My dad, son and I had the opportunity to go on a rockhounding club field trip with the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society as guests of the Flatiron Mineral Club to a set of private claims near Red Feather Lakes in Northcentral Colorado. Red Feather Lakes is known for some of the best Colorado Amethyst found and also clear quartz, and a few miles north high quality industrial grade diamonds! Today we were digging for Red Feather Lakes quartz.
Here are a couple of past expeditions to the RFL area:
There were a couple of claims that we could visit so we had a choice of what we wanted to do this field trip! Some of us stayed at the first claim the claim owner walked us to in hopes of bigger quartz crystals and clusters (but much more effort) while others went to a smaller claim that had abundant smaller clear quartz crystals that were much easier to find. Hunter and I chose the first claim with more digging effort and a longer walk while my dad chose to check out the other smaller claim, eventually coming back and getting the best of both worlds.
Hunter is not much of a digger and has a keen eye for float, so he set off right away and started scouting the claim. Meanwhile, I love to dig so that I did. I found a couple of crystals within the top foot of soil and found some quartz veins that didn’t produce anything noteworthy. Hunter found a very nice float cluster right away bringing up everyone’s confidence that there is good stuff in the area. Meanwhile, the trip leader, Charlotte, was no more than two feet next to me and started hitting nice crystals as she opened up a seam.
Hunter’s quartz cluster.
Just after Hunter gave us all a jaw-dropping moment, I hit a nice phantom with white quartz with a secondary period of crystallization of clear quartz. So the father and son duo were not skunked and finding crystals right away! Cool!
Nice phantom white quartz under the secondary growth of clear quartz
Soon there after Charlotte started pulling out really nice crystals from her seam she was excavating. I can’t image getting bored of pulling crystals out of a pocket, but Charlotte wanted to ensure that everyone had a chance to pull out some nice crystals showing her kindness and generosity as the trip leader. So many of us took turns at pulling out crystals from her pocket! 🙂 I found a really nice double terminated cluster, but I had to give that to Charlotte as a memento from the pocket she discovered! I pulled out some great points and a couple small clusters!
None of the quartz has been cleaned yet; I have a handful that are in the acid bath queue.
Interesting crystal form
Large quartz, I cannot find the two crystals that were once next to this as seen by the matrix bottom. This was the last crystal I pulled from the seam as it was opening up into the main part of the pocket (of course we didn’t’ know that yet!)
Meanwhile my dad returned from the other claim with many nice small clear crystals. It became his turn and he was able to pull crystals out as the pocket bottomed out. He was able to keep several amazing clusters from the pocket that kept giving!
Wonderful cluster from near the end of the pocket. My dad extracted this and another similarly amazing cluster
Dad has some nice crystals and when he gets some photos I will upload them here. Meanwhile, I took some shots before I left; he has a couple of nice pieces of matrix that hopefully he has the crystals to repair to make a couple more stellar clusters!
Both amazing clusters, quickly washed with the garden hose.
Gotta love the fall colors while enjoying the forest and rockhounding in Colorado!
All in all it was an incredibly fun day meeting many great folks from the Flatirons Mineral Club! I hope to be able to dig with these folks again in the future! Thanks to the owner of the claims for making this a fantastic rockhounding adventure in Colorado!
My turn at Charlotte’s Pocket pickin’ Red Feather Lakes quartz crystals.