklin Roberts April 22, 2013 05:49PM
Post moved to Collecting forum

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/22/2013 05:53PM by Franklin Roberts.
Eric Clemons May 01, 2013 11:30PM
I read your recent posting about the mine site in Mason. I have had a long term interest in pegmatites ( I've read Sinkankas book on prospecting a couple times at least) and would be very interested in visiting that site. Thanks!
Deborah Karen September 27, 2013 10:09PM
I am interested in visiting this mine site the weekend of Oct. 26th. Are you planning a trip then? Is Fly Gap Road still open to the public?
Franklin Roberts September 28, 2013 03:33AM
Yes Deborah, we have a trip to Emerald Ridge scheduled for the 26th. Go to www.baringerhill.com for the schedule.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2013 06:31PM by Franklin Roberts.
Deborah Karen October 01, 2013 04:46PM
I can not open that link?
Kelly Nash October 01, 2013 05:36PM
Franklin Roberts October 01, 2013 08:20PM
Thanks Kelly!
Doris Medd November 12, 2013 05:07PM
I am interested in the Fly Gap Road site. Where is it gps or map? I am just a wannabe but love hunting for neat rocks. I will be in the area Dec 2013 anything going on then that might pick my interest?
Larry Becker November 16, 2013 11:16PM
My wife and I are making our first trip south to Texas from Northern Minnesota. I have enjoyed agate picking on the shores of Lake Superior with my son and his family. We are heading for San Antonio the first week of December with our camper. I thought it would be fun to do some rock pickin' in Texas while we are there. We will stay in the Austin area on our way down and head to Corpus Christi and Houston as we head east. Do you have any ideas for finding fossils and cool rocks while I'm there?
Franklin Roberts November 18, 2013 07:50PM
Hi Larry,
There isn't much in the way of collecting sites in the Corpus Christi or Houston areas since both cities are built on mud and silt. If you can arrange to be in the Austin area on the weekend of December 7th or 8th, I'm guiding a group each day to a different site. On Saturday, the 7th we will be going to my Emerald Ridge site in Mason County, about 100 miles west of Austin. On Sunday, we will be going to the Badu Hill Pegmatite in Llano County, about 68 miles west of Austin. For more info on the sites and to sign up, go to www.baringerhill.com.

Paul Brandes November 19, 2013 12:58AM
I can safely vouch for both sites Larry; you won't be disappointed!!! :-)
kent February 15, 2015 03:13AM
Flygap road is no longer accessible it is on private property
Franklin Roberts February 16, 2015 07:44PM
Public roads in Texas do not become private property. As long as you stay between the fences, you are on public property, regardless of what the cowboy in the pickup truck tells you. If he motions toward the shotgun in his rear window, call the local Sheriff and ask him to either educate or arrest the idiot.

Anonymous User February 22, 2015 03:48AM

I would love to plan a trip with you sometime later this year. I'm going to be in Texas for most of this Spring and Summer while I settle some family business. I live about an hour north of Dallas, but could make a weekend trip down that way one of these days.

I only have a few trips planned for May and June but those will be taking me to Denver and Utah to visit family. Of course I will squeeze in some hounding while I'm up there when possible.

Just let me know of upcoming trips you have planned And I would love to try and make one of them!!

Thank You!
Mike Backman May 14, 2015 11:49PM
Hi Rockhounds,

Is there any place in or near Houston that you can go to find rocks?

Thanks in Advance,

Alfredo Petrov May 15, 2015 07:53AM
One rare mineral, Chambersite, http://www.mindat.org/min-966.html - named after Chambers County, has its type locality (meaning the first locality it was described from) near Houston, but that was pumped up from a well, so no outcrops on the surface. Unless you happen to know someone with access to material from wells drilled for oil, sulphur or salt, there probably won't be anything interesting to find in the Houston area.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2015 07:54AM by Alfredo Petrov.
Doug Daniels May 15, 2015 04:01PM
Are you a member of the Houston Gem & Mineral Society? They conduct field trips to various locations both near Houston and farther away. At least they did many years ago, but I'm sure they haven't changed much in regards to the field trips.
Gustav June 30, 2015 04:08PM
Hello Frank, my name is Gustav. My ten year old and I love to rockhound and I am fascinated by your knowledge.
We would love visit sometime if you are willing to take us.
I just thought I would plant a seed.
You can reach me at galker@pmidpi.com
My number is 713-818-6077
We don't mind the hot weather and are ready to get dirty:)
Please let me know what you think.
Thank you!!
Gustav and Shyla
Lamar September 01, 2015 07:09PM
Went back out to Fly Gap Road today. Seems there's been a fire a little over a week ago. I spoke with one of the firefighters who was there checking on hot spots still smoking. He said they got it under control last night. It started on a cemetery road about 4 miles south of the southern entrance to Fly Gap, a bird got in a transformer causing sparks. It burned the east side of Fly Gap Road 3/4 the way back to Highway 71 on the north. He said it burned a 9 mile path covering over 10,300 acres. The Fire Department(s) responding did an amazing job limiting the fire to only the east side of the road and I could see very few burned trees!
No injuries and only one out building destroyed. HATS OFF TO THOSE WHO DID A TREMENDOUS JOB EXTINGUISHING THE FIRE!!!
juliette September 10, 2015 03:36PM
Id be interested in checking out the lease you managed to get n looking for topaz n florite

Please email me at marvelousdanes@gmail.com

Israel Mendoza November 02, 2015 06:41AM
Hi Tanya,
Just discovered this site. Great forum!
I will be returning to the Big Bend to prospect for minerals.
I hope to meet up with a couple of rock hounds while I'm there.
If someone is interested, feel free to email: co.ilm@hotmail.com.

