Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fire Agate Trip!

The Truck on the Plain
Recently the wife and I spent a day exploring the desert in search of new mineral collecting locals. Our dogs are quite good at spotting the indicators that we might be going out and make sure we know they are eager to go as well.  It was a little cold, but we layered up and hit the road. Lucky for us that the first spot we stopped is a great spot for surface collecting a variety of rocks. 

Palo Verde
About 8.5 miles west of the Palo Verde nuclear power plant on W Elliot Road (west of Phoenix) we came across a flood plain covered in pieces of Jasper, Agate, Chalcedony and some Fire Agate. The road forks here and both roads turn into deep sand washes within 100 yards. As our Xterra is only 2WD, we decided that this was as good a place as any to start for the day.  The material is pretty evenly strewn across the valley between three hills. It appears as if most of this material was deposited by a massive flooding of the area.  After digging deeper looking for better material a few times it became apparent that this material is pretty much only in the top inch or so of the soil.

Ground 1

We found a broad variety of Jaspers dominated mostly by a nice looking chocolate brown jasper. Chalcedony was strewn everywhere, and in a number of spots small pieces of Fire Agate and colored Chalcedony are plentiful. The Fire Agate does't seem to come from the hills surrounding the valley which is why I think it was deposited by a flood.

Various Agates n Jaspers

Chalcedony n Fire Agate

It was a great day. The dogs had a blast, we had a great time and we found some nice material.


  1. Could you give more detail? Elliot ends at 547th ave and there is no way to tell the rest of the route.

    1. Sorry about that. I goofed on the trip math. The actual distance has been corrected in the article and is actually 8.5 miles from the Wintersburg/Elliot intersection. Again Sorry about that.

      If you copy and past the following into your browser address bar, it should pinpoint it on google maps.,-113.021979&num=1&t=h&vpsrc=0&hl=en&ie=UTF8&z=16&iwloc=A

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