Colorado is famous for gems, smoky quartz in this locale, minerals, rockhounding, prospecting and mining. Joe and I certainly experienced that in the spring when a friend and mineral dealer hosted us for a weekend of mining, prospecting and rockhounding.
We drove for many hours through through the Pike National Forest, where one finds Pike’s Peak, until we came to an area, a mountain side known as “Devil’s Head.” Now this style of rockhounding means you take a pick-axe, start mining to clear overgrowth and topsoil, and once you hit the surface rock, you are surprisingly close to the layer where one finds smoky quartz.
Joe was very lucky and discovered a vein of smoky quartz with the first spot he chose. I was not so lucky, but we did see the the beauty and majesty of Pike’s Peak and the entire Pike National Forest.
If you have the jeep to make this long drive, over dirt roads, we recommend this rockhounding trip. Take plenty of water, more than you would normally as the height where you are does dehydrate you much more quickly than when you rockhound elsewhere. The air is so dry, and you are at such a height you don’t sweat, so you can’t tell how dehydrated you are becoming.
Colorado is a beautiful natural treasure in America. If you get the chance just to drive through the Pike National Forest, opt for it.
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