- Phone: 208-245-2531 or 208-245-1134
- Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ipnf/recreation/rocks-minerals/recarea/?recid=6927&actid=73
- Length of Vacation: Few hours to all day
- Cost: Permit Required, $10 Adult / $5 Kids 6-12
- Open: Friday before Memorial Day through the Labor Day Weekend
- Type of Prospecting: Star Garnet
- Equipment: Provided with permit
- Instruction: Forest Service personnel are available
- Lodging: n/a
- Meals: bring your own food/water
From their web site:
There are only two places in the world you can find Star Garnets – India and right here on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests! The garnets found here are called “star garnets” because of a unique property that causes some of them to display a reflection like a four or six pointed star. India is the only other place in the world where star garnets like these are found in any quantity.
The 12-sided (dodecahedron) crystals found here range in size from sand particles to golf-ball or larger size. Gem quality faceting material is also found at the Garnet Area.
The Forest Service has developed the Garnet Area as a place where the public may collect these unique gems in a safe and environmentally friendly way. In the past, people would dig in the stream bed in search of the garnets. Now, due to concerns for water quality, aquatic habitat, and public safety, the Forest Service provides a stockpile of garnet bearing gravels from which people can gather material to run through one of two sluice boxes in search of garnets.