Alabama Paint Rock Agate Page !
Updated March16, 2018 @ 6:10 p.m.  
I'll be updating this page soon with a
confirmed date as opposed to tentative.
(refresh browser to check for changes)   
Cabochons cut from
Paint rock agate.
speckled paint rock agate
Carnelian Paint Rock Agate that has been cut and polished into a cabochon.
, 2018
Exact date to be announced soon.
Adults $40
Children must be approved
Children $15
This turtle was carved out of Paint Rock Agate from Alabama
Paint Rock agate is usually red and yellow . It can sometimes have other colors and even fortification lines .  On occasion
large agate nodules are found with hollow places  that may have druse quartz crystals.  Sometimes these crystals can be
quite large , and  can even be  smoky or amethyst colored . The material is very good for making cabochons or any other type
of lapidary processing  and polishing ,  even tumbling !
Paint Rock agate is usually found in the Paint Rock Valley of Alabama  and also in areas across the state line into
Tennessee.  This area is on the  Alabama side & near the Tennessee state line .    We'll be working in the Alabama portion of
the valley  in the general area of Trenton.    This is an area of great beauty , with mountains that steeply rise up to 1,500 feet in
elevation.   While steep , it is not too steep to hike up the mountain.   The best most scenic place to do this is up a stream or
wash . There is plenty of shade on this tree covered mountain , so it is not as hot as most places . The limestone on the
mountain side is like a mini "rock city" with natural bridges and rock formations. There is usually lots of fossils to be found
DIG DATE : to be announced  $40  
This is event will be held rain or shine!  
The area that I will be taking people to has a large amount of agate on the  property .  While the area has plentifull agate  , only a
small percentage has the good carnelian intense red color .  This will involve a lot of breaking rocks to find the good color.
Here is what you will need to bring :
  1. Backpack (since this is hiking on a gentle mountain slope , it is a must-have item !)
  2. At least  a minimum of  4 twelve ounce bottles of water or gator-ade . Be sure to bring lots of water-more than you think you'll need!
  3. Hammer and Safety glasses ( You will be mad at yourself if you dont bring a hammer )
  4. Bug spray - strongly recommended !
  5. Potatoe rake or pick Mattock to pry up agate that is partially sticking out of the ground.

There is no digging involved in this hunt  unless you just want to.  Currently the ground has a  good amount of agate on
the surface . You'll simply walk along and break the agate to determine what has color . Remember :
  1. Agate that has a white outside may actually be full of red color on the INSIDE.
  2. Hit large pieces of agate in several places , because larger pieces sometimes have color only on one side. The side you dont
    check may have color.
  3. Agate that has red on the outside often doesnt have color in the inside .  Confused ? It's simple , hammer an edge to determine if
    the agate has color on the inside
  4. Don't just look for the obvious exposed agate .  Keep a close eye out for agate that is partially covered by dirt , leaves , algae ,
    moss and lichens.
  5. Be Safe .   Watch the ground as you walk and check for hazards ( this is the woods , so snakes aren't likely ,but still have to be
    watched for in spring/ summer months.   Safety glasses are mandatory and I will ask to see them when you sign in .
  6. Please note , this is on a mountain and requires moderate physical activity, including hiking from the base to the top. It is not
    easy and is not for beginners, although the agate is easy to find.  Please note that we provide the site (
    venue ) and your payment is for access to the site and does not  include extensive instruction.   Naturally , we will guide you to a
    likely place and will show you what to look for before starting the dig.  
  7. Children not allowed on this dig . I'll be happy to make an exception if you can convince me that your child is safety oriented and
    that you will keep them in sight.  Just send me your phone number via email and we will discuss it.
  8. Got a question ?   We have answers !  We don't offer phone support so please dont call ! Just EMAIL ME .
  9. Registration & Approval is required.   If you wish to attend this event please EMAIL ME.
10.    This event will be held rain or shine !
11.  Cost $40 per person.   Children , if approved, are $15.

