On our way to Alaska, our first major sightseeing stop was in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We really love visiting the National Parks and since this one included hot springs, we did not want to miss it. We originally were going to visit a bath house while we were in town, but in a fun turn of events a friend told us about the opportunity to mine for diamonds! Therefore, we altered our plans a bit!
We started our day in Hot Springs by driving out to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro. For the cost of a $10 park admission, visitors can search a vast field that is an eroded surface of a large diamond-bearing volcanic crater! The best part is that you can stay all day, you get to keep anything that you find, and they have rangers that can help you identify your treasures!
We were even able to bring our pups, which were a big hit with the little kids at the park!
What we did not realize, before we arrived, is just how serious these folks were about finding diamonds! When we got out of the car and saw all of the people with their buckets, wagons, and shovels, we knew we were not prepared.
The good news for us was that they have the tools available for rent. For $15, you receive a bucket, a big shovel, and two screen sifters.
Because it had rained earlier in the week, the dirt was hard to sift, so we loaded some dirt in our bucket and carried it to the wet sifting area. The water was freezing, so George did most of the work from this point.
Once we finished, we went to check out our treasures. We had some Quartz, sandstone, jasper, volcanic ash, calcite, and a conglomerate (which is like nature’s cement!)
No diamonds for us, but we had a great time! It wasn’t until a day or two later that our friends back home posted this article about a teenager who had found a 7.7 carat diamond a few days before our trip there! He had quite the lucky day! So cool!
Stay tuned for part two of our Hot Springs adventure!