Idaho is truly the Gem State. Since the origin of the earth, geologic processes combined to make the rocks of Idaho a mineral collector's storehouse. This, coupled with the beautiful forests and streams, makes Idaho the place where the rock collector's dreams come true.
Rockhounding on State Endowment Trust Land
All state endowment trust lands are open to casual exploration for gemstones and mineral specimens, provided the lands are not under a valid exploration location or mineral lease. Information regarding status of state endowment trust lands can be obtained from the IDL field offices.
Mineral Leases and Exploration Locations
A mineral lease allows you to mine and remove larger amounts of minerals from state endowment land. Read more here.
An exploration location gives you the exclusive right to explore and prospect for gold and other locatable minerals on state endowment trust lands not already under location or lease. Exploration locations may also be filed on the beds of navigable rivers and streams between the ordinary high water marks. Read more here.
Rockhounding on Public Land
Rockhounds are welcome to collect rocks and gemstones from most public land administered by the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management, but there are some exceptions. Contact the agencies directly for more information.