Dedicated to sharing Rockhounding & Mineral Collecting Field Trips, collecting sites and collecting information!


Early 2013

We celebrated reaching 450 members by starting our own

ProBoards Forum.

Now we've topped 500 members, and the Forum is ready!

Lots of topics and categories have been set up,…


Created by Kris W. Rowe Sep 13, 2013 at 7:07pm. Last updated by Kris W. Rowe Sep 13, 2013.



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Spring's here ... It's Rockhounding Season!

Hi, rockhounds!

The 2015 Central California Rockhound Odyssey was a huge success, with much rock and many fond memories taken home by the happy attendees.

I returned home energized  by the experience, and dug right in to producing the new Supporting Member T-shirt! Here are the draft graphics, awaiting the printers approval.

Priced at $24.95, each t-shirt order includes a RFTF! Supporting Member window sticker and luxury USPS Domestic shipping, and supports the 0ngoing mission of RFTF! ...

Sharing GREAT Field Trips!

Pre-orders are available now at The RFTF! Rock Shop T-shirt page.

See you in the field, friends!

Kris, the Admin

Blog Posts

Clear Creek Plasma Agate

Posted by Royalee Pierce-Cannon on April 18, 2015 at 3:31pm 0 Comments

My son and I went to Clear Creek in San Benito County on the Plasma Agate collecting field trip with Chris Rowe and lots of other people from various mineral clubs on April 16th. Our jaunt was a success and I have some beautiful rough to work with. Had a great time in the middle of nowhere. Thanks to Chris for organizing the trip, much appreciation.

Keeping It Legal - WWW Resources on Claiming, BLM Mineral Materials Sales and other issues. Updated, 4/5/15

Posted by Kris W. Rowe on April 1, 2015 at 9:00pm 0 Comments

One of the common questions that we rockhounds confront is "How do I it legally?"

For the avid rockhound & lapidary, avoiding the pitfalls of commercial activity and collecting on Public Lands is a constant concern. However, the difficulty of finding answers to the question of how to legally collect rocks and minerals for resale leaves most rockhound/lapidaries in grey areas.



4x4 Trucks/SUVs

Posted by Terry Lee Zeithamel on April 1, 2015 at 3:07pm 8 Comments

Hello, I'm new to this group and going out on trips like the one talked about for this month.  What type 4x4 works best for these type trips?  I'm thinking of buying something new and the full size trucks seem almost too big, any comments?

Budget Lapidary Hints - Starting lapidary with a slim budget? Get a flat lap!

Posted by Kris W. Rowe on March 26, 2015 at 2:35pm 5 Comments

Sooner or later, most every rockhound feels the urge to see what they can make of their rocks. For those on a budget, the simple act of looking for affordable grinding & polishing equipment can be discouraging. Never fear, a flat lap may be your answer!

A flat lap is the most affordable and compact grinding, sanding and polishing equipment option available. For apartment dwellers, and those who need compact, portable equipment, it's a great choice. Most modern flat laps fit easily…



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Drought finds

Started by Jessa yesterday. 0 Replies

With the drought along the West Coast, has anyone found any thing extra interesting below the historic water lines in the rivers and lakes?Last year I found some pretty amazingly shaped chunks of…Continue

Hello from a newbie!

Started by Jessa. Last reply by Jessa yesterday. 2 Replies

Hello! I am new to this site. As a teenager I did a little bit of rock hounding and collecting. As an adult, I am hoping to get my husband and three children fascinated with rocks as we are already…Continue

Seeking Fellow Rockhound Companion for Himalayan Mineral Hunt

Started by Akrur Shah. Last reply by Akrur Shah Apr 19. 2 Replies

Journey to the Himalayas:Geological Mineral Excursion to Humla Region in far West Nepal I am a Kathmandu native and geology enthusiast seeking 1-2 travel partners to join me for an adventure and…Continue

Central California Rock hound Odessy

Started by Craig Bowlby. Last reply by Craig Bowlby Apr 18. 2 Replies

  Well folks, I did it.  Nobody saw me, but I did do it.  That's not quite right, a few people did see me at the Mariposite site, but other than that, I dug in solitude.  It was no-ones fault but my…Continue

About the disclamer on each Field Trip page ...

On the advice of a sensible attorney friend, I've added a liability disclaimer to each Field Trip announcement. This is to cover my a*s.
The disclaimer does not imply any unusual danger.
Fact is, a sensible individual is far more likely to come to harm in their own neighborhood than out in "the wild." I do my best to assure that my own Field Trips maximize comfort and accessibility, and are "family friendly."
I recommend traveling to any "off road" destination with no less than 2 vehicles. Thankfully, I've yet to experience any of the horror stories I've read of danger and deprivation, due to my penchant for over-planning.

The mountains and desert can be dangerous to the unprepared, but on the average, crossing the street in town is far more deadly.

Kris, the Site Admin

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Very Useful Links

*** NEW! ***

The RFTF! Amazon Store

Find tools, supplies and accessories that every rockhound needs, and support RFTF!

NEW!!! -

   Try the

Facebook Lapidary Marketplace

Top rockhounds, miners, lapidary artists and rock shops offering gemstone  for trade AND sale. I like it, since I sell rock!


Now we have our own easy to use bulletin board style forums!


RFTF! member Lew Helfrich moderates one of the best places on the Web to swap lapidary materials @


Easy Specific Gravity Test - Determine the density of your rock finds!

The Rock Tumbling forums - This is one of the greatest resources on the web for meeting other rockhounds and lapidaries, asking and answering lapidary questions, discussing the rockhound life and showing off your cool rocks!

yelp! - Real reviews by real people, really useful. just about any city or locality you can imagine.

BLM Geocommunicator -

Crippled, but still a useful tool for determining section and map coordinates, with some additional info services still available.


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