Hunting for geodes is a ridiculously fun and unique experience for all ages. Here’s where to find geodes in Utah for free.
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One word comes to mind when thinking of geodes: nostalgia.
Whether you were amazed by the giant geodes found at collectable shops, handpicked little geodes and strategically fit them into the velvet drawstring pouches as a souvenir, or cracked a store-bought geode on your own, geodes likely bring a feeling of magic, joy and unique memory to the soul.
To fulfill your childhood rockhounding dreams (or to share this nostalgia with your own kids), hunting for geodes on a Utah road trip is an essential bucket-list experience.
Where Are Geodes Found In Utah?
The best spot to find geodes in Utah is the at the Dugway Geode Beds.
It is completely free to dig for geodes at the Dugway Geode Beds, as the area is registered as BLM land (AKA federal and public land).
Dugway Geode Beds Address (Where To Find Geodes In Utah)
There is technically no street address for the Dugway Geode Beds, so, to get to the Dugway Geode Beds, it is best to plug the coordinates below into your GPS.
Note: The Dugway Geode Beds address you see with a basic Google search is actually the address to the closest BLM office, not the actual geode beds.
Again, it will be easiest to use the following coordinates and directions to make it to the Dugway Geode Beds.
Dugway Geode Beds Coordinates (Where To Find Geodes In Utah)
The Dugway Geode Beds coordinates are 39.8942° N, -113.1369° W.
You can copy and paste these coordinates into your GPS to easily find the Dugway Geode location, or you may be able to type “Dugway Geode Beds” into your GPS, depending on your GPS system and Utah cell service (likely spotty).
You can also follow the below directions from Salt Lake City, Utah, if you’re coming from Salt Lake City.
Dugway Geode Beds Directions (Where To Find Geodes In Utah)
Directions To Dugway Geode Beds From Salt Lake City, Utah
- Get on I-80 W and State Hwy 36 S toward Pony Express Rd in Tooele County.
- Keep left on the I-15 S/I-80 E/I-80 W ramp to Salt Lake International Airport.
- Keep right at the fork and follow signs for I-80 W/Reno/Salt Lake International Airport.
- Continue onto I-80 W for 19.3 miles.
- Take Exit 99 for State Hwy 36 toward Stansbury Tooele.
- Continue onto State Hwy 36 for 39.8 miles.
- Follow the historic Pony Express Rd for 52 miles and follow BLM signs toward Dugway Geode Beds (dirt roads).
- Turn left onto Geode Beds Rd.
- In 259 feet, your destination will be on the right.
- There will be a pull-off where you can park your car.
Drive Time: Approx. 2 hours and 45 minutes
(All directions adapted from Google Maps.)
The majority of the drive to Dugway Geode Beds will be on unpaved, unmaintained, dirt roads. Although a high clearance vehicle is preferable, a small car can make it to the Dugway Geode Beds, too.
If we managed to get there in my tiny little 2011 Chevy Cruze, you can too!
Despite the rough terrain, the drive down Pony Express Rd is unexpectedly calming, as its history somehow gives you an even greater sense of nostalgia.
What To Expect While Hunting For Geodes At Dugway Geode Beds
It is best to go to the Dugway Geode Beds with little to no expectations — not because it is a dud of an experience, but because you don’t want to leave disappointed if you don’t find any geodes.
Even if you don’t find geodes, you will absolutely still have a memorable time. Besides, the likelihood of finding at least one geode is high.
On the other hand, you can expect to feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere because the geode beds are, in fact, in the middle of nowhere.
You will be surrounded by desolate rolling desert hills, dirt roads, distant Utah mountains, and miles and miles without any trace of humanity.
How To Hunt For Geodes
Hunting for geodes at the Dugway Geode Beds is easy because the area has already been excavated by previous visitors. You’ll be able to tell exactly where people have already been digging.
According to the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM), you have the best shot at finding geodes in the previously excavated areas.
Furthermore, the Utah desert dirt is very soft and fragile, which makes digging extremely easy, even for kids. Just be careful not to make tunnels or to dig too deep because the soft dirt can collapse (BLM).
What Does A Geode Look Like?
On the outside, a geode looks like gray, lumpy and spherical. Some particular characteristics of geodes include:
- Very round, or sometimes egg-like, in shape.
- Gray in color.
- Lumpy, popcorny, cauliflower-like texture.
- Lighter than other rocks that are the same size.
- May sound hollow when shook if there are loose crystals inside.
If you find a rock that matches these characteristics, crack that baby open! It’s most likely a sparkly geode on the inside.
How Long To Hunt For Geodes At The Dugway Geode Beds
It is advisable to spend at least a half day hunting for geodes at Dugway Geode Beds.
Likewise, the more amount of time you spend hunting for geodes at Dugway Geode Beds, the more geodes you will be able to find.
My husband and I were only able to spend one hour hunting for geodes, and although we successfully found a geode in one hour, we wish we could have spent more time there. We had an absolute blast.
What Can You Find At Dugway Geode Beds?
At the Dugway Geode Beds, “The most common mineral found within the geodes is quartz in various colors: clear (rock crystal), purple (amethyst), and pink (rose),” according to the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
What To Bring To Dugway Geode Beds
For your Dugway geode excavation adventure, you’ll need:
- A gardening shovel to dig for the geodes.
- A bucket to collect your geodes.
- A hammer and chisel rockhounding set to crack open your geodes. You can also use an old sock by putting the rock into the sock and slamming the rock onto a hard surface. The sock method is particularly fun and safe for kids!
- Old clothes you don’t mind getting dusty.
Because the Dugway Geode Beds are in the middle of nowhere, you will also need:
- A full tank of gas prior to departure. There are no gas stations in the Dugway Geode Bed area.
- Plenty of water. You’ll be in the middle of the desert, and there are no convenience stores nearby.
- Food/snacks. Again, there are no convenience stores nearby — nor restaurants.
- Sunscreen. There is zero shade at the Dugway Geode Beds.
- To use the bathroom prior to departure. There are no toilets at or near the geode beds.
Where To Stay Near Dugway Geode Beds
As previously mentioned, the Dugway Geode Beds are in a very desolate area of Utah, so there are no hotels or home rentals next to the geode beds.
If you are hoping to stay overnight close to the Dugway Geode Beds, you’re only option is to camp for free on nearby BLM land. Note that all of the nearby BLM campsites are all primitive, with no access to potable water, dumping stations, fire pits, etc.
If you would prefer a hotel, the closest cities to the Dugway Geode Beds with hotels are:
- Dugway, Utah, which is 1.5 hours away.
- Delta, Utah, which is about 2 hours away.
- West Wendover, Nevada, which is about 3 hours away.
Therefore, the best way to visit Dugway Geode Beds would be a quick day trip or on your way from northern Utah to southern Utah.
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