We did it! We went crystal mining – the one activity I wanted to so badly that we built an entire camping weekend around it. It ended up being better than I expected (so. many. crystals.) and for me, the highlight of our weekend. We went crystal mining in Mt. Ida, Arkansas at Wegner Crystal Mines and I want to share our experience here so you’ll be able to plan for your own crystal mining trip.
A quick note – we took our kids and our dogs. I’ll talk a little about how to make this a true family adventure, and what ages it’s approproate for, below!
Crystal Mining in Mt. Ida, Arkansas at Wegner Crystal Mines
Where can I go crystal mining in Arkansas?
There are many places in Akansas where you can mine for crystals. I can only speak for our experience at Wegner Crystal Mines, but I do know that there are other mines in the same area. If you’re in Arkansas, or visiting, just google Arkansas crystal mining to see the options and find one near you. We were camping at Daisy State Park and the drive to Mt. Ida was about 45 minutes.
Do you get to keep the crystals you find?
Yes! We got to keep everything we found. They told us as long as they could fit it in the truck, we could keep it. You’ll need to check the rules at other mines.
What supplies do we need for crystal mining?
Wegner Mines supplied us with a five gallon bucket and some heavy duty plastic garden trowels. It had been raining the week before we visited and the ground was very soft – the plastic trowels worked fine. We also brought our own tools. I picked up an inexpensive set of metal garden tools at Walmart before the trip and those were sufficient. It included a trowel and a cultivator, and they were perfect. Several people with us had chisels, gloves, knee pads and their own buckets or containers to carry the crystals back. #pros
Some other items you will definitely want to bring: a hat, sunscreen, water, and possibly snacks depending on the age of your children. Bring a water bowl for the dogs if you’re taking them! If you’ve got a baby you’ll definitely want a baby carrier.
How long does the trip last?
There are several different options for mining. We did the Crystal Forest Mine, which required a drive to and from the mining area. We loaded into the back of a truck (with seats!) and they drove about 10 minutes to the mine. The mining area was mostly open dirt, but we found several shady spots to work in. Once you get up to the mine, you have two hours to dig.
The ride up and back is pretty bouncy, and you do need to get up and down some stairs to get in and out of the truck. My kids loved the ride.
They are very family and dog-friendly, so our dogs rode up in the back of the truck with us. Not sure if they guy next to me was super grateful about the dog that kept sitting on his foot, but, we made it work.
How much does it cost to go crystal mining?
The mining trip we chose, the Crystal Forest Mine, was $18/person for two hours. They had some other options that might be better for younger kids (and that don’t involve a separate drive to a dig site). There was also an option to visit their Phantom Quartz mine, and I really wanted to do this – but it required a much longer ride to the mine and a couple more hours once we were there, which would have been tough with the kids and dogs.
How do you mine for crystals?
You guys. This place is magical. There are literally crystals sparkling all over the ground, everywhere you look. You really don’t even need to dig to find them. They bring in fresh dirt every now and then to keep the mining area fresh. It didn’t feel picked over. There was no crazy rush to find the best spot (except for the shady areas!). It’s just…full of crystals. So many. For everyone.
To be clear, you won’t be going inside a dark tunnel mine like you might be picturing. Rather, you’ll be diggin in the dirt!
You can walk around and pick them up right off the ground, or you can find a spot and dig. You’ll only need to dig down a couple of inches to start finding the bigger ones.
What kind of crystals can you find in Arkansas?
They are mostly clear crystal quartz, but we found some gorgeous Lemurian Seed Crystals on our dig, too. They mine is famous for its Phantom Quartz, but those are mostly located in a different mining area and we didn’t find any on our dig.
Is crystal mining worth it?
I was anticipating this day for weeks. I love that we all got to be outside, in a forest, playing in the dirt, looking for crystals together. It was the best kind of day.
It cost us about $80 to mine. I don’t think we brought home $80 worth of crystals, but we got some real beauties and the fact that we pulled them out of the earth makes them even more meaningful. This also ended up being one of the kids’ favorite activities (two hours of digging is like a kid dream come true!).
Once we were done we checked out the crystal shop and I brought home a big, pretty rose quartz that was calling out my name (in the light it has a rainbow in it, so I know it’s mine!).
Can you take a baby crystal mining?
There was a family on our trip to the mine who had two toddlers and a 6-month old baby. They had a carrier for the baby and she slept most of the time. So I would yes, go for it! The truck is pretty bouncy and during the summer it gets H-O-T, so I would not take a small baby but I’m also a wimp when it comes to taking babies places, so maybe that’s just me. I think an older baby would be fine if you’re up for it!
And like I mentioned – we took the dogs! They mostly barked at people, tried to jump out of the of back of the truck, and sat in the dirt, so I’d say it was a success in their eyes. #baddogs
Not only do I want to go back and do the Phantom Mine, but I’ve also learned about some similar experiences (also in Arkansas) at other mines that I want to try, too. You can follow me on Instagram to keep up with our traveling adventures!
If you want to know more about trip from Texas to Arkansas, you can see our experience renting an RV for the first time here.
Let me know if you have any questions – I’m happy to answer them!