B&B with  rooms & cabins: I recommend the cabins.  No cell phone service in this area !
Paint Rock Valley Lodge & Retreat    Phone  (256) 776-9411
3865 County Rd. 9
Estillfork, AL 35745

The nearest decent hotel is 20 miles away
With online reservations and AAA discount the rooms are $55 and are really nice but you must book early.  Whenever
possible I stay here because it is NICE and the closest to the meeting place  and has nearby restaurants.
Warning : Not recommended to stay at  any of the cheaper hotels in huntsville.

* Edited: This place has been torn down which makes me sad*  The nicest place to stay is the
Holiday Inn Downtown.  
This is a former Hilton hotel  so the building has a restaurant, a Star Bucks , and was built to Hilton standards.  It is
the nicest Holiday Inn I have ever stayed at.            Expensive, but if you have priority club reward points, this is
the BEST place to stay.  Oddly enough , this place doesnt require a lot of points to stay
Rough carnelian paint rock agate exhibiting patination , which is an outer white exterior that conceals the inner color.
Carnelian paint rock agate !
This chunk of agate from the paint rock area is partially covered with algae & lichens. I hammered the edges to expose the interior color.
Paint rock agate showing white exterior hiding red interior
(It may take several seconds to change.)
Take me to the main Dig For Crystals website.   

The new site  has very high quality gem carnelian which is translucent !  It
also has nodules of all sizes , with red and yellow colors.      What is great
about this site is that we have access ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP and
there is a road leading half way up.     Since we have acess to the top here
, this means we can get the agate fresh from its source !  You can actually
find agate encased in limestone chunks , and you can even see it in place
the agate is of high quality and is not porous.
IMPORTANT : You must email me and register for the digs !

FOR THE  dig , THIS WILL BE OUR MEETING PLACE : subject to change so check
back on this!
Hollytree Grocery
11620 Al Highway 65 Hollytree, AL. 35751
Sign-in at 8:45 and we will leave at 9 am CENTRAL TIME.    If you are late you will
miss the group and wont be allowed to participate.         

I will be doing a half-day dig on friday, email me for the details.
Please help the local economy of the Paint Rock Valley !  There are nice places to stay , right in the valley.  The
Hollytree  Grocery has great biscuits and sandwich's grilled to order  - Hamburgers too !
Fossils abound on the hike up the mountain to the agate collecting area.
Aside from the Hollytree Grocery (which has good breakfast biscuits & hamburgers) there is no place to eat nearby.
Gurley, 12 miles away on highway 72:
Smoke'n Joe Brown's BBQ    CLOSED, Out of business.
El Coyote Mexican Restaurant      Decent food & prices. If you're not in a hurry , you should drive ten more miles to Huntsville though ( see below ).
Huntsville, 25 miles away , has good to great restaurants.
EL PALACIO OF MEXICAN FOOD ; 2008 Memorial Parkway Southwest, Huntsville, AL Extremely Good. Downtown Huntsville. Best Mex in town !
DREAMLAND Bar B Que   Has a great atmosphere and Decor , but the food is only "good" & expensive. You're better off at a smoke'n Joes  in Gurley.
I have tried several of the Mexican restaurants on University drive and have been dissapointed.  I may add more reviews here , but Smoke'n Joe's &
Palacio are so good that I may not risk trying anything new.     If you're staying at the PRV in Estille, Fork , you're only choice is "Mom's Family Restaurant.
20617 Al Highway 79, Scottsboro, AL 35768. (256) 587-6446."‎   Don't let the Scottsboro address fool you , it is in Skyline and the food is good.
carnelian paint rock agate
this nodule found by chris painter
carnelian agate slab from paint rock agate
Visit the DIG FOR CRYSTALS page on facebook to bookmark and share with your friends!
Check out our paint rock agate rough, cabs, and animal carvings for sale on
ebay, plus links to our rock shop in Georgia and our other online presences.
Click the "Go To" drop-down menu below:
Help! I'm lost and all confused and stuff!
Maybe the
SITEMAP will help?
Click here for info on the Georgia Rock shop : The Mineral Gallery in Mcdonough, Georgia. Just South of Atlanta