Rocks & Minerals

Although the chances for locating gold or other valuable rocks or minerals on the Kisatchie are very rare, some may like to try their hands at finding minerals or panning for gold. These are the guidelines when rockhounding or gold panning in the Kisatchie National Forest.

  • Rockhounding, the recreational removal of small quantities of rocks or fossils, and gold panning may take place on most of the forest – provided only small quantities of material are removed for personal, non-commercial purposes.
  • Only common invertebrate and plant fossils may be removed. Uncommon and Vertebrate fossils are protected by federal law.
  • Gold Panning is not allowed on the Catahoula Ranger District and the Evangeline Unit of the Calcasieu Ranger District for the protection of the endangered Pearlshell Mussel.
  • Gold pans may be used for gold panning in the beds of streams, but the banks of streams cannot be disturbed by digging or removing materials. You cannot remove rocks with a pick, shovel, sluice box or similar large tools.
  • Rockhounding and gold panning are not allowed in the Kisatchie Hills wilderness, caves or Saline Bayou, a wild and scenic river.
  • Any disturbance to or removal of historical or archaeological artifacts is prohibited by federal law.

Can I take some fossils home from the Kisatchie National Forest?

Yes, you can take a few fossil rocks home, provided:

  • You are not in a designated Wilderness area.
  • You are collecting for non-commercial purposes (such as hobby, recreational, or educational purposes.)
  • You do not create significant ground disturbance.
  • You are not using any mechanized equipment.

Fossil collecting for commercial purposes is not allowed.

Always check with the District Ranger offices to determine the following:

  • The location is on National Forest land.
  • Rock hounding is permitted in the area.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities