Emerald Creek Garnet Area, Saint Maries

4.5
#15 of 31 in Wildlife in Idaho
Emerald Creek Garnet Area is located in Saint Maries. With our online itinerary creator, Saint Maries attractions like Emerald Creek Garnet Area can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
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Emerald Creek Garnet Area Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
34 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Digging dirt, carrying buckets of rock, shifting it all out, then sluicing it till you find the gems, and you will find some if you stick with it makes for a wonderful family outing. I found many gems...  more »
  • This is a great place to take the family and spend a day "mining" for garnets. It is best to arrive early in the day to find a picnic table in the shade. Take lots of water to drink and be prepared to...  more »
  • We went to find sapphires it is lots of playing in the dirt and water. Bring gloves clothes you don't mind getting wet and dirty. The experience was lots of fun overall.  more »
Google
  • This is something our family has wanted to do for several years, since we first moved to north Idaho. We finally took the drive and had a great time; found quite a few small garnets. Permit for each of us (adults) was $10 cash, purchased at the site, after the 1/2 mile hike from the parking lot. There are picnic tables but minimal shade. Bring water, snacks, and sunscreen/hat. Wear clothing you don't mind getting dirty and bring a change of clothes. A pair of thin gloves might also be a good idea. Next time, we'll go early, right when they open, take lunch, and make a day of it; maybe even spend the night in the campground. Excellent family fun.
  • Fun place to take kids. Very enjoyable
  • Ok, listen to me. Follow what I say. Bring a wagon with wheels, a cart with wheels, SOMETHING that will carry dirt besides your hands/back. Make a sifter stand. 30 inches high, put washers and wingnuts on the corners to enable easy take down. Make a screen with a least the screen material at .25 inch or a bit bigger. Fashion two rods that will hold up the screen, yet sllow it to be shaken back and forth. two rods, bent at 90 degree angles, router out holes that do not go thru [but maybe if they did, it would be ok] the wood on the inside of the top part. put the screen box on that, shake the dirt back and forth to get the lions share of the dirt off. The resulting leavings of rocks is what you put in a bucket. BRING nitrile gloves. male or female. it will protect your nails and skin in the trough of water that you wash those rocks off with. SEVERAL times. If you don't, your hands will be red from the cold water, ALL the oils from your skin will be gone, your nails will be super soft and will tear on anything. Use a spoon as a mini shovel to comb thru the rocks in the screen. I used another, larger rock. After an hour I cramped between my fingers. Don't be a me, be a smarter me. Bring a spoon. it was cloudy when we were there. Got burned anyway. Bring a hat, sunscreen, water, a lunch. Dig from the back of the pile. It was wet when we went. Imagine the weight of the clay. Toss the little stuff, what will you do with it? These are star garnets, so unless you know a person that facets or have a rock tumbler, they will just sit somewhere, looking ugly. It was a LOT of work for little payoff. We got a few decahexonal [no clue how to say it or spell it], garnets, but would I go again? Nah. Like I said, what are we going to do with them? I have a tumbler, might know a faceter. But faceting isn't cheap.
  • Had a great time with my family digging garnets. The price is right, the scenery is amazing, and contrary to what some reviews say, you can find good garnets there. I found one the size of a cherry and multiple that were gem quality that are favorable. Thwy have their own sluice station there and considering the amount of quartz in the dirt, I would be willing to bet there is some placer gold in the dirt if you want to spend the extra time to pan it out. Although, I can see that becoming a long process for little gain compared to just garnet hunting.
  • Had an awesome time here and gathered plenty of Garnets.
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