Hansen Creek Quartz Crystals

Hansen Creek Quartz Cluster

Welcome to your online guide to Hansen Creek.  I created this blog in hope that I can help fellow Rockhounds to better prepare before they head out on their hunt for Crystals.  The Hansen Creek Crystal location is located just west of Snoqualimie Pass on Humpback Mountain.  This is considered to be one of the best and only locations in Washington state to collect beautiful, water clear, fully terminated Quartz Crystals as well as Purple Amethyst.


Hansen Creek Amethyst

Be on the lookout for some of the best Amethyst Scepter Crystals Washington State has to offer.  Though the pretty purple can be a little harder to come by, many people come here for the Amethyst Crystals alone.  The Amethyst at Hansen Creek tends to to be a very light purple color which can make it a little difficult to identify without cleaning them first.  There has been times when I have come home with a bag of dirty Crystals only to find the Amethyst after cleaning them up a bit.  It is for this reason that I suggest that you keep everything you find until you have properly cleaned and assessed each Crystal.

Hansen Creek Amethyst Cluster

The recommended Tools

There are many different methods and tools that one can use to dig for Crystals. Some folks enjoy picking through the loose dirt with their hands and nothing else.  You can find some nice over looked Crystals this way, but 9 times out of ten the loose dirt is someone else’s tailings pile.  In my opinion one can recover many more Crystals and of better quality with the right tools.

The following is a list of items that I would recommend taking with you on your trip.


The first thing your going to need is a good shovel.  I have seen people using full size shovels but in my experience you can’t beat a good sturdy Mini Shovel.  You will understand when you get there and see how tight for space some of the holes are.


The next thing that you are going to need is a Classifier Screen.  A Screen can make a world of a difference when it comes to looking for Crystals at Hansen Creek.  The dirt up there can very easily disguise even the biggest of Crystals, screening out the dirt is more effecient and will allow you to recover nearly 100% of the Crystals you dig up.


Another recommended item one should definently consider taking with them is a good Head Lamp.  This is a must for getting into those productive holes that you will find under tree stumps.  Some of the holes go back 10 feet or more but even at the surface a good Head Lamp will make a world of difference.

Other things you might consider bringing would be Gloves, Knee Pads, a Hard Hat and of course plenty of Water, Snacks and Food.

Directions to the Rockhounding Area

To get to the Rockhounding area from Seattle, take I 90 East for about 50 minutes and take exit 47. Once you get off of I 90, take the first right followed by another right hand turn. From this point you are going to take the first left that presents itself. Follow the road a little ways until it curves sharply left.  Shortly after the curve you will come to another curve which is the parking area and the beginning of the trail.

Hansen Creek Crystals Map

Hansen Creek Map

If you are interested in knowing about more cool locations to go rockhounding in Washington State, you might be interested in Walker Valley Geodes.

I would also recommend that you check out Gem Trails Of Washington.  This is the new revised version and has much more info than the previously released version.  This is one of the best resources out there regarding Gems and Minerals in the Northwest, so make sure you have your copy.


37 Comments Add yours

  1. Michael Garten says:

    Is this a fee site? Or is it on State or Federal land? Sounds like an interesting trip to make. Thank for preparing an informative description of this site.


    1. Michael, it is not a fee site.


  2. udo andre says:

    this year .may be my last chance to break into a vug, copd taking its toll, cant hike far. entering 4th stage, so next year wont be able to hike at all, if still alive.may take hours to get to the hole, 50 ft at a time, stop, breathe, continue…but crystal fever will drive me up the hill . i know good spots between the purple pit and the garden slug that still have available vugs to break into…gotta hit at least one last one before i die. yep, i’m one hardcore, obsessed old school crystal hunter…..this your site, doug? when we going? -udo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nick90p says:

      Udo just spent my first weekend on the hill had a good trip but I wanna get into the deep stuff. If you are wIlling and able in two weeks I can carry all your gear to where we gotta go. I saw a udo was Here on a rock


    2. Nicholas pflugh says:

      I am going to the hill this weekend. Would you be interested in going up. I can carry your gear and help you up to where we need to go.


    3. Chris says:

      4th stage? You should really look into MMS by Jim Humble…might keep you a live.


  3. robert jackson says:

    thank you very much for taking the time to help fellow rock hounds!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joe Barreca says:

    Is this a fee site? It is mighty nice of you to share so much information if it is not.


  5. Nicholas pflugh says:

    Udo please contact me.


    1. udo andre says:

      sorry about the delay, been out of action for a while. my e-mail is udoandre@hotmail.com if you are still interested.


    2. Anonymous says:

      Just a random popular spot in the Cascades, some of my Seattle friends go all the time.


  6. Shannon Russell says:

    How hard of a hike is it… I have a really bad ankle so I want to be prepared. I wear flip flops 24/7 unless I’m asleep but have been able to hike on open trails depending on how steep the hills are. Thank you for taking your time to do this site.


    1. The Hansen Creek digs are on a very step hill, so I wouldn’t recommend you go up the hill. The actual walk in isn’t too bad at all and you can still access some of the diggings right off the main trail. The good stuff is usually found up the hill a little but I have heard of nice amethyst being found right near the main trial, so have at it!


  7. lauren says:

    This post got me to Hansen Creek. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together.

    Question – there was a sign towards the top of the hill that said “Private Mine” and a few people up their picking away. So we just dug along the hillside instead. Do you know if that site is still actively private?


    1. Hi, Lauren….Not sure about the private mining signs.


  8. can you get to site from the uphill side?


    1. That I don’t know….


  9. Anonymous says:

    Where is the purple pit and the garden slug?


    1. I’ve heard of the two spot you mentioned but I honestly have no idea. If anyone else here can elaborate on where exactly the purple pit is or the garden slug I myself would be interested…


  10. Justin says:

    Super excited. ..headed up tomorrow with the family…thanks for the site and info. Keep your fingers crossed for something worth finding…lol… rock hounding cheers


  11. deb says:

    How does one know where to dig? Do you just guess?


    1. When you get there you’ll see a lot of places where people have been digging… Try any of these spots and you will find something for sure! I suggest moving around a little, one dig might have crystals of a slightly different character than another dig. Have fun exploring!


  12. udo andre says:

    been kinda out of commission for a while.uh.. purple pit is the fairly open area which the main trails/talings lead to.quite a hike up steep terrain. you will know it when you reach the “top”- i.e. no more holes any higher. the garden slug is the claim, i believe, still owned by rick west. it is directly through the woodsy area to the right of the purple pit (looking up) about 100 yards or so. it used to be zetsgers mine. it is wide open, huge dirt/rock area- cant miss it. (although i suggest you do miss it ’cause otherwise you would be tresspassing on private claim, and rick is a real a-hole about that, guess i cant blame him.) the purple pit was the hottest area for scepters and purple for at least the 20 years i been working it, however these past 3 or 4 years have been lean, maybe it’s fished out, in any case, the real mineral zone now is in the woodsy area between the pit and the mine. lots of holes there now, but i remember when there were none. you can still break into vugs here and come away with beauty plates (clusters) and buckets of singles. big tree came down on my digs years ago, along with boulders and debris. buried about 12 to 15 nice clusters i had wrapped in newspaper ready to go. (at least i got out of the way!) so if you find clusters already wrapped- THEY’RE MINE! up and around now so maybe i will try a slow hike out there soon.


  13. Erik says:

    Great write up. Wondering how bad the road in is? Can I take a car I care about?


    1. The road up ain’t bad. Remember that it is bout the same elevation as Snoqualmie pass. And it’s in the shade in the winter. I have been up there when the ice was too much for the car. But if ya been there and know the way you can cut through the woods to find the beginning of the trail 🙂


  14. tamuraj says:

    what about little kids? I would like to take my grandkids up, 6, 7 and 9 years.


  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow, thanks for making this website!

    I am wondering how the houding is when it is wet. It is forcast to rain the day I would be able to go.


    1. udo andre says:

      best time for “surface mining”. rain clears the mud from beauties laying in the talings that diggers overlooked, or didn’t recognize. at the higher elevations, better crystals found on the surface- you may even end up not digging at all! only drawback- coming down is slippery. i suggest wearing football/baseball shoes with spikes- makes a major difference.


      1. Anonymous says:

        Thank you so much! Sounds like a perfect time for me to go as I prefer to just surface mine. Thanks for the tip about the shoes, too.


  16. udo andre says:

    you going tomorrow? (sat.) may see you there! i’ll be the little guy with the big crystals!


    1. Winter says:

      Really trshuwortty blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading..


  17. udo andre says:

    p.s. if you hear any heavy breathing in a hole, yep, that’s me.


  18. Wanda Boothe says:

    My daughter informed me she needs a crystal as part of her Halloween costume.
    How slick is that dig site now that things are wetter?


    1. If you just take the trail to the dig sites you should be able to find what your looking for. If its raining and you try to go up the hill it can get pretty slick…but you don’t have to go up hill to find crystals…


  19. NikiP says:

    Hi everyone! When does the snow start to melt up there to start diggin?! 😀 I’m anxious!


    1. I haven’t been back up there yet myself… Anyone?


  20. Andy says:

    Hi folks,

    We just did our very first dig after I bought my Wife gem trails of washington for Mother’S Day at the rockshop in Lake City (nice folks). I had no idea what i was getting into and have no geology education. our 3 year old found the first and best clear quartz crystal!

    Thanks for this post. I had no idea some digs go back 10 feet. I was just digging on the sides of the stumps because I figured the crystals formed around them? next time go up I’m bringing a light and a screen and going deep. if you see a pair of morrel’s sticking lifelessly out of a hole like the wicked witch’s ruby slippers under the house, tell my family I loved them!

    Any other tips would be great like do the crystals form in clay veins, are there clusters? the main one we found was in someone else’s tailings. see you up there!


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