Shainmayer

A Travel, Bread, Gemstone, & Music Blog

Willow Springs Complex ~ Rockhounding Arizona

There is a place close by Ive talked about for some time. One of the first sites i ever wrote about and openly shared online is from this area. The Willow Springs Complex just North of Apache Jct and the Lost Dutchman State Park.  Parking has been improved, and there are so many driections one can go in here and find their own hidden advetures, your rarely run into others or packs of hikers out here at all.  I also run into one, maybe two people each time i go out. But everyone is usally going their own way so its allot of fun. It is moderate to easy hiking, but can get tough in some spots. Really depends on what your seaking out.  

Most of the good Druzy, Pink Lace, Gray Lace, Black Lace agates, and Orbicular jaspers are up and out of the wash areas. One most hike into the maze like canyon lands above the main Willow Springs wash tor eally find siutable cutting/collecting materials.  This hike was done about 5 weeks ago after the nice winter snow on Fourpeaks, so there was allot of water and moss growth in these back canyons.  We kiked over a small saddle were you can collect nice druzy, and down into a backside canyon to Willow Springs Wash. We found allot of semi large viens of agate, mostly whiteish, some pinks and grays as well. I brought some home and have one piece that might have plumes in it, and is rather clear agate.

 The last shot was at the bottom looking back up from were were came down. Just more as a mental marker for myself the next time i go over that same saddle.

Now this is total bush waking country folks, its always best to wear pants in this area no matter the time of year due to allot of brush and catclaw.  This whole wash was loaded with catclaw and a real pain in the but.  But for a rockhound in the Goldfields, its no problem and part of the going about.

I also found this nice druzy examples this trip which is also the main reason to sahring this site and going back years over years. There is allot of Quartz Druzy plates in mostly white color everywere. Sometimes Grey, sometimes rare Pink like this piece here. These make killer cabochons!

Other roughs i brough out on this trip have yet to be cut and proven, but i will share in time and if they are worth sharing.

Ok, so this last week i got back up there with a friend from the bakery and went a whole new way around to explore and find more rock hunting prospects.  This next group of photos is from that trip. It was started at the same parking lot, but we headed south and around a large butte with a goal on the backside called the IQ Arch. This first photo is looking east at the top of the saddle, towards Weavers Needle and the frist water area of the Suppersititions.


The next photo is looking West from the same spot, you can see the IQ arch in the distance on the left side of the ridge on the other side of the valley.

This was all bush wacking again, but it produce a couple spots that i plan to go back and look closer for black lace and a red jasper that seemed interesting.  At the bottom of the valley was a small trail heading north towards Willow Springs wash. We followed this trail till closer to the bottom of the hill were the IQ arch is.

 There were allot of neat ways up to the Arch itself, and the top of the ridge provided a great view of the whole surrounding area. However the rockhounding on this ridge was very low, yet quartz could still be found everywhere.  We then hiked off the ridge and Arch and back down to the trail. Which lead us back south and around to whats known as Preservation Gap.  This gap cut right through what i thought might be prime hounding and once we reach the saddle and started descending back towards the parking lot. Sure enough we found some really nice thin red lace agate, and even some super hard, almost gem jasper, purple jasper.  I really like this field of Saguaros guarding the saddle entrance.

 Josiah waking in the fading sunlight just over the saddle, were we found allot of good material. However like all rockhounding trips i do nowadays, i only pack out about 5 pounds top.  These last photos show some black lace agate we found,   and the red lace agate rough. Really more pink lace after i cut it. The cab had to be cut with the layers of lace and not against them because it was a thin vein. But is some of the best lace Ive ever found in this area and is worth going back and looking again.

And remember to look out for the local wildlife, they like to great everyone that walks by. 

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