Southern California Desert Agate Collecting
August 2005
By Jim McGlynn

Went out to Las Vegas with the family, and made a couple of side trips into California to scope out some agate sites that I found published in Gem Trails of Southern California.

First trip was out to Death Valley; not for rockhounding, just for sight seeing. It was very hot and windy that day, but I managed to get a couple of pictures of some interesting rock formations that looked as if they were ready to topple.

Death Valley was interesting, especially when it was near 100 degrees on valley floor, and I could look up at snow capped peaks in the mountains to the West!

Anyway, on to the agate! I went to the Afton Canyon site which was a very scenic ride, and my all-wheel-drive rental vehicle paid for itself as it took me through a stream and sand trap without any problem. I only found one pretty agate nodule but was a little disappointed in not finding more... the trip was worth the magnificent views!

Went on down the Interstate (I-15) between Baker and Barstow to the "Field Road" collecting site. This was an agate collectors paradise. I spent the afternoon looking around and then went back the next day to collect. Really nice agate colors and patterns were to be had with just a little driving and walking... all on the surface.

Horn toad lizard

Road to agate fields

Pretty agates

Some nodules too large to take!

That big red one on top of pile was from Afton Canyon site.

Nice pile of agate to be shipped home to the Carolinas!

My Vegas vacation turned out just fine! (Anytime I find some pretty agate, I feel like a winner!).

Jim McGlynn