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SBI Goes Rockhounding in Tucson, AZ

SBI Goes Rockhounding in Tucson, AZ

Recently, I went on a short yet productive rockhounding on the Sierrita Mountains in Tucson, Arizona. Arizona is one of the hotspots of mineral collecting in the United States, and the Sierrita Mountains has been an important source of copper and molybdenum in the state since 1959.

In this post, I share with you my excursion, the tools I used, the preparations I did, the rockhounding spots I went to, and the cool minerals I unearthed.

What's In My Arsenal

rockhounding tools and equipment My rockhounding tools and safety equipment

A safe and productive mineral collecting isn't complete without the important tools and PPEs. Here's the list of items I packed with me to the mine:

  • Hard hat
  • Safety goggles
  • Boots with ankle support
  • Rock hammer
  • Backpack for carrying tools and valuables
  • Cloth bag for carrying the specimens

Arthur rockhounding in Tucson Looking rockhounding ready!

Note that when you're just starting out with rockhounding you may bring only the items that are most important to you. For further reference, here's a guide on must-have rockhounding tools and equipment for rockhounding newcomers.

Finding the Best Rockhounding Spot

Sierrita Mountains Tucson A huge mining pit spotted on Sierrita Mountains

I visited the Sunrise and Sunshine Mines in the Papago Mining District on Sierrita Mountains, Arizona although there are plenty of rockhounding sites dotted around Arizona.

To get an idea what these sites are, check out these 12 rockhounding locations near Tucson or peruse this list of popular mineral collecting sites in Arizona.

Below are some snaps I took around the site.

Sunrise at Sunrise and Sunshine Mines Witnessing the captivating sunrise at the mine (hence the name of the site)

Sunrise and Sunshine Mine entrance The entrance to the Sunrise and Sunshine mine

Outrcop 2 An outcrop waiting to be dug and explored

Behold, Sierrita Mine's Hidden Treasures

After hours of digging and chipping off huge rocks, I found some specimens of pyrite, chalcopyrite, chrysocolla, quartz, calcite, chert, epidote, and more.

Minerals in Tucson.png

Inspired to chart your own rockhounding adventure? Plan out your trip with this ultimate beginners' guide to rockhounding. don't forget to share with us your experience!