LGMC sponsors field trips for members to various localities during the summer months. Weather permitting, some trips may be offered in the spring and fall. In the field we hope you find mineral or fossil treasures and, in addition, enjoy the company of your fellow Rockhounds. Please review the “Field Trip Rules and Decorum” at the link below. Note: Trips may be cancelled if conditions near the field trip area unsafe or dangerous. (i.e. wildfires, flooding, or other unfavorable conditions)
Jim Hooten, Field Trip Chairman
This is the list of the 2019 field trips planned for the collecting season up through September 28.
Additional trips may be planned for later in the fall. If so, at the Club Picnic, or the September Regular Meeting, more information and sign-up sheets will be available for these trips. Please remember to check with the field trip leader 24-48 hours before the scheduled trip…..especially if you do not sign up in May; there is no way for the leader to know to notify you of any changes. When in doubt, call Jim. Otherwise, if the weather is good, and you can make it, just show up at the designated time and place.
For all trips, bring a backpack with rain gear, gloves, tools, water, lunch, and sunscreen. Some people bring a 5-gal bucket for equipment and to use as a stool to sit on (and to carry specimens back to vehicle). Appropriate field boots are strongly suggested. Do not recommend tennis shoes. Wear a good sun- protecting hat.
June 8, Devil’s Head, near Deckers, CO.
Trip Leader TBD. Smoky quartz, topaz, fluorite, etc. Meet at large parking lot at entrance to Rampart Range Road, at the intersection of Rampart Range Road and CO 67, at 9:00 AM. Trip leader will lead caravan to collecting locality. Map at May meeting.
Dist = 35 mi. 4WD = No Kids = OK Tools = D, H Fee = None
June 14, North Table Mountain, near Golden, CO.
Guests of Lake George Gem & Mineral Club. Sorry—only available on a weekday. Trip Leader, Dave Alexander (Lake George). Joint trip with Lake George Gem & Mineral Club onto Jefferson County Open Space to search for Zeolites on North Table Mountain. Zeolite varieties include Analcime, Thomsonite-Ca, and Chabazite-Ca. Dave Alexander will provide the required one-time Use Permit. Open Space rules state that no more than 5 pounds of specimens are allowed per day. Collecting period from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM.
Meeting Place: RTD Park-n-Ride Lot at Ward Road and I-70 (Wheat Ridge). Meeting Time: 9:45 AM (leave at 10:00 AM sharp). As parking space is very limited at the No. Table Mtn Trailhead, everyone will meet at the Park-n-Ride and carpool from there. At the conclusion of collecting, vehicles will return to the Park-n-Ride. From the Trailhead, it is about a 1-mile hike to the Southeast Quarry (same on return), with a 500-foot elevation gain. Elevation approximately 6000 feet. Intermediate difficulty.
Bring plenty of water, lunch, and sunscreen. Watch forecast to determine whether rain gear might be needed. Good field boots. Sun hat. Bring rock hammer, chisel, bucket or backpack. As the basalt that contains the zeolites is very hard, suggested to bring a sledge hammer as well (2-pounder).
Dist = 4 miles (from P-n-R to Trailhead) 4WD = Opt Kids = over 12 (?) Tools = D, H Fee = None
June 15, Honey Bee/Queen Bee Club Claims
Trip Leader Ron Wankner. Amazonite, smoky quartz, fluorite, etc. Meet at 9:00 AM, at the Community Center in “downtown” Harris Park. Allow 1-11⁄2 hour drive from Denver. Cars will then caravan from there to the collection site (approx. 11⁄2 miles). Easy walk from parking area. Map at May meeting.
Directions: To get to Harris Park, take U.S. Hwy 285 southwest from Denver approximately 30 miles. Go through Conifer, then Pine Junction, then about another 4 miles until you come to a stop light at the junction of Hwy 285 and State Road 43 (may also be called 43A), and drive north about 10 miles to Harris Park. The only potentially confusing point is where Road 43 turns to road 47, maybe 6-7 miles up the highway. Just stay on the primary paved road (keep to right) and it will take you to Harris Park. The Community Center is the only “large” building around. Everything else is individual homes/cabins.
