Highway 97 Jasper – June 2021

There is a roadcut on Highway 97 in Oregon, near the town of Biggs that has historically been a source of picture jasper. In 1964 a storm washed out part of the highway here and when the road was being rebuilt, picture jasper was revealed which started the ‘Biggs Picture Jasper’ craze. The roadcut has been stripped clean…until now!

Currently, spring 2021, a highway construction project has exposed further into the cut, thus revealing Biggs picture jasper, as well as black chert. When we visited, we found a fairly large amount of high quality picture jasper. The roadcut seems a little unstable and it was clear that other rockhounds have been to this area looking for and collecting the recently exposed, highly coveted material.

In the afternoon, we found a very large, approximately 300lb boulder of picture jasper. The next day it was no longer there, meaning that someone made off with the find of the century, it only took the effort of hauling away a 300lb boulder off the side of a busy highway.