Rampart Range Prospecting

Did some digging today on the Rampart Range area on the Northeast side of the Pikes Peak Batholith.  This location is known for mainly Smoky Quartz but also sometimes Amazonite and Topaz crystals.  I started off prospecting a new area and did not find much so I wandered off to an old pegmatite I have worked in the past and went further into the zone I had found some crystals in previous years.  I was lucky today and found many smokey quartz including a couple of small plates, and some weak colored and shaped Amazonite.

I originally came upon this area as I saw some loose pegmatite upon the ground that was somewhat graphic.  Graphic granite is where the crystallization gets more pronounced and starts to get shapes and facets on one or many sides.  I was pulling large (50+ pounds) chunks of pegmatite out of the ground and then I came upon a zone that was much smaller chunks of rock.  After pulling out a couple of pieces smoky quartz started to fall out and then I saw a ceiling plate with a crystal intact.  This plate was about 20 pounds so I left it; but I did bring home two plates intact and was able to find 5 crystals that fit back into place…which was worth the haul of these very heavy rocks to the car.

I plan to hit this site one more time as I want to ensure the pocket pinched out, which it appeared to do; but the previous seam of crystals I found along this pegmatite did the same thing, so it obviously opened up a couple times.

Part of the top plate of the small pocket.  This crystal had fallen off but I was able to repair it.

Part of the top plate of the small pocket. This crystal had fallen off but I was able to repair it.

Another view of the top plate in the main part of the pocket!

Another view of the top plate in the main part of the pocket!

This was along the bottom of the pocket

This was along the bottom of the pocket

These two were repaired back together

These two were repaired back together

I love the point on this one.

I love the point on this one.

Nice crystal

Nice crystal

This crystal is mostly gemmy inside.

This crystal is mostly gemmy inside.

Kinda odd facets, but awesome crystal.

Kinda odd facets, but awesome crystal.

Nice large crystal.

Nice large crystal.

Love this point!

Love this point!

Some of the repaired and larger crystals; many or gemmy

Some of the repaired and larger crystals; many or gemmy

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These are mostly gemmy

These are mostly gemmy

Smaller but gemmy crystals!

Smaller but gemmy crystals!

Part of the larger bottom plate near the center of the pocket.

Part of the larger bottom plate near the center of the pocket.

Some light colored Amazonite crystals.

Some light colored Amazonite crystals.

These will require a long soaking; but I kinda like them as is...

These will require a long soaking; but I kinda like them as is…

 

3 thoughts on “Rampart Range Prospecting

  1. Pingback: Rockhounding 2014 Year in Review - what's what with davealexwhat's what with davealex

  2. Love your videos! I know you get a lot of requests, My Daughter and I will be camping on Rampart Range road July 4th to the 11th. Want to go digging? We did some digging last year. Just did not no where to dig. I dug a lot of holes. I know we were in the right area, just need a little help,
    Thanks
    Randy Case

    • Thanks Randy, glad you are heading out with your family to enjoy the outdoors. I would recommend anywhere around the Topaz Point picnic area or Log Jumper trail. You’ll find plenty of digs in that area (known as Virgin’s Bath in the literature) and there are still plenty of crystals there–as you have seen in the videos; I’ve prospected outside of that general area and had a lot more of a challenge finding anything, but crystals are literally everywhere up there you just have to follow the facets/signs and work the pegmatites…I have yet to have an opportunity to head up this year so far, not sure when I will get up there yet..hopefully soon! Have a great camping trip and good luck finding the crystals!

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