Patagonia-Gringo Gulch Area Quartz


The town of Patagonia is relatively close to my Vail, AZ home and, so, it is an area that I often visit or pass through. There is one area, just NW of Patagonia that has interesting quartz crystals. It is easily accessible and being on State land, collecting is allowed! In addition, the scenery is amazing there and on the drive there.

Mt Fagan at Sunrise. I live in the foothills of Mt. Fagan on the other side. This view is looking back towards home on my way to Patagonia in the early AM.
Daniel Joyce near the Quartz Collecting area. That is snow-capped Mt. Wrightson, highest mountain in the area, at 9500 feet elevation.
Typical collecting area in the "Gringo Gulch" area.
Looking back towards Patagonia, which is just over that ridge in the foreground. You can see Carol in the lower right of the photo.

The entire area seems to be underlain by basaltic volcanics with very thin ground cover. Much of the basalt is amygdaloidal and it is relatively easy to hike around and pick up loose geodes or hack them out of the basalt. The trick is to find larger geodes. As well, there are veins or, possibly, breccias that have milky quartz, amethystine quartz and baryte crystals in them. ALL of the geodes and veins seem to be filled with calcite, after the quartz formed, so acid etching is required to expose the crystals.

Anyway, collecting involved hiking around the basalt-rock areas looking for geodes or places to dig! Simple as that. It is a large area!

Quartz, reverse sceptre, 4.0cm, Daniel Joyce Collection
Quartz geode with amethystine Quartz, 5.5cm Daniel Joyce Collection.
Quartz, Amethystine, 8.5cm
Quartz, Baryte from a geode, 6.5cm

There is another area very near to the J.C. Holmes Claim, that has produced very nice quartz epimorphs after, I think, fluorite. Here are some examples of that type of mineralization. The epimorphs range from extremely sharp, thin walled quartz shells to very rounded, thick epimorphs.

Quartz epimorphs after fluorite, 5.0cm
Another view of the previous specimen showing the hollow epimorphs
Quartz epimorphs after fluorite, 8.0cm view

I still have to find some sceptered amethystine quartz crystals from this area. I've seen good ones in a couple of collections! I'm glad this area is close, so I can easily keep going back to, eventually, find some of those scepters!

The scene looking eastwards from where I park to collect at "Gringo Gulch, near Patagonia.

Thanks for checking this, not so recent, Recent Activity out!!

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