On Friday, August 13th 2010 we headed back to the Silver City, Idaho area for some more quartz crystal hunting. Our last rock hounding trip to this area was on June 27th and it was so productive we decided to head back there armed with a little more information. We now call this area "War Eagle Flats" and it's located about 0.5 mile, as the crow flies, south of War Eagle Mountain.
The Trip to War Eagle Flats
We unloaded the Arctic Cat at the end of the pavement of the Silver City Road and headed up toward New York Summit. This road is quite smooth but getting dusty as condition are drying out. Once you drop over the summit you'll need to turn left at 43.027405, -116.722945 on a dirt road that gets progressively rougher and steeper as you approach War Eagle Flats.
The views along this road are great as you travel though the pine forest with sweeping views across the Snake River Plains in many spots. So take a camera and record some "Kodak Moments" along the way. After all, rock hounding isn't just about the rocks but should also be enjoying the great outdoors too. You'll pass by the old Fairview Miners Cemetery where you can see a few headstones from this 1870's landmark. The views from here are more than "fair"...more like "spectacular".
The last ¼ miles of the road before getting up on the flats gets very rough, rocky and rutted but the views really open up to the north at this point also. Once up on War Eagle Flats you'll see dirt roads criss-crossing the area and the many mine tailings. Again some on private land, some on claimed land but also some on open land.
What We Found
We found lots of quartz crystals. Most of them in the 1-2 inch range and mostly broken up. But there were there were the few gems we found that made the trip a memorable rock hounding adventure. But just because most of the rocks we found weren't large or perfect doesn't mean they aren't "show" quality stuff. Some of the rocks are chocked full of small crystals and cool stuff like chalcedony.
War Eagle Flats
Coordinates: 43.001008, -116.703991
Elevation: ~ 7,700 feet
Description: War Eagle Flats is a large open area on the south flank of War Eagle Mountain in the Silver City area. There are many old mine tailings in this area and "some" sit on public land so rock hounding is legal. Many of these tailings are on private or legally claimed lands so you have to do your homework before heading up there.
- A bag to place your rocks in.
- A digging tool but this isn't really necessary as most cool rocks are sitting on the surface. No reason to dig into this semi-sensitive alpine soil.
- Google Earth.
- The GeoCommunicator website
- A GPS Unit to keep you on public land.
Thanks for visiting and commenting on this rock hounding adventure.
The Bondyweb.Com author
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