Hot Rock Hounding Spots: Needle Peak, Texas

If you are looking for one of the most remote and fascinating agate and fossil hunting areas in the US,  Needle Peak may be the place.  Almost all rock hunting is on surface terrain which has eroded and exposed rocks and fossils in arroyos, washes, flats and crevices.  Here are some of Needle Peak features:

Needle Peak

  •  Located 6 miles SW of the ghost town of Terlingua, Texas
  • Arid mountainous terrain at 2300 feet elevation
  • Close to the Mexican border and adjacent to Big Bend National Park
  • Formed by lava flows 65 to 100 million years ago (late Cretaceous period)
  • Dinosaurs were at their peak during this period 

What’s exciting about rock hunting at Needle Peak is the array of material available and never knowing what you will find next.  The area is rich in agates and fossils including: 

  • Agates: Pom Pom, Green Moss, Gold Moss, Seam, Banded, and Thistle
  • Fossils: Dinosaur Bone, Shark Teeth, Turritella, and many more
  • Petrified Wood
  • Minerals:  Aragonite pseudo morphs, gypsum, fluorescent calcite, chalcedony fingers 

The best way to describe the array of material found at Needle Peak is with photographs:

Needle Peak Hydrosaurs Dinosaur Tooth

Needle Peak Dinosaur Bone

Needle Peak Pom Pom Agate

Needle Peak Aragonite Pseudomorph

Needle Peak Golden Moss Agate

Needle Peak Gypsum

NP Chalcedony Fingers

Needle Peak Calcite

NP Embedded Crystals Cabochon

Needle Peak Fortification Agate

Rock hunting at Needle Peak requires a 4WD vehicle and can only be done with guides because the land is privately owned.  It’s probably not a good idea to take children without first talking to a guide.  Two very good guides can take you there and each one has access to different areas:

  • Trey Woodward–owner of the well known rock hunting ranch called “Woodward Ranch” located 16 miles south of Alpine, TX. The Woodward ranch itself produces some excellent red and black plume and other types of agates. Contact the Woodward Ranch at 432-364-2271. 
  • Teri Smith–Owner of the Antelope Lodge in Alpine, TX.  Teri has access to several rock hunting ranches near Alpine, Marfa, and Terlingua, TX.  Contact Teri at: 

Maybe you have already been to Needle Peak and can share some interesting photos.  If you haven’t been there, it’s a true adventure especially if you visit Big Bend National Park as well.  Stay tuned for more blogs on hot rock hounding spots.

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1 Response to Hot Rock Hounding Spots: Needle Peak, Texas

  1. Thanks for the rock hounding information, NP seems like an interesting place to explore. Thanks especially for your video at the end, that had me laughing out loud! Good work.

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