Sunstone Collection Area

Call ahead This experience may be open for on-site visitation; however, offerings and/or operating procedures may have changed due to COVID-19. Please verify details before you go and visit the COVID-19 Resources page for more information.

Overview:

Overseen by the Bearue of Land Management, the Oregon Sunstone Public Collection Area allows visitors to enjoy collecting these rare and beautiful gems in their natural setting. Located in the remote Rabbit Basin, the Oregon Sunstone Public Collection Area is in the high desert habitat of sagebrush and open spaces of south-central Oregon.

Know Before You Go:

The boundaries of the Oregon Sunstone Public Collection Area are marked by orange plastic posts that say ‘Oregon Sunstone Public Collection Area,’ and corners are marked with large Bureau of Land Management triangles on wooden posts.

There are many private mining claims surrounding the public collection area and several within it. Collecting Sunstones from a private claim without permission is not allowed and may result in legal penalties. Please take the time to know where you are before collecting. 

Due to the isolated location, rock hounds visiting the collection area should be well prepared. The only facilities
available at the site are a pit toilet, picnic tables, and a shade structure. You are welcome to camp anywhere within the Oregon Sunstone Public Collection Area. 

Point of Interest:

Sunstones are feldspar crystals that formed in lava. Thirteen to fourteen million years ago, a volcano in Steens
Mountain erupted, pouring out massive amounts of lava. The lava flow was subsequently covered by a vast lake and remained underwater for thousands of years. As the lake gradually dried up, the exposure to
weather caused the lava to decompose and reveal loose sunstones.