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Intaglios  |  Wiley's Well  |  Little Chuckawalla Mountains  |  River Terrace Agate  |  Palo Verde Mountain Foothills
Midway Well  |  Earp Badlands  |  Arlington Mine  |  Opal Hill Mine
 

The desert surrounding Blythe and the Palo Verde Valley in which it is located, is called the “Colorado Desert”. All areas are easily accessible with a pickup, and many places can be reached in the family car. A brief description is given here about several popular locations, and additional information is available through The Blythe Area Chamber of Commerce.

Intaglios

  • Are Giant Figures, known to archeologists as Intaglios, pronounced "In-tal-yos", an Italian term which refers to an engraving art process, are located 15 miles North of Blythe on Highway 95.   More Information

Wiley's Well

  • Location: 26 miles southwest of Blythe. West on I-10 approximately 17 miles to Wiley Well Road and Rest Area, then south 9 miles on well-maintained road to Wiley Well. This is the most popular collecting area in the Colorado Desert. Areas called Potato Patch, Cinnamon Beds and Hauser Beds are some of the many sites where seam agate, large geodes containing calcite crystals; nodule (deep blue) beds and more are located. Collecting is free and the Bureau of Land Management maintains several excellent campgrounds.

Little Chuckawalla Mountains

  • Location: 40 miles west of Blythe and south off Interstate 10 at Desert Center.

    Material: Geodes in deep rich blue, lavender, pink and tan, banded with turtleback agate and fortification moss, as well as chalcedony amygdales, rhombs, jaspagate and agate.

    Good level desert campsites but no water and limited wood.

River Terrace Agate, Wood & Jasper

  • Location: 20 miles south of Blythe on State Highway 78.

    In times past, the Colorado River cut many channels across the desert. Logs of petrified wood and other gemstone material were swept away from their source in Arizona, Utah and other places to the north. Crushed in their violent journey to the south, many finally ended up as huge piles of rock we call terraces.

    Material: Fine quality agate, jasper and petrified wood. Two of these locations are close to Blythe. Both are easily reached in a pickup truck. The Palo Verde Terrace is okay for passenger cars.

Palo Verde Mountain Foothills

  • Location: 25 miles south of Blythe on State Highway 78.

    Material: Geodes, agate, petrified wood, chalcedony roses and mineral specimens. This area is also easy to reach. Just park your vehicle off the road at any of the places available and hike. A good place to start is about 5 ½ miles south of Palo Verde on State Highway 78.

    This is a large area and contains many different types of interesting things to collect. Selenite (blades tipped with white) as well as clear pieces can be found in some of the canyons. Clam shells are occasionally found that indicate the area at one time was a lake of inland sea.

Midway Well

  • Location: 25 miles south of Blythe, 18 miles south of Palo Verde on the Ben Hulse Highway (State Highway 78). This is a wild and beautiful region in the southeast corner of our desert.

    Material: Paleozoic coral, agate, jasper, petrified wood, geodes, nodules, chalcedony, palm root, dumortierite, to name a few. Camping is open desert, no facilities, water or wood.

Earp Badlands

  • Location: 50 miles north of Blythe. Several roads lead into the badlands, and while okay for a trailer, sections crossing washes may require some shovel work to make them passable.

    Material: Red, Yellow, Green, and Brown Jasper, Jaspagate, banded agate and chert. Camping is open desert, no facilities, water or wood.

Arlington Mine

  • Location: Some 30 miles northwest of Blythe. The Arlington Mine has been idle for many years. It is actually a district composed of a number of mining claims which were most active during World Wars I and II. Manganese was the ore mineral. U.S. Gypsum’s Midland Plant is located north in the Little Maria Mountains.

    Material: botryoidal psilomelane, cabachons.

    Camping is open desert, no facilities or water, some wood in the washes.

Opal Hill Mine

  • Location: 25 –30 miles south of Blythe.

    The Opal Hill Mine is a private claim and the only site in California where high quality fire agate is found. For those who prefer to acquire their fire agate with no exertion whatsoever, nicely finished and polished pieces are sold at the mine for very reasonable prices. Digging fees are subject to change. Bring your own food, water and beverages.

    There are too many rock hounding sites in our Colorado Desert to list here. The Blythe Area Chamber of Commerce has more detailed information and maps available to the rock hounder, hiker or desert camper.



NOTE: Some areas of the desert have been closed to visitors. Check with the local Bureau of Land Management Office before proceeding.


 

 
 
 

Blythe Area Chamber of Commerce
207 E. Hobsonway, Blythe, CA 92225
(760)922-8166