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“A "gem" of an activity in Idaho, the "gem" state.”

Emerald Creek Garnet Area
Reviewed 17 August 2016

The Idaho National Forest Service has done an exceptional job of managing the Emerald Creek Garnet Area. They are knowledgeable, friendly, and truly seem to enjoy assisting and educating all those who visit. / Wear old clothes, plan on getting dirty. First you shovel, then sift, and then sluice. It is a delightful "hands on" activity. And, you actually do find garnets you can take home with you!

2  Thank LisaCarlson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"forest service"
in 5 reviews
"bring water"
in 3 reviews
"oz"
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"pile"
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"gems"
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"gloves"
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"dragging"
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"mud"
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13 - 17 of 36 reviews

Reviewed 15 July 2016 via mobile

I give this collection area 5 stars! The staff are friendly and helpful and are more then willing to explain how the gems are formed. Great for families with kids aged 7 and up.
We have never been skunked in three years and we are returning again this year. We are also fortunate enough to have found many fabulous garnets. The first one we had cut shows a beautiful 6 point star. We mounted it into a gentlemens ring.
We also found many many more stones that are very promising. Just need to cut them and facet.
Best days to dig are when there has been little or no rain and there is adequate sunlight. Its pretty nasty to dig when it's rainy or really wet from rain.
Well worth the small fee forestry service charges! The campground is also heavily forested and beautiful!

3  Thank Lorena W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2016 via mobile

If you like hunting for gemstones, this is a good place to go. Wear old clothes and plan to get dirty. Bring drinking water and a lunch if you plan to stay for any period of time. The wood frame screens they supply for sifting the gravel can get pretty heavy and be hard on the back. Several people brought their own smaller plastic screens that were much lighter and easier to use. We were tight on time but managed to collect 3 oz of garnets in about 2 hours. Some people had quite a bit more and were finding some that were about 1/2" diameter. GPS says it is 70 minutes from Moscow but plan on closer to 90 minutes unless you drive really fast.

2  Thank Doug238
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2016 via mobile

I love Emerald Creek. The site requires a short hike up an incline. The digging process is a fun family adventure. It is fun to see your finds from the day. I overheard that the garnet soil is from the tailings of a mining company. Not sure if there is truth to that. If so, I'm disappointed. I want to find a big one!

2  Thank Kenang34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 June 2016

It is remote but you will be surprised at the number of people who have found this hidden gem (pardon the pun.) The rangers are friendly, helpful,and knowledgeable. There is a comradery among the prospectors with the more experienced very helpful to those who are there for the first time. As others have said, it is work, you will get dirty and wet, but is a unique and fun experience. It was cool and wet the day we went but I can see how on a hot day lots of water would be needed. So glad we gave it a try.

1  Thank Melissa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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