SPECIMIN MINERALS: Ammonites and other sea fossils, chrysocolla

CAB MINERALS: none, although the chrysocolla will tumble, and some azurite and malachite is possible

DATE: May 28, 29, 30

MEETUP: Meet at Love’s.  Otherwise we can arrange to meet on the playa in Luning or give directions to New York Canyon.

DEPARTURE: 7:00 am at Love’s Travel Stop


VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS: 4WD with decent clearance. 

ACCESSIBILITY: Mixed.  Some sites will be accessible if you have a vehicle that can make it into the canyon, others will require some walking.   

WEATHER: Warm.  It can get pretty hot during the day, but cold at night.

PET FRIENDLY? Yes.  Chrysocolla spot might have shafts, but this will be confirmed before trip.

WILDLIFE AND ENVIRONMENT: Rattlesnakes possible

SUPPLIES: Food, LOTS of water, eye protection, gloves, buckets, brush (for brushing dirt off of fossils) and digging tools.  Rockhammer, small pry bar, flat head screwdriver, and crack sledge recommended.

Detailed Events

MINERALS OF INTEREST: This area is reported to have the highest concentration of ammonites in the world, although it is well picked over in spots.  Other fossils possible, but not as abundant.  Chrysocolla abundant as well as the possibility of azurite and malachite.

MEETUP:   We will be meeting at 7:00a.m. at Love’s Travel Stop, located at 825 Commerce Center Dr, Fernley NV. From Reno, drive Eastbound on I-80 and take Exit 46, turning left (Northbound) on West Main St. Love’s is located just on the northern side of I-80. Love’s Travel Stop is a 35 minute drive from Reno, so plan your time accordingly! We will depart at 7:15 a.m.

DRIVING TO FIELD TRIP SITE:  Luning is 2 hours from Love’s.  The playa will be visible from there.

FIELD TRIP SITE: We are planning on camping on the playa across from Luning.  Berlin Ichthyosaur State Park is also a possibility for campsites, but they appear to still be closed for repairs.  Hawthorne is only 24 minutes away from Luning, which has hotels and RV parks.  We will have a potluck at 7:30 on Saturday night.  You are welcome to go back and rest early, but this gives everyone time to have a full digging day!

DIG SITE:  There are fossils throughout the hills in the area.  The best way to look is to walk and watch for shapes.  There is also a shale wall in the canyon where you can knock off pieces of shale to find beautiful ammonite impressions.  Be very careful breaking the shale though!

The chrysocolla spot is an old copper mine.  There are caves (with lots of bats) and rocky terrain. 

There is a third dig site for sea fossils off of the main highway.  

WEATHER:  Days are hot, nights are cold.

WHO CAN GO? RGMS club members. You take all responsibility and liability for your actions and those of your family members. Please inform them of the hazards of rock hounding.


  • Water (Never has anyone said, “Darn! I brought too much water!”)
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks
  • Something for the potluck
  • Camping gear – tent, sleeping bags
  • Hat
  • Eye-protection. Glasses are better than nothing, but keep in mind they are not designed for impact. Rocks are hard and eyeballs are squishy, protect yourself.
  • Gloves with nitrile coating
  • Rock hammer
  • Small Sledgehammer
  • Flathead screwdriver with a long head (Can be found for $1.00 at Lowes)
  • Chisel with hand guard (Lowes has the best in my opinion)
  • Prybar/crowbar
  • Bucket(s)
  • Rags (For protecting specimens) Very important for fossils!


Lost your password?