This is a photo shot near sunset at a camping area just as you're entering the canyons where most of the wood is found along Stinking Water Creek in Eastern Oregon. The creek is in the depression in the photo below. This is where the first steep canyon forms and the going gets rough from here.

Like many of the best rockhounding locations in the state, this area is covered mostly in sagebrush. This photo was taken just before Memorial Day weekend when spring was in full bloom in the high desert. The digging here is very tough. Even if you do find wood, it's cemented into a basalt cast that doesn't easily give up it's treasures. I was fortunate to find some very nice winged elm specimens in an ash flow. I've yet to hear of anyone else who has reported a similar find in this vast area so I may have a wonderful secret. It produced several finger sized twigs and a couple of larger, arm sized limbs.

A beautiful round from an ancient, hollow oak tree. Classic Stinking Water Oak. This is easily some of the finest petrified wood found anywhere in the world and one of the most famous deposits in Oregon. The location is pretty well dug out, but some lucky rockhounds still find nice chunks large enough for bookends and the occasional full log can still be located by those persistent enough to keep hunting for the mother lode!

Tour the rock shop
Ever wonder how we do all this neat stuff? Here's a glimpse at part of the Sticks-in-Stones Rock Shop!



Back to the field trip page