Garnet Hunting!
Posted in Hobbies
Forenoon watch, 3 bells (9:32 am)

Yesterday was a fun day out. The drive to Emerald Creek Garnet Area was long, around 2 hours from Post Falls, and my wife got a little carsick with all the twists and turns, but we made it in one piece with a very dirty car. The last 7 miles to the garnet area aren't paved.

The Forest Service was quite late opening the garnet area this year because they made some changes. Those of you that have been before may be interested in seeing how it's done now, so here are some pictures:

Digging area
Sifting area

And here are a couple pictures of the garnets we found:

Together we took away 3/4 of a pound of the star garnets. Quite a bit less than the 10 pound quota allowed by our two combined permits. This would be a great activity with kids, too. There is a short hike uphill from the parking area along a dirt road and you're there. They take cash or checks. There are lots of Forest Service employees there to help answer your questions and get you started. Bathroom facilities are there, but I didn't use them so I can't say anything about the condition. Bring a hat, sunscreen, extra water (we didn't have access to clean water, the sluice water is recycled over and over and quite muddy). Gloves for people with tender skin may be nice, some of the rocks can be sharp. Also, something to put your garnets in. They have baggies there (at least they did yesterday), but some people brought jars and others brought Home Depot aprons.