Crystal Park
Pioneer Mountains, Montana
July 2005
Richard Price

Well here is another short field trip report on my excursion into the wilds of Montana. Specifically Crystal Park.

I thought I would post this report, even though I still don't have a digital camera. Sorry there are no pictures. The day was gorgeous, the hounding was wonderful, and the views were fantastic.

Crystal Park is located south of Wise River Montana and is maintained for Rockhounds. There is abundant clear single crystals, a few clear crystal clusters, a few smoky crystals and clusters, and rare amethyst crystals located here.

Last year in July I was fortunate to be in that part of the State and spent two partial days combing the disintegrating granite for crystals. The first day my wife(Joyce), daughter(Leilani) and I arrived just before noon, and after spraying generous amounts of insect repellent over our bodies, we climbed the hill to a previously dug spot.

We didn't bring any type of screen, so we had to rely on our sight and fingers to separate out the crystals. We worked about 2 hours before we had to leave. This day we only found small (1/2" long and smaller} crystals. They were all clear, but many of them were undamaged. We left for the day not so weary but happy with our finds.

The following day I rose up early (as I always seem to do) and headed back to the Park to try my luck again. Joyce and Leilani decided that early rising was only for the birds and crazy rockhounds and stayed home in bed. On the way I stopped at a store in a vain attempt to locate a screen. The only thing I could come up with was a plastic cat litter scoop. I thought it might help and after paying for it I headed out, hopefull and energetic.

I arrived at the Park around 8:00am and quickly returned to my previous spot. I started moving dirt and after an hour I located the following exciting finds.

I apologize for the second picture. The crystal is about 1 3/4" tall and 1" in diameter.

These finds got me really excited and I started moving dirt a little faster. Oh, by the way, the digging here is very easy.

I spent another two hours digging and was rewarded with these two great smoky quartz crystals.

The crystal cluster is about 2" tall by 1 3/4" wide.

I had to be back to Dillon, Montana by noon so soon after these finds I headed back to the car. I met a mother and her two children just heading in and after talking to them for a few minutes realized they didn't have any bug spray. I told them where I had been digging and gladly donated my can of "OFF". The mother seemed very pleased, since they had allready suffered numerous bites from the vicious mosquitos of the area.

I arrived at Dillon a little after noon and excitedly showed my finds to Joyce and Leilani(who by the way were suitably impressed).

PS: If you have the chance to go here try to take a screen. The cat litter scoop was a poor substitute.