Come down to Trona, California just south of Death Valley for a great big gem and mineral event on Searles dry lake bed. The Searles Lake Gem and Mineral Society puts on the event each year and it’s a big old party in the desert. There are a variety of massive gems just under the surface of the lake bed and once a year the public is allowed to dig around and keep whatever they find. There are three events:
Mud pile – A pile of mud and crystals you can dig through. Messy as hell but great stuff in there.
Blow hole – US Navy blows a hole in the lake bed with explosives and the mining company pumps air into the hole to blast out all the gems.
Pink Halite Brine Pools – Rare pink crystals grow just under the surface of the salty brine pools on the lake bed. You have to smash them off the shelves with hammers but they are worth the trouble.
I and my friends camped out at the Trona Pinnacles just south of the lake and attended all three events. The official event page can be found here: