Garnets in Idaho – June 2021

There are a couple of spots in the Rockhounding Idaho book that show garnet and staurolite cross collecting in north-central Idaho. We went to investigate them but after plotting the GPS coordinates, it’s clear that all spots are on private property. The book lists the areas as public lands, national forest, but it is definitely private property.

We didn’t spend much time investigating as it is not public property, but what we saw was garnets embedded in schist, which would be near impossible to separate out. The garnets were primarily 1/8 inch in size.

If you’re after garnets, the best spots is the Emerald Creek Garnet Area or the Fossil Bowl, both fee digs, for larger sized garnets. For free spots, the Salmon River has plentiful garnet sand, as should most of the creeks and rivers in this area.

In summary, the rocks are pretty disappointing and you have to trespass to get them.