A wide variety of rocks, minerals and fossils can be found in our West Desert country. See our rockhounding map for general locations.
Fossil Mountain is one of the better places in the Western US to find a variety of shells and other invertebrate fossils. On this mountain it is easy to find shale rock containing large numbers of fossils. From Delta, drive southwest on US Hwy 6/50 for about 51 miles to the road leading south through Blind Valley. Follow that road southwest and then south for 12.5 miles to a spur which heads southwest to the north side of Fossil Mountain. From the turnoff you can clearly see the mountain. The spur road leads into a wash that defines the north edge of the mountain. Drive to the end of the spur road and then start looking for fossils in the wash and on the mountainside.
The Painter Springs area offers garnets, pyrite, muscovite, quarts and other interesting rocks. It is located just northwest of Notch Peak. Follow US Hwy 6/50 west from Delta for about 54 miles to the Painter Springs Road. Follow it north about 12.89 miles to a spur road that goes east. Follow the spur for one mile to a fork where you stay left. Continue almost another mile to the end of the road. You'll be in the mouth of a canyon, near the springs. Work the canyon bottom and foothills for specimens.
Agate Hill offers excellent agate in many colors. To get to the hill, drive northeast from Delta on US Hwy 6/50 to the Brush Wellman Road (about 11 miles). Follow that road west as if you were going to Topaz Mountain. When you have gone 31 miles you'll come to a road that heads southwest. Follow it for about 3 miles, to where a dirt road forks south. Follow the dirt road for 1.4 miles to its end. Agate is scattered over the top of the large hill to the west.
Coves along the east side of Topaz Mountain contain garnets. From the Weiss Road, drive north along the east side of the mountain for about 2.5 miles and look for the coves.
Apache tears can be found off the south west side of Topaz Mountain.
Obsidian can be found west of Black Rock. Drive Hwy 257 south from Deseret for about 43 miles, until you come to a sign identifying a road that heads east. To Kanosh. Turn east onto the dirt road and travel about 6 miles to the sign for Black Spring. Turn right onto the Black Spring dirt road and park in the open area by the watering trough. Obsidian can be found all around that area. Most pieces are black but some reddish-brown and snowflake obsidian can be found.
Denderite can be found in the Antelope Springs area. Oxide patterns color these rocks to make them look like plant fossils. Find then along a wash about 2 miles south of the U-Dig fossil site. (From Delta go west on US Hwy 6/50 for about 32 miles to the signed road leading to U-Dig. Follow that road 17 miles to the Denderite site.
People work old abandoned mining claims for placer gold, and people actually find small quantities. The effort is mostly centered on old claims in the Amasa Valley, southwest of Marjum Canyon.
Many other spots also offer good rockhounding opportunities. Inquire locally for ideas and directions.