diamonds in Arizona? Definitely! Well, quartz crystals, actually...but they are beautiful,
faceted and FUN to find! We decided to check out Diamond Point after spending some time
at the Paleo site down the road. The kids were already psyched because they
had found fossils, and were eