Lake Pleasant Geodes

I picked this spot out of the book by Neil Bearce (Minerals of Arizona) because he mentioned geodes. I found this spot to be very nice, both for the rockhound and just to visit Phoenix and have a free place to camp . BLM land to camp is easy to find west of the road to this little lake, or you can use the established campsites on the lake for a small fee. This area is only 15 miles from north Phoenix so expect a few people.

Usually, reading about a spot so close to a big city is a red flag to me saying this spot is dug out. I was surprised to find it wasn't that bad. There were a few eggs visible in the bluffs of the small creek to chisel out...

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...and I found a pocket of altered perlite (kaolinite) with thundereggs up the hill on the west side.

The agate wasn't great in the few I busted, but good enough, so I filled a bucket.

The road to this site is not good so this explained why it wasn't picked clean. I met a man in a nice four wheel drive pickup who drove to this area to quail hunt, but I thought he was nuts to take his vehicle over such a road. He assured me he was sane. He then guided me to another area a mile to the south that had chalcedony 'roses' scattered about the hillside.

This is such a pretty area of the Sonoran Desert.

It seems to get a little more rain and the cactus are bigger and more lush. There are also lots of wild critters around and the wild burros will keep you on your toes (they will eat anything including your tent).

The only problem is the three mile road to the site. It is not for passenger cars and would be white knuckle for me in a rugged pickup. I drag along a small four wheeler when I rock hunt, and it is the perfect vehicle for this area.

The collecting site book mentioned another area further west on the road, and it has lots of small flattened eggs laying around, but I saw nothing good to dig. There is a lot of agate laying around here though and it is easy to find. This is a big area of volcanic flows rich with agate and I kept thinking as I hiked around I would find something really special. I did get a lot of exercise... in one of the sweetest spots in the desert.