Gemstone Hunting RV Vacation in Idaho

You may have parked your RV in Idaho’s National Parks, seen the Craters of the Moon and hiked the trails once followed by the Nez Perce. But have you ever hunted gemstones in the Gem State? RV campers looking for true adventure are invited to learn the joys of a gemstone hunting RV vacation in Idaho.

Where to Find Gemstones in Idaho
A good place to start when planning your trip is the guide to rock-hounding and gemstone hunting available at idl.idaho.gov, Idaho’s Department of Lands’ website. They point out something very important to remember as you pull over next to a promising prospecting site…to respect private property and to help keep Idaho in its pristine wilderness condition.

The site identifies dozens of minerals and gemstones likely to be found in Idaho, including fire opals, rubies and star garnets. In fact, according to Idaho’s Museum of Natural History, Idaho is second only to Africa in the variety of gemstones found there!

For example, in Adams County, you might find rubies and pink garnets in the Rock Flat area adjacent to Payette National Forest near New Meadows. This area also just happens to be the reputed source of the largest diamond (19.5 carats) ever found in the U.S.!

Follow the Salmon River in Custer County, ID (especially the East Fork) to find amethyst and citrine. If you’re traveling with rock hounds, they’ll want to stay awhile in this area, as an abundance of geodes, agates and petrified wood can also be found here.

According to the Cash and Treasure Wiki created by the Travel Channel, opals can be dug from the Spencer Opal Deposit centered near the town of Spencer in Eastern, ID. The Deer Hunt Mine in this area is world famous among gem prospectors and offers gem hunters access on a fee-per-pound basis.

Another easy place to discover wonderful gemstone finds is the Emerald Creek Garnet Area near Clarkia in St. Joe National Forest. It’s the home of record-breaking star garnets, reputed to be some of the best outside of India.

Where to Find a Gem of an RV Campground in Idaho
The next big question is where to stay once you’ve decided to make a prospecting trek to Idaho by RV. You’ll definitely strike it rich staying at one of the many state and national park and forest campgrounds in Idaho. The RVIdaho website has a helpful listing of RV campgrounds in Idaho.

If you’re hoping to snag a handful of amethyst in Blaine County, make your prospecting base camp at Riverside RV Camp in beautiful Bellevue, ID. Another memorable home away from home for RV camping prospectors is Mountain Home RV Park in the heart of Owyhee County fire opal country.

Whether you’re hungering to find the perfect amethyst or hoping for a blindingly beautiful fire opal, Idaho is the place to spend your RV camping and gem prospecting vacation. If you’re not afraid to get your jeans dirty and hike a bit up a creek bed, the fun you’ll have just may have you planning a return trip to Idaho soon.

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RVing to Gem Shows!

Are you distracted by bright, shiny objects or just love attending gem and mineral shows? Here’s a tip: renting a motorhome instead of booking a hotel room is a much more economical way to visit your favorite gem shows. Spend more money on gems and jewelry by planning to cook most meals in your RV, and trade the noise and congestion of convention hotels for a peaceful RV campsite.

Ready to head out to hunt for treasure? Here are just a few of the fabulous gem shows our customers go RVing to each year.

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show
This week-long, internationally-famous gem and mineral event is actually made up of many “mini shows” at multiple venues. Some events are open only to dealers, but there are enough open to the public to completely fill your week! The biggest public show of all is held the final weekend (always the second full weekend in February) at the Tucson Convention Center. Hundreds of gem, mineral, bead, and jewelry dealers set up shop at this expo and offer the world’s finest specimens to the public.

Why not plan to spend at least a couple of days looking for treasure in Tucson next February? Stay at beautiful Beaudry RV Resort nearby to make your stay even more memorable.

American Opal Society Show – Anaheim, CA
For fabulous opal and other gemstone finds, plan to spend a weekend in November in Anaheim. This is the largest opal show in the US, and you’ll find lots of other gems offered by dealers there, as well. Anaheim RV Village, in the heart of this exciting city, makes a convenient base camp for your visit. So why not come to California in search of opals next November?

Denver Gem & Mineral Show
The second largest gem and mineral show in the country is held each September in Denver, Colorado. Thousands of gem enthusiasts and rock hounds flock to Denver to see this huge expo at the Denver Merchandise Mart. An added bonus is the variety of smaller gem shows held the same week in the Denver metro area. Our Denver RV Rentals office is the perfect spot to reserve your RV, so be sure to call early so you don’t miss this show. While you’re there, Denver Meadows RV Park in Aurora is a safe, comfortable campground about fifteen miles from the Mart.

East Coast Gem & Mineral Show
About an hour and a half east of Boston, MA, West Springfield hosts the East Coast Gem & Mineral Show each August. More than two hundred dealers display not only fine gemstones but also fossils and museum quality mineral specimens. After swinging by El Monte RV Rentals in Boston, MA, head for the show and use the money you save on lodging to take home plenty of treasure!