Rob G November 24, 2015 03:25AM
This is a great forum. Thank you to all who have spent time posting their rock and mineral hunting spots on here.
I have read through the posts and wanted to make sure I haven't missed anything. I am taking a group of budding geologists (5 kids, 9-11 in age) out to Enchanted rock over the christmas holiday. This group ("The Rock Hunters" - we have T-shirts ;-) ) is really interested in geology and collecting. I plan to take them to E-rock and the Llanite road cut along hwy 16 (I've done it before - I know you have to work for those samples). I was also thinking that while were were in the area we might check out the fossil road cuts north of bandera and potentially fly gap road. The blue topaz sounds fun but I doubt the digging will hold their interest for too long so I plan to skip it.

Any other thoughts for this crew?

Thanks in advance!
Paul Brandes November 28, 2015 05:23AM
A couple thoughts for you Rob:

1) If you have the time, contact Frank Roberts from Baringer Hill Minerals for guided collecting trips around the hill country. Depending on the trip, I guarantee your crew would not be disappointed.

2) If you live anywhere near the Houston area, I would highly recommend attending a Houston Gem & Mineral Society meeting and more specifically, a Mineral Section meeting to learn more about minerals, how they form, and where to collect them.

Good luck with your crew of budding geologists. :)-D
Marie Moore February 25, 2016 06:00PM
we are planning a trip to Canyon Lake around the third week in April to see the bluebonnets. Thought I would do both rock hunting and pic taking and just enjoying nature in one trip. Is there places near Canyon Lake that rocks topaz and other gems can be found?
Thank you,
Muckman March 18, 2016 04:48PM

Hey everyone.
My wife and I followed some of the coordinates mentioned in this thread and had a great time hunting the Llano uplift. Thanks for the useful info. Fly gap rd was amazing, after the fire the crews tilled up the soil and it's hard not to look 2ft without finding Quartz so large you can't pick them up. It was so quiet, untouched, peaceful, and beautiful that you have a respect for the land and appreciate the fact that you can walk around and enjoy Mother Nature.
Vanessa March 29, 2016 04:53PM
Hi Franklin,
Traveling for work might be in the area. I was interested in checking out the sight!
Anonymous User March 30, 2016 03:43PM
Glad to see some signs of life on this thread. From San Antonio here. I've been lurking for a while, but have seen this thread quite stale. I too have been looking for public access to check for topaz and sorts. I have read about about collecting on sides of roads but...eh. I took my 8 year old son last year in the middle of summer to hunt at the Seaquist ranch. Hard work, and no paydirt. We had fun, but he got a little bored and tired after about 4 hours in 100 degree weather. I could have been there all day. The thrill of finding something is worth the hard work. I know there is not much Gold here in Texas, but from my research you can find trace amounts of placer gold up in the creeks in Llano. I called up my buddy to see if he wanted to try his luck. We just love the outdoors and killing time on a perfect Saturday outside. We loaded up the cooler with beer, meat and marked our maps. We took some gold pans to Llano and were able locate Honey Creek and some others, but EVERYTHING is private property! We must have drove for hours trying to find public access to these creeks. Every time we stopped and walked down a creek, some car would stop to see what we were up to. Anyways we just ended up drinking some beers and BBQ-ing on the blanco river on the way back to SA. Anyways i'm always up for a good rock hounding adventure. who's down?? :)-D
Randy Acklin May 22, 2016 06:24PM
We are going to Lindsay Ranch this weekend but I see stuff on here about Fly Gap road. I see it's a dirt road but is
most of the land private? Do you just look in the creeks? Public access? Thank you. BTW, I have a 3 and 5 year
old that love to look. Just wanting to find them something.
Anonymous User May 24, 2016 05:07PM
As for public access, from what I am reading here, you are basically just looking on the side of the road by the fence line. Better than nothing i guess, but not worth the 2 hour drive for me. Almost all creeks in the mineral region are on private land (I know from experience). I have have come to the conclusion that you either have to pay someone or know someone with land, or just go balls out and cross the fence and hope you don't get into a gun fight with a land owner. :)-D
Alfredo Petrov May 24, 2016 05:10PM
"Navigable" creeks are all public land in Texas. Use a very small boat.
Don Saathoff May 24, 2016 05:49PM
Alfredo, I spent an afternoon in the Sheriffs Office because of that assumption waiting for the landowner and a judge to either press charges or not. I was 'captured' by a shotgun wielding ranch hand on Honey Creek sitting on the dike below the Kiam Prospect. After a five hour wait I was informed that Honey Creek was not navigable and I was trespassing but, out of the kindness of their hearts, I was released with only a stern reprimand. My advice? Don't try it!!!
Alfredo Petrov May 24, 2016 06:09PM
Ah well, it was a nice dream while it lasted. ;-) I'll take my tourist dollars elsewhere.
Anonymous User May 24, 2016 11:32PM
Yeah..I find it strange how texas is one of the biggest states, yet has absolutely no public land left unless its private property or a state or city park. A few years ago we drove up to Colorado to meet an old buddy, and he took us to multiple spots that were "nobody's" land to go pan for gold on the creeks and rivers, no one gave us a hard time...well because we weren't breaking any rules...Basically,it was that if you could drive your 4x4 up the terrain, then reap the rewards at the top.
Anonymous User June 17, 2016 03:47PM
Hello everyone!

