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Rockhounding


Mount Higgins, photo by Martha Rasmussen

There are several good rockhounding site in the Darrington area.  On Mount Higgins just northwest of Darrington, in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest leaf fossils can be found in sandstone and shale along the road cuts.


Looking at Higgins Creek from the bridge, photo by Martha Rasmussen

To get to Mount Higgins drive west on SR 530 about 5 miles to Whitehorse, turn right on Swede heaven road, drive 1.5 miles to Forest Service Road #18, turn right, you are driving up Mount Higgins.

Small Thunder Egg Geodes containing chert, agate and crystal can be found at Higgins Creek and its tributaries.  To get to Higgins Creek, continue driving up Segelsen Road, FS Rd. #18 for 18.1 miles, turn left and drive 1.4 miles down hill, Higgins Creek is just past the beaver pond and you will come to a concrete bridge.

Looking at Gold Hill from the Sauk River, photo by Martha Rasmussen

As you come into Darrington from the west you will see Gold Mountain right in front.  Gold Mountain is the smallest of the mountains surrounding Darrington with an elevation of only 3,300 feet and is referred to as "Gold Hill".  There is a site that once was an active Washington State Mineral Council roadside claim on Gold Hill which is within the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.  This site contains travertine and is along side Forest Service road #24 and is located near the top of the mountain.  FS Rd. #24 can be accessed from the Sauk Prairie north of the mountain or from White Chuck Bridge starting off on FS Rd. #23 then taking the first right putting you onto FS Rd. #24.

Sloan Creek, photo by Martha Rasmussen

Sloan Creek Road, Forest Road #49 has a couple garnet outcrops between Ruby Creek and Garnet Creek, also near the bridge where Sloan Creek meets the North Fork Sauk River.  When planning a rockhounding trip in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest be sure to check with the Darrington Ranger Station to check on road conditions and pick up a map before heading out and be sure you understand what permits are required.