Saddle Mountain

Materials: Petrified Wood (agatized & opalized)
GPS: Once you get to the pin for the split, going right will take you to the main dig site near the towers and going to the left will take you to the Cliffs digging site. The road to the Cliffs is often a nicer road.
The split 46.79709, -119.88929
Main dig site 46.80886, -119.88947
Cliffs site 46.78957, -119.89806
When using GPS coordinates to navigate to locations in the backcountry sites like Google will often make mistakes. Please watch this video before venturing out. https://youtu.be/hQr1l7dnCE4
Tools: Here you will need some hard rocks digging tools such as pry bars, picks, hammers, chisels, and shovels.
Vehicle: People have driven normally cars to the top like we have in years past but the road has started to deteriorate and now you will want something higher clearance such as a Subaru or truck to get up to the top near the radio towers.
Date Visited: We pretty much make this an annual trip in the summer and have gone June 2019, April 2020, and April 2021
Additional comments: This is BLM land with some great areas to camp. Also things like high winds with dust, ticks, and snakes can all be issues at this location.

I’m now trying to keep this listing in a chronological order of our visits.
Any Location Updates Since Visit: The best source of a geological map of Saddle Mt. comes from the PDF Geologic Map of the Saddle Mountains, South-Central Washington by Stephen P. Reidel

June 2019:

April 2020:

April 2021:

March 2022:

This is what it was like to drive from the base of Saddle Mt. To the top where the main digging site is during the start of March 2002. This is an unmaintained BLM road which means it can be rather rough in some areas. My Subaru Outback made it just fine but its no place for a lowered Honda Civic
I hope you enjoy this web exclusive content.

Blue Agatized Petrified wood

I would like to share what little I know about these two pieces of bright blue agatized wood that I found up on Saddle Mt.

These image are not color corrected in any way, this is just how they natural look in the direct sun light.

After close examinations under the microscope it appears to mostly be botryoidal chalcedony that seems to be very thin in some areas and thick in others. Seeing this makes me think its not a full replacement all the way though.

Cutting it seems like the next logical step but with no other specimens available to look at I’m very reluctant to do so.

The hardness of this material is between a 6 and 6.5 on the mohs scale.