Glad to be here. Have to say to Don, right on man. I'm so sorry you had to be exposed to those limestone lickers like that. Talk about disenfranchised. Guess I'll simply be a pack dog and stick with the crowd, buy I normally go it myself out west where I'm from.

Well this is my very 1st post & I'm glad to be here. I even have the sensation of smelling kerosene from a rock saw for some reason?

May join up for some formal elbow rubbing at some point.

Couple of collecting areas out here that worked out.

Out here in College Station there is Lick Creek Park. Has some nice cab grade petrified translucent red-brown-black mesquite in 1 to 4 inch pieces.

Also in Bastrop, namely in the lower hilly 4wd "Tahitian Village" some nice cab grade banded "flint-chert" is what I believe the locals call it, I call them round creek rocks, but there up in the hilly section. Bring a hand sledge & safety glasses, of better yet a face shield. By "tacking a crack at these", when these 3 to 4 inch round creek rocks are opened up, lateral banding is exposed. The best I've seen has white and gray stripes surrounded by the typical translucent brown.

Go to any commercial rock supplier, you know the lots that sell garden gravel, soil, sod. Tell them that you want to collect. Park your vehicle close to where you will be walking. In the garden rock area, there is a bin with what they call "gemstone gravel". It's full of cab grade red jasper, & mesquite. The kids will love it!

This is really good. I've rarely passed up a new "caliche" road that has been repaved. Somewhere around these parts is where it's being dug. What I've found is many fossils, but the best part is that the gem grade calcite is very nice. I've found many perfect, clear square crystal sections. Double refracting. Also a yellow hundred caret piece that shows chatoyance, moonstone like.

I should post a picture of that piece.

Good hunting all. Doug

July 8th - 10th the Round Rock Club will be doing a collecting camp out at the Llano River. Here is there facebook page link....https://www.facebook.com/Round-Rock-Chapter-of-the-GPAA-182279968473253/

and the fredericksburg club.... http://www.fredericksburgrockhounds.org/
Franklin Roberts June 18, 2016 06:52AM
I'm still here! We moved to Dripping Springs in 2014, so now I'm a little closer to the Uplift. Come on down!

(512) 848-8309
rhonda June 29, 2016 05:31PM
Hey rockhound here but getting older does anyone have rocks for sell?
Paul Brandes July 02, 2016 03:20AM
A little late, but welcome to Mindat Doug! :)-D

One thing you may want to think about is joining one of the many mineral clubs in the area, especially if you're near College Station. Our club (Houston Gem & Mineral Society) coordinates a Fall collecting trip to the Hill Country with Frank Roberts where several of our members engage in a two day mineral hunting adventure in the Mason/Llano area. We always have a blast and are looking forward to hopefully planning another this year.

Rhonda: what are you looking for??
Tim Kruse July 21, 2016 11:33PM
Hey Frank,
Where in the Katemcy area do you find any topaz type rocks? Thanks.

Franklin Roberts December 24, 2016 01:34AM
Hi Tim,

I have a mineral lease on a private ranch that contains a former fluorite mine. Topaz of several colors can be found in pockets and in the spoil piles there.

leslee clements December 25, 2016 09:36PM
When will you be going back out again? Or do you have a 2017 Schedule planned ?
My husband and I would love to go on 1 or any of the trips you have planned for 2017.
Tabitha Hudson January 03, 2017 07:38PM
Hi Frank! Are you still offering to take people out with you? My husband and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in a few weeks and love the idea over doing some rock hunting! Thanks in advance!
Franklin Roberts January 17, 2017 11:40PM
I'm still out here! Drop me a line when you know when you'll be coming by and I'll see if we can make something happen. Happy anniversary!
Will Cain January 26, 2017 08:39PM
Hi Frank. Thanks for all the useful posts here! I'm coming out the Lindsay Ranch in April, any chance you'll be giving tours at Emerald Ridge that time of year? I want to make sure the folks I'm bringing have a good and educated time! We are already "gearing" up and I'm even trying to finagle a scintillation counter from my old grad school (A&M) to use as a lark. Happy hunting all!
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