Yellowstone Adventure.

Montana Agate is one of my favorite stones to work with, so when I get a chance to visit my daughter, who happens to be in Billings this year, I can’t wait to head for the Yellowstone River. ?My time was short, and after spending a hot afternoon checking out the area around Hysham, I decided to get up at 3:30am and check out a gravel pit I located.

Montana Sunrise

Montana has some beautiful sunrises.

I arrived before the sun came up, and spent a few minutes getting ready and waiting for enough daylight to be able to tell the regular river rocks from the agate. ?When it finally got light enough, I headed for the pit, checking out the piles of gravel on the side of the entrance road.

Entrance Road

Gravel is piled up all along the entrance and around the side of the pit.

I was able to find my first piece of agate fairly quickly. ?It was a smaller fist sized piece, and stood out from the surrounding gravels.

Montana Agate

This one is easy to recognize.

I took two more steps and found this next one.

Montana Agate

This one wasn’t so easy to spot, but it still is different from the surrounding gravel.

I continued around the edges of the pit, occasionally scooping up a rock to check it out. ?I did find one more smaller agate, but the pickings seemed to be slim. ?I needed to head back to Billings by 7:00am and by the time I had gone two thirds of the way around the edge it was already 6:20. ?I wanted to check out an area in the center of the pit that looked like it had been recently worked so I abandoned my systematic approach. ?I headed for the center of the pit and it was here that I found two of the best pieces. ?These two pieces were both bigger than the first one I found. ?They are the two in the middle in the following photo.

Montana Agate

Some of the ones I found on this trip.

Close up shots of two of them.

Montana Agate

Some great dendrites.

Montana Agate

I am hoping this one will have “Iris” when cut properly.

7:00am slapped me up along side the head and I had to head for Billings ending what was a great 3 hours. ?I would really like to explore this area more, so maybe another trip out this way will be in my future.

Thanks for joining me.



6 thoughts on “Yellowstone Adventure.

    1. chasfire Post author

      j ryan: Thanks for the comment. The finds are some of the best I have found. Am planning on a trip to Lolo Pass for smoky quartz crystals before heading home next week.


  1. Woody

    That pit was well worth having a look at. The slabs from the big one with round dentrites shold come up great.

    1. chasfire Post author

      Woody: I agree. I won’t be passing up any gravel pits if I get to head back that way in the future.


  2. Garry

    Great finds! I love rock hunting in Montana. I wish I could go there again and spend some time.


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