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Emerald Creek Garnet Area to open June 29, 2018 – St. Joe Ranger District

St. Maries, Idaho (May 07, 2018) – The Idaho Panhandle National Forests will be delaying the opening of the Emerald Creek Garnet Area until Friday, June 29, 2018 in order to excavate and stockpile the garnet-bearing gravel for visitors to sift through.  This popular site traditionally opens Memorial Day Weekend.


The excavation of the gravel is typically completed in the fall, so as to not impact the visitor experience during the summer months.  Unfortunately, conditions this past fall were not conducive to completing the excavation work in a way that minimized disturbances to water and soil quality.  The work was postponed to this spring, allowing for drier conditions to conduct the work with minimal disturbances to natural resources. 


Located near Clarkia, Idaho, the Emerald Creek Garnet Area is a popular rock-hounding destination, attracting local and international visitors and families.  This is one of only two locations in the world where the Star Garnet, Idaho State Gem, can be found readily!  The Forest Service provides tools for sifting and sluicing to aid in finding the gems.  Fees are charged to help maintain the facilities.  For additional information, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ipnf/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5076397.