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Black Hills and Round Mountain

Rockhounding is pursued everywhere in this mineral rich region, but two areas attract the most activity.

Rockhounding near Safford.

The Black Hills Rockhound Area is only 15 miles east of Safford on US 191 and the Round Mountain Rockhound Area is just west of the Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area.

Although a plethora of good rocks are available, the principal attraction for rock collectors here is fire agate. A relatively new gemstone, fire agate was identified and formally recognized in the 1930’s. It has the color play of precious opal with gem-quality reds, greens, and blues.

The desert regions of Arizona, southern California, and central Mexico are the only areas of the world where fire agate is known to occur. Although its origin is unknown, it is always associated with volcanic deposits.

Black Hills Rockhound Area is an exceptional collection spot open for digging with no permits or fees.