Rocks & Minerals

Choose from the following to find a site: An icon of a hammer breaking a rock.


The bedrock of the White Mountains is mostly composed of igneous and metamorphic rocks, with numerous intrusions and contact zones between different rock types. From the Conway granite of the White Mountain batholith to the thick deposits of the Moat Mountain volcanic rocks, all overlain by glacial tills, this geology has resulted in diverse but limited mineral deposits in various locations across the Forest.


Rockhounding is the activitiy of discovering and identifying minerals found on the forest.  

A mineral collection permit is required to collect mineral specimens on White Mountain National Forest. However, mineral collection permits are free and can be obtained at trailheads of authorized mineral collection areas. 


Gold panning on the White Mountain National Forest is a recreational activity that occurs mainly on the Pemigewasset Ranger District on the west side of the White Mountain National Forest. 

A free permit is required for gold panning. Gold panning permits can be obtained through any White Mountain National Forest office



Areas & Activities