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Red Top Mountain

By Jeff Lane

Red Top Mountain, located in central Washington is a rockhound's dream come true. Here you may find blue-gray to blue agate nodules, crystal-lined agate geodes, thunder eggs, and amethyst geodes.

Some of the equipment necessary to find any good amount of agate will be a hammer, pick, mattock, or prybar. This is very rough,rocky soil or solid basalt. Bring along a backpack or rock sack, drinking water, and something to eat.

To find Red Top you will take the Blue Creek road just north of Mineral Springs Resort on Hwy 97. Follow Blue Creek Road (Forest Road 9738) to the parking lot at the end of the road. Take the trail from the parking area toward the lookout, then take the right hand fork of the trail. It is about a mile to the best digging area, which is at the top. you will see pits where others have been digging.

Note: The parking area falls under the Forest Service's Trail Park Permit program. Therefore you will need to purchase a Trail Park Permit to visit the land that you own!! The permit cannot be purchased at the trailhead, so get one prior to arriving there or be prepared to face a hefty fine.

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