Crystal Park Picnic and Mineral Collection Area
Crystal Park is a unique recreation area at an elevation of 7,800 feet in the Pioneer Mountains in southwest Montana. Crystal Park is open for day use only and has a fee per person. Facilities include 3 picnic sites with tables and grills, information signs, toilets, and a paved trail with benches as well as an overlook. The facilities are designed to be universally accessible (ADA).
Quartz crystals are scattered liberally through the decomposed granite of the unique 220-acre site that's been reserved by the Forest Service for the popular hobby of rockhounding. Quartz crystals are hexagonal (six-sided) prisms, with a pointed "face" at each end. The crystals found at Crystal Park can be clear, cloudy, white, gray or purple. They can be smaller than your little finger or up to several inches in diameter. Gray, purple and other colors are caused by minerals within the quartz. Gray crystals are known as "smoky" and the highly prized purple ones are called amethyst. Single crystals are most common at Crystal Park. Most of the crystals have little value other than as collector's items.
Rules established for Crystal Park include a ban on tunneling. The rules are listed on signs throughout the park and in brochures that are available at the site. Hand tools are the only tools allowed for use, and there is a five-day-per-person season limit on digging.
At a Glance
|Operational Hours:||Open seasonally from mid-June through mid-October, dependent on snow/weather conditions.|
|Area Amenities:||Interpretive Site,Accessible,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking|
|Fees:||There is a $5.00 fee per person/per day fee for this site, however there is no fee for children under 10 yrs of age. The fee is collected at the Crystal Park parking area.|
|Closest Towns:||Dillon, MT|
|Information Center:||Dillon Ranger District
Phone: (406) 683-3900
From Dillon take I-15 South for 2.5 miles. Take the Highway 278 exit and continue West for 22 miles. Turn North onto the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway and continue for approximately 17 miles.
The day use area and the toilets are ADA accessible.
The Day Use area is open annually from mid-June through mid-October depending on snowpack and weather.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
The day use area has picnic tables and fire grills available.
|Reservation Info||The picnic area is available on a first come, first served basis.|
|Fire Information||There are fire grills available for use.|
|Fees:||There is a per vehicle fee for the area.|
The Crystal Park Mineral Collection Area is nearby.
|Usage:||Please dig only in the designated areas and follow all area rules. Please pack out all your trash.|
|Hours of Operation:||Sun up to sun down|
The Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway is nearby.
|Fee charged for some activities:|
|Toilets:||Vault (No showers) Accessible|