Rockhounding Wigwam, Jefferson County Colorado

June 8, 2014.  I had the opportunity to visit a private claim with the Lake George Gem and Mineral Club in this famous Colorado locality in spring 2014.  The area and drive to the locality is beautiful; a stretch through the Hayman Fire burn area which occurred on this same date twelve years prior in 2002.

Wigwam area is in the heart of the Hayman Fire burn area.  This is 12 years later (to the day).

Wigwam area is in the heart of the Hayman Fire burn area. This is 12 years later (to the day).

Hayman burn area, June 2014.

Hayman burn area, June 2014.

The area is typical pegmatite digging; although it is several feet deep.  I ended up digging a few test holes but found no peg and only found float type material that didn’t pan out.  I started checking out natural washed tailings from previous digs and noted there was some amazonite in a certain area, so I started to dig in that general area.  After a while I started seeing stepped/parallel growth on top of quartz chunks mostly anhedral with some faces.  I tuned into where these were running finding a general seam and out popped some amazonite and quartz crystals that were really cool, in the soil no more than 8″ deep.  That seam pinched out but I came home with some really unique crystals.

The first crystal I found in this spot which prompted me to spend 5 more hours in this area!

The first crystal I found in this spot which prompted me to spend 5 more hours in this area!

Cool capped quartz with multiple growth periods, terminated on both ends.  Before the acid bath.

Cool capped quartz with multiple growth periods, terminated on both ends. Before the acid bath.

After the acid bath.

After the acid bath, about 3 inches long.

 

Awesome shaped amazonite euhedral crystal!

Awesome shaped amazonite euhedral crystal, about 4 inches wide!

My second visit was to see if I missed this seam going in any other direction.  After digging many hours I didn’t find any further remnants of the seam but in the general area there were many types of crystals–some partial amazonite crystals, some more quartz chunks with parallel type growth which in some cases grew bigger as the seam opened up slightly, and more clear quartz growths on other crystals or host rock.  I even found a fluorite crystal!  I pulled out very few euhedral crystals but there were some amazonite and milky quartz.

Awesome parallel growth crystal cluster from Wigwam locale.

Awesome parallel growth crystal cluster from Wigwam locale.

Shard of quartz with parallel growth tip.

Shard of quartz with parallel growth tip.

Awesome parallel growth where the seam opened up just a little bit allowing larger crystals to form.

Awesome parallel growth where the seam opened up just a little bit allowing larger crystals to form.

Cool clear fluorite!

Cool clear fluorite!

 

I call it "The Right Foot", awesome unique crystal!

I call it “The Right Foot” (due to it being found in the rightmost foot of my dig, among other obvious reasons), awesome unique quartz crystal!

It was fun to meet other members of the club and to visit this locality I’ve been meaning to pay a visit for years!

5 thoughts on “Rockhounding Wigwam, Jefferson County Colorado

  1. Sounds like you had a fun time at Wigwam Creek. My club visited an unclaimed section there a few years back. There were some surface pegs and some really cool phantom like smoky quartzes found by some members at the time. But like you said stuff was pretty hard to find. Probably why it was unclaimed!

    I have found very similar parallel growth quartz like that in the 3rd to last photo at Devils Head.

    I will be visiting my claim at Crystal Peak later in June at least one day as my work schedule in June is heavy on the overtime. Another day in June will be spent at a new claim I have for topaz which I am really excited about. I will contact you if you are interested in collecting there after my work schedule slows down.

    James

  2. Cool, I’d love to join you if our schedules align. You can reach me here via email (dave@). You’ve acquired a topaz claim too, that is exciting! I have yet to find any topaz in the wild; other than at the Topaz mine, but I know I’m not prospecting in key places for the topaz either. I have still yet to find a place I wanted to claim so I’m just prospecting public areas.

    Wigwam was cool but the crystals weren’t “perfect”; but regardless I still like the different types/variety; I’m pretty happy with the pieces and variety that I found! I have plenty of places I’d like to prospect in that area still! I’ve been to Devil’s Head and Lake George this spring as well. I’m going to post a couple more blog stories hopefully soon!

  3. Goin camping there over memorial day weekend. I love wigwam area. I have many great crystals of amazonite and smokies from this area.

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