Greenlee County offers a a delightful experience for would-be gem and mineral show attendees

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® is happening now through February 11. Roughly 4,000 vendors and 65,000 visitors come to Tucson during largest, oldest and most prestigious gem and mineral show in the world. Not surprisingly, the economic impact of the gem shows has also exploded over the years, with direct spending by visitors on accommodations, food, attractions and other expenses in Tucson estimated at $131.4 million annually, according to Visit Tucson’s most recent figures. That’s the good news! The flip side is that traffic becomes snarled, restaurant wait times increase and hotel availability is limited.
Greenlee County offers rockhounders and adventurers a delightful alternative. Mike Rhea of writes: “Northeast of Tucson near the New Mexico border lies Clifton, AZ, a small town with big rockhounding prospects. If you ask around locally you may be able to get the scoop on some locations to search, but I’ve compiled quite a few historically known places below that have produced specimens of many minerals including agate, nodules, turquoise, chalcedony, fire agate, geodes, and jasper. Rhea, a professional Geologist offers resources maps, guides, and information.
BLM has a printable map and guide to rockhounding in the state that contains limits and rules.
Rockhounding Arizona Facebook page