looking for rock hound area /vacation around little rock ark

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we have heard of some good rock hound areas around little rock/ hot springs ark, and wanted to know if its warm enough down there now and if the rock quarry areas are open now , also any recomendations on camping areas or b&bs for our family to stay. thanks tom from illinois

-- tom from illinois (tom1976@simple-living.com), February 12, 2002


If you go about 40-50 mi. south of Hot Springs area, you will find the only diamond mine in the U.S. where the public can hunt for diamonds. It is operated by the State of Arkansas...been there, but no we didn't find anything. There are lots of quartz mines north of Hot Springs on Hwy. 7. I think they are open now. As for camping, one of the nicest in that area is Lake DeGray State Park, about 5 mi. north of I-30 on Hwy. 7 (just north of Arkadelphia - 20 mi. south of Hot Springs). Lake Catherine close to Hot Springs is also nice. There are several nice B&B's in Hot Springs - get one close to downtown so you can see the sites there. Buena Vista resort in Hot Springs on Lake Hamilton was a family favorite of ours when my kids were growing up - lots of things for them to do there including mini- golf, tennis, pool tables, etc. Horse racing is getting ready to start up - you will have a tough time finding a room in H.S. during race season. As far as the weather goes...it is hit and miss right now...one day could be in the 30's...next day in the 70's. As you can tell, I have spent a lot of time in H.S. area. It is still one of our favorite getaways since it is within a 5 hour drive of Dallas. Have fun!

-- SteveD(TX) (smdann@swbell.net), February 12, 2002.

Tom, I would think it is still a little chilly for digging myself. We're suppose to have a low of 32 tonight and a high of 50 tomorrow. I've dug for crystals several times at a mine close to Hot Springs, the name of it is Coleman's Crystal Mine. I think the actual address for it is Jessieville , it's on highway 7 north of Hot Springs. Lake Quachita is close to the area and has good camping. Hot Springs is an old spa resort town and there should be several b&b's. A call to the chamber of commerce should give you lots of information. Good luck.

-- sherry (chickadee259@yahoo.com), February 12, 2002.


Re: Hot Springs, it is race season right now, so don't plan on staying in the immediate area. Even if you can find a room, it will be sky high.

-- Ivy in NW AR (balch84@cox-internet.com), February 12, 2002.

did the diamond mine and the crystals..no diamonds and POUNDS of rock crystal!! after you do that go to Franklin N.C. and pan for rubies!!! I have been several times and always had a blast..you can try natural mine or one that is salted(where they put gems in the gravels) I prefer the natural..found some that were worth cutting and made them into jewelery!

-- Bee White (bee@hereintown.net), February 13, 2002.

Hi Tom from Illinois, My daughter & I are also from Illinois, (NW), and we went to Mt. Ida, AK this past September to dig for quartz crystals. This is the third time we've gone there, and we always go to Fiddler's Ridge store, pay $10.00 each, and go out to their mine and hunt & dig all day. We got lots and lots of quartz crystals.

We wrap them in newspaper for the trip home, wash the red clay off (it sticks to EVERYTHING!! Wear OLD clothes!) as best we can, then boil them in small batches with oxalic acid (can be bought in the Fiddler's Ridge store) to bleach the red clay stain out of the crystals. We always love going there - there are lots of other mines, but Fiddler's Ridge is the one where we have the most luck. We also stop at other stores to look and buy. One place specializes in phantom crystals, etc.

We usually go in September after Labor Day - not too many diggers then and we sometimes have the whole mine to ourselves - yet it's fairly warm. I don't think now would be the best time, but you can try if you want to. We always stay in a motel (the Crystal Inn), but I think there are lots of places to camp.

-- Bonnie (51940@aeroinc.net), February 13, 2002.

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