Dist = 50 mi. 4WD = Opt Kids = OK Tools = D, H Fee = None
June 22, Topaz Mtn Mine, Joe Dorris’ Claim (north of Lake George, CO)
Trip leader Jim Hooten. Joe Dorris and daughter, Krystle, have again invited us to their Topaz Mountain topaz claim. This is an operational mine, so some different rules apply. It is required that each individual, or family, purchase a bag of gravel for $50 to help defray the costs for operations and facilities. Each bag will contain several nice topaz specimens. In addition, everyone can work the gravel dumps for topaz. While working these dumps, you are working for Glacier Peak Mining. Joe or Krystle will assess ALL topaz found, and decide whether to release the specimen to the finder, or retain as a “company stone”. Some stones may be offered to the finder with an option to purchase at a very fair wholesale rate (bring checkbook). If any stone(s) is exceptional, the company has the right to retain that specimen.
Although some rakes are available for use at the location, it is suggested you bring a garden rake with heavy tines, and a mattock or shovel. Optional items include a screen, rock pick, collecting bags and a 5- gal bucket. Also bring plenty of water, lunch and sunscreen. Restroom facilities are available.
Meet at 9:00 AM directly at the mine. Follow these directions: From Colorado Springs, take U.S. Highway 24 west to Lake George. Drive through Lake George, cross the South Platte River and turn north on Park County Road 77 (Tarryall Road). Go approximately 7 miles. Turn right onto road and cross bridge over Tarryall Creek. You should see the brown Forest Service sign marking the road (F.S. Road 211) also known as Matakat Road. Proceed about 2.5 miles and pass over cattle guard. You are now on Topaz Mountain Gem Mine. Operating sign is posted on fence to your left. Park in pullout on the right, or anywhere along the road. Walk up to where operations are going on. You should see plenty of people and vehicles.
A Waiver Form will be available at the May Meeting, along with a map to the meeting place.
Dist = 120 miles 4WD = Opt Kids = Sup Tools = L Fee = $50/person or family for bag of topaz gravel
June 23, Magnetite Ridge, near Tarryall, CO
Magnetite crystals. This is a new collecting locality for the Club (1st time was in 2018). Trip leader Jim Hooten (303-770-7177, cell 303-548-7412). Many of those who attended the first year commented on how much fun they had, and to be sure to keep this trip on the regular field trip schedule. It is located just a few miles north of the Topaz Mtn Claim, just off of Hwy 77 near Tarryall. Follow the directions from the previous field trip (Topaz Mtn) and continue north on Hwy 77 (past the turn-off to Topaz Mtn) for another 5 miles. Just before getting to Tarryall, CO, you will see County Road 31 going to your left (south). Take CR 31 and go approximately 0.7 miles and turn right onto CR 652. Drive another approximate 0.7 miles to where you park your vehicle along the side of the road. The pine-covered ridge to your left (south), through a grove of aspens, is Magnetite Ridge. It is a fairly easy walk up to the collecting area. All along the ridge you will find exposures of magnetite within the granite pegmatite. Plenty of prospective areas to investigate and collect. You will see many holes where other clubs and collectors have dug.
This is all BLM Land, and is open to the public. Camping is permitted anywhere, but all vehicles cannot be driven more than 20 feet from the road. If you want to campout, you can either camp close to your vehicle, where personal items are readily available (what some families did last year); or you can carry your camping gear up the hill closer to the collecting locality, but not as convenient to your vehicle back on the road. Your choice.
For those interested in attending this trip, there are different options available for getting to the collecting area:
- 1.) If you are attending the Topaz Mtn Trip from the previous day, you have the option of following the above directions and driving directly to the Magnetite Ridge locality and camping out Saturday night. The Club will meet you at approximately 10:00 Sunday morning.
- 2.) If you do not wish to campout, but still want to attend the Magnetite Ridge Trip, your options are to find a motel close by (Lake George), or drive back home and come back on Sunday morning. Meet at Meeting Place described below.
- 3.) If you are not attending the Topaz Mtn Trip on Saturday, but are interested in attending the Magnetite Ridge Trip on Sunday, drive to the Meeting Place on Sunday morning.
- 4.) MEETING TIME & PLACE for those interested in meeting and caravanning to Magnetite Ridge: Meet at 9:30 AM on Sunday (6/23/19). Drive to Lake George and turn north on Park County Road 77 (west edge of town). After a short distance (200 yards) there is a pull-off on the left side of CR 77. We will meet there and caravan to Magnetite Ridge. If you are not there at the designated time, the vehicles will leave without you and you will have to follow the directions and drive to the collecting area on your own.
Dist = 100 miles 4WD = Opt Kids = Sup Tools = D, H Fee = None
June 28, Detroit City Mine (Alma, CO)
New Collector’s Edge operation a few hundred feet up the side of Mt. Bross from the previous Sweet Home Mine (closed in 2004). Initial operations on Detroit City Mine began in 2016. After 3 years, Collector’s Edge is beginning this year to offer tours of their new mine. Currently, the mine is only 500 feet into the mountain, but has intersected the vertical rhodochrosite veins from the old Sweet Home Mine some 200 feet below. This tour will primarily be an informational and educational tour, with not much chance to collect in the mine waste rock that is mucked out after blasting. This was what we were able to do 20+ years ago when the LGMC participated in tours of the old Sweet Home Mine, but don’t expect it this time.
Geologist Dean Misantoni is again intimately involved in the operations to retrieve the new rhodochrosite specimens, much as he was back in the 1990’s-early 2000’s in the Sweet Home Mine. Dean has listed a number of required guidelines that we are expected to follow:
- Tours are being given only on Fridays to minimize interference with operations.
- Each tour will take approximately 11⁄2 hours to complete.
- Dean said he can accommodate 10 participants per tour, and can give 3 tours before his voice runs out. This limits the total number of Club members to 30. If there are more than 30 Club members who sign up, the excess signees on the list will be put on the ‘back-up’ list (according to their position on the list), in the event that someone on the initial list of 30 has to cancel.
- Some equipment will be available at the mine, but Dean asks that anyone who has their own to please bring it. This includes hard hat, flashlight, heavy-duty work boots (steel-toed preferred). Mine temperature at or around 50 degrees, so wear a jacket.
- Children under the age of 12 are not encouraged to sign up. Dean said that anyone entering the mine must at least be able to comfortably wear a size 6 boot. Please do not sign up small children.
- No standing water is expected in the mine. It should be dry. The dimensions of the adit are roughly 10‘x10’, which is quite roomy.
- In the event of bad weather, or any other reason that could cancel this tour, an alternate date of Friday, July 12, 2019 has been set aside.
Because of the limited spaces available with this tour, please sign up only if you are certain that you can make this tour. Check your calendar before signing up to confirm that you are not on vacation, or doing anything else that would conflict. Also keep in mind that this is a WEEK-DAY, so make sure you can take off from work. Due to the nature of this activity, and the related club liability, LGMC members cannot invite friends or family (non-members) on the tour.
Once I have a full sign-up list, I will contact Dean and get the details of the tour regarding meeting time and location, and contact the participants individually. Also, I will try to get details on the schedule of the 3 tour groups. Dean said that we will likely congregate down the mountain, near where the old Sweet Home site was located, and transport each group-of-10 up to the Detroit City Mine for each tour. Space is much more limited at the new mine entrance. Dean asked that if any participant has a large SUV (Suburban, etc), it would be great if they could bring it in order to carry multiple people up the mine road. I will also ask about what activities the other 2 groups-of-10 can do while waiting for the previous tour(s) to get done.
Dist = 80 miles 4WD = Rec Kids = Over 12 Tools = N/A Fee = None
Field Trip Legend
Dist = approximate one way driving distance to meeting place from Littleton.
- No => not needed
- Opt => optional (useful if you have one, you may need to ride a short distance with someone if you don’t)
- Rec => recommended
- OK => a good place for kids
- Sup => potentially hazardous areas (steep cliffs, mine tunnels, etc.). Small children will require some supervision.
- NR => not recommended to bring small children
- L => light collecting tools (rock pick, sack, scoop)
- D => typical pegmatite digging tools (rock pick, pick and shovel, pry bar, chisels, trowel, brush, screwdriver probe, etc.)
- H => tools for heavy rock breaking (rock pick, sledge, chisels, pry bar, eye protection, etc)
Camping = if noted, camping (optional for an overnight stay) is possible at the site.
Fee = Noted, if any.