We hope you’re excited about finding a gem show to build a motorhome camping vacation around. Choose your favorite and book your rental RV early. Who knows? Some serious bling just might be in your future!

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Gemstone Hunting RV Camping Ideas in Connecticut

For a fantastic northeastern gem hunting experience, plan some motorhome camping time in Connecticut. There are numerous old and currently operating mine sites that allow prospecting.

If you choose Connecticut for your next RV camping and prospecting trip, definitely do some research on the Roxbury Falls area, where some of the world’s best almandine garnets have been mined. Start at Green’s Farm Garnet Mine near Roxbury. This former mine site still yields deep red garnets.

Another easy place to prospect in Connecticut is Old Mine Park in Trumbull. The Park Rangers can guide you to a construction site where topaz, beryl and an interesting form of emerald are being found.

These are only a few of the gem fee mining sites that can spark an entire RV camping vacation. Whether you find yourself hunting Herkimer Diamonds in New York, or digging for sapphires in Montana, it’s a great way to spend time out in the wild with your family. Dig some more for fee mining sites in America, and prospecting is liable to become your favorite motorhome camping activity!

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Gemstone Hunting RV Camping Ideas in North Carolina and Georgia

A perennial family favorite in the Eastern US is Gem Mountain in Spruce Mountain, North Carolina. Located along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway in the area known as “Little Switzerland,” this family destination offers mine tours and the chance to screen for Crabtree Emeralds and Brushy Creek Aquamarines. Park your RV nearby at the Bear Den in Mount Pisgah National Forest.

For a truly Southern gem prospecting adventure, join the owner of the Hogg Mine near LaGrange, Georgia most Saturday mornings for a day of surface fee mining for aquamarine beryls, tourmaline crystals and literally boulders full of rose quartz!

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Gemstone Hunting RV Camping Ideas in Nevada

Nevada has been the site of fabulous gemstone finds, and the Garnet Hill Recreation Area near Ely is very popular with prospectors. Search two square miles of public land for likely garnet-containing specimens, and be sure to bring your rock hammer for breaking them! Camp just fifteen miles away at Cave Lake State Park, or really relish this remote region with a visit to Great Basin National Park, sixty miles east at the Utah/Nevada border. Both parks offer RV camping facilities.

In the remote desert of northwest Nevada near Denio, the Virgin Valley offers gem prospectors the opportunity to mine for precious black opal at three fee mining sites. Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine, has yielded gorgeous specimens. The Royal Peacock Opal Mine, has RV camping available onsite, and allows both “tailings digging” or “bank digging,” depending on how much you plan to spend. You can also search mine tailings for black opals or “fire opals,” at the Bonanza Opal Mine in the Valley. A large, free campsite without hookups can be found at Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge near the Bonanza Mine.

For an RV Rental for your Nevada gem hunting vacation, check out the El Monte RV Las Vegas RV Rentals or Reno RV Rentals locations.

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Gemstone Hunting RV Camping Ideas in California

There are so many possibilities for mining gem-rich ore in California. A popular stop for gem lovers hoping to find green or pink California tourmaline is the world famous Himalaya Mine near Santa Ysabel in San Diego County. Prospectors can purchase buckets of gem ore to screen onsite with equipment furnished by the Mine. Lake Henshaw Resort, adjacent to the Mine, is a beautiful site for RV camping, lake fishing and plenty of hiking in the foothills of the Palomar Mountains.

Another real gem for RV camping prospectors is found right in the same county! Oceanview Mine in Pala, California charges a set fee that allows gem hunters to screen fresh, unprospected mine tailings all day long. Recent visitor finds include aquamarine and many colors of tourmaline.

For your RV Rental needs in San Diego County, be sure to check out the El Monte RV San Diego RV Rentals location.

About two hours southwest of Fresno, screen for benitoite, California’s state gem. The California State Gem Mine near Coalinga is open most weekends to prospectors. Dry camp your RV at nearby Los Gatos Creek County Park and spend the day sifting mine tailings near where a fabulous 34 carat rough benitoite was recently found!

El Monte RV has numerous California RV Rentals locations that you can use for a gem hunting RV vacation starting point.

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How About Digging for Diamonds on Your Next Vacation?

Yes, you read correctly. There is actually a place in the United States where you can legally dig for diamonds (and the fees are minimal – $7 for an adult, $4 for a child 6-12, free for younger)! That place is Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Diamonds of all colors may be found at Crater of Diamonds, but the most common colors are white, brown and yellow. Rock collectors can also find amethyst, banded agate, jasper, peridot, garnet, quartz, calcite, barite and hematite and more.

Diamonds in excess of 5 carats have been found, most recently 5.47 CT. and 6.36 CT. in 2006. The most common sizes found, however. is .2 to .25 CT. But be forewarned, only about 1% of the parks visitors find diamonds. But it could make for quire a family adventure, and who knows…

For campers, the park has 59 Class B camping sites with water and electric hookups. For the bigger rigs, you might want to try the Arkadelphia Campground, 40 minutes away in Arkadelphia, AR.

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