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

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CHANGED DATE: July 3 (SUNDAY) Field Trip, in the Panoche Hills (w/itinerary) at Panoche Hills -- meet at the Chevron Firebaugh, at I-5 & Nees Rd, coords approx 36.854933, -120.778177

July 3, 2016 from 6:30am to 12pm
Date changed to be SUNDAY (because everyone who was interested in joining me was busy on Saturday).   Sunday is July 3 this year (2016).    I'm going to go explore the Panoche Hills on the SUNDAY before the 4th.   Kris has a map with some areas that are  good rockhounding (e.g. around the reservoir).    I'll be at the Chevron at Nees Road & I-5 at 6:30 am on SUNDAY morning [NOTE CHANGED DATE] and will head out around 7 or so.   (I have a white Subaru Forester if you're looking for me.)   I…See More
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Connie Stillinger liked Connie Stillinger's event CHANGED DATE: July 3 (SUNDAY) Field Trip, in the Panoche Hills


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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New Developments in the Mojave Desert Monument Saga

Greetings, rockhounds!

Now that a bit of dust has settled from the Proclamations of the new Mojave Trails and other Mojave Desert Monuments, we're getting down to the hard work of crafting the BLM Management Plans.

Happily, the on-the-ground BLM folks have made clear statements that rockhounding and casual mining are still encouraged in the areas effected by the new Monuments, as long as historical artifacts and fossils are left untouched.

I've been informed that the Mojave Desert Advisory Committee, which is involved in crafting the Management Plans, will be making a site visit to Lavic Siding at 2 pm on May 20th, 2016.

This opens a clear opportunity for rockhounds to make an overwhelmingly positive impression on the Committee, and the BLM, by showing up and showing how we enjoy our pursuits, and protect the desert views for everyone by performing garbage cleanup.

I'll be heading out to the Mojave that week for a little casual mining, and some serious cleanup activities, along with the Tilley Family. If you'd like to come along, share some adventures and cleanup duties, RSVP at:

Rockhound Roundup at Lavic Siding, in the new Mojave Trails Monument - May 20th, 2016

The actual roundup will be the 19th & 20th, but if you'd like to participate in more of our trip, drop me a message here, or at my Facebook page.

See you on a field trip, soon!

Kris Rowe

Rockhound Field Trip Fanatics! 
Lapidary Specialties
Hand-2-Mouth Mining


As always, feel free to post your own field trips, Club Shows and Shop Days, and other Events. Additionally, members are encouraged to post their rocks, lapidary equipment, jewelry and other on-topic wares in the Photo stream. If you need help doing so,  just message me.

The NEW RFTF! Supporting Member T-shirts are here!

This year, due to popular demand, I'm offering members a choice of artwork on the front, or back. Priced at $24.95, each t-shirt order includes a RFTF! Supporting Member window sticker and luxury USPS Domestic Priority Mail shipping. Each purchase supports the 0ngoing mission of RFTF! ...

Sharing GREAT Field Trips!

Order yours today at The RFTF! Rock Shop T-shirt page.

See you in the field, friends!

Kris, the Admin

Blog Posts

Answer Man Time; Clearing the Air, and clearing the "Bee Sting" Seam ...

Posted by Kris W. Rowe on June 22, 2016 at 1:53pm 0 Comments

One of our stalwart members (I'll call him "John") sent me a good question about my recent "Bee Sting" plume post:

  I had understood the limit on amount of rock collected per day was to be 7 pounds, how do you justify taking a greater amount ?


Thanks for the great question. Here's a few pages with current info from several BLM sources:…


The Bees Know ...

Posted by Kris W. Rowe on June 20, 2016 at 2:33pm 0 Comments

During my May trip to the Cady Mountains in the Mojave desert, we made it out to Sandy Wash, and Christmas Tree Hill. Slogging up the hillside through the deep loose sand, I was pleased to see that other diggers had worked "my" vein, exposing ever juicier (and agate-y) 5-color plume!

It was…


Argillite dig June 18, 2016

Posted by John Dolman on June 18, 2016 at 9:31pm 2 Comments

  Was great fun you missed, I found a million tons more of materiel. Oh the colors red,golden yellow,gray, black, white ! And it has ( vuges ) filled with crystals.

July 4 weekend?

Posted by Connie Stillinger on June 15, 2016 at 4:32pm 5 Comments

Anyone have plans for the July 4 weekend?    I feel the need to get out and look for rocks, and dig.


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Hello from a newbie!

Started by Jessa. Last reply by David Barnard Jun 20. 4 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

New here and got some questions.

Started by Jason Batdorf. Last reply by John Dolman May 22. 5 Replies

So, when you got polished rocks how do you transport them without damaging any of them? I was thinking a tackle box with lots of little compartments? Also I was going to cut some large rocks into…Continue

Running a tumbler for 1 month straight?

Started by Jason Batdorf. Last reply by John Dolman May 22. 6 Replies

I am going on vacation for a month and I am going to run my 15 lb tumbler roughing for a month. Anyone ever do this? Did you add 4 times the grit?

Tahoe Rockhounders

Started by Joseph LaFortune. Last reply by Cat Campbell May 8. 1 Reply

Hey Everyone, I am new to the forum and thought I would send a email out to anyone in the tahoe/reno area that is a rockhounder. I go out every wen and thurs looking for new people to go out with and…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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Find tools, supplies and accessories that every rockhound needs, and support RFTF!

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This padded "bucket seat" has become one of my favorite field trip tools. The swiveling seat snaps right onto most 5 gallon plastic buckets. It's a great product at a great price!

RFTF! Amazon Favorites:

Estwing E30 Leather Grip Pointed Tip Rock Pick

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Facebook Lapidary Marketplace

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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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