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Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine

Virgin Valley, Nevada


  • Phone: 775-941-0270
  • Web site: http://www.nevadaopal.com/season.html
  • Length of Vacation: Day Trip
  • Cost: $100 tailing fee per person per day (see website for details)
  • Open: Seasonal (May – Sept: see website)
  • Type of Prospecting: Opal
  • Equipment: Bring your own, they have list on their website
  • Instruction: First timers will be given some help in getting them started
  • Lodging: Link on website for nearby lodging and accommodations
  • Meals: Bring your own

From their web site:

Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine is located in Northwest Nevada, approximately 135 miles from Winnemucca, Nevada, and approximately 100 miles from Lakeview, OR. The closest town is Denio, NV, which is 35 miles away. Denio Junction has reopened and food, fuel and rooms are available. We recommend that you fill up in either Lakeview or Winnemucca on your way out to the mine. All roads to the mine are blacktop, except for the last 7.5 miles, which are gravel and dirt. During wet weather, the last couple of miles is very bad, and should not be attempted, (looking for opal in wet or very overcast weather is not good anyway).

The opals from Rainbow Ridge are casts after wood, and are some of the most beautiful opals in the world. We offer tailings digging where many different wood and opal combinations may be found. The tailings are up to eight feet deep. We turn the tailings from time to time, and are constantly adding to the tailings from the virgin ground loads. The virgin ground loads are materials taken from the bank with the loader, and are worked on a flattened area near where you park. Everything you find, regardless of value, is yours to keep. Although luck plays a part in finding opals, an “educated” eye is very helpful. First timers will be given some help in getting them started.


  1. Ronie Waddell

    I have been to Rainbow Ridge several times. As for accommodations you either camp or stay at the motel in Denio. There are 6 rooms there available for rent. You can pay for a bucket or dig the tailings. Either way there are awesome opals to be found. We have always done the bucket. You start at 8 a.m. and go thru the pile until 5 p.m. It takes 3 of us that long. If you don’t have all day then pay for tailing. It is well worth the money.

  2. Lester Neumeyer

    Could you please send us a link to your website.

  3. John A. Barker

    Quite interesting! Can you expand on the facilities or lack there of?
    We belong to a Gen and Mineral Society here in Virginia and like to bring 12 to 20 folks on our digs. Any info would be appreciated. jabarker

    • Dan

      Hi John, thanks for visiting my site. I am not affiliated with any of the sites listed here. I simply put them all in one place so people can find them easier. If you would like to leave a message for Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine, please visit their website. You can find the link above.

      Good luck!

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