STAR GARNET – THE IDAHO STATE GEM STONE
Idaho and India are the two places in the world where star garnets are found. The 12-sided (dodecahedron) crystals range in size from sand particles to golf-ball or larger size and are often found with four or six-ray stars. Gem quality faceting material is also found.
WHERE IS IT?
From St. Maries, Idaho, follow Highway 3 south 24 miles to Road 447. Proceed southwest 8 miles on Road 447 to the parking area. Permits, information, and the sluice area are a 1/2 mile hike up 281 Gulch.
IS THERE HANDICAPPED ACCESS?
Yes. Those who are unable make the walk should call the Clarkia office (208-245-1134) and make arrangements for someone to open the gate. Or, they can have someone walk up to the sluice site and have an employee go down and open the gate. A handicap placard, handicap license plate, or some other proof of disability is required for this service.
- 9 A.M. -to- 5 P.M. Friday thru Tuesday
- CLOSED Wednesdays and Thursdays
- The Garnet Area closes for the season October 1
HOW DOES ONE GET A PERMIT?
Permits are available at the site and cost $10 for adults and $5 for children age 6-14. The permit is valid for one day and includes equipment. Permits are required for anyone washing or screening gravels.
You may take up to five pounds of garnets with your daily permit. If you want to remove more than five pounds of garnet during the same day, you can buy another permit for each additional five pounds or fraction thereof. You are limited to six permits or 30 pounds of garnet per year.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
We recommend you allow at least two to four hours at the site. Many families like to bring their lunch and make it an all-day outing at the Garnet Area. Some rockhounds like to return several days in a row.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DOES ONE NEED?
You are provided: buckets, shovels, and special screen boxes.
You should bring:
- Drinking water, snacks, and/or lunch
- Container for garnets (recloseable plastic bags work well)
Some items other visitors have found useful are:
- Lined, rubber gloves
- Small hammer
- Small brush
- Collapsible stool
- Pets are not allowed.
- Motorized equipment is not allowed in the Garnet Area.
WHAT FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE?
- At the parking lot: information sign, directions, and outhouse.
- At the administrative tent: permit sales, displays, assistance to permittees, and outhouse.
- Forest Service personnel are available to provide: visitor information, permit sales, garnet collecting instructions and assistance.
WHAT ACCOMODATIONS ARE AVAILABLE?
- Emerald Creek Campground 4 miles east of the Garnet area. Fee is $6.00 per night per unit.
- Cedar Creek Campground 3 miles north of Clarkia on HWY 3. Fee is $6.00 per night per unit.
- Clarkia Work Center Guest Bunkhouse Rental on HWY 3 in Clarkia. (call: 208-245-1134 or 208-245-2531 for rental information).
- Food, gas, and other supplies are available in Clarkia (6 miles), Fernwood (12 miles), and Emida (25 miles).
- Laundromats in Fernwood and St. Maries.
- The nearest safe drinking water is in the Emerald Creek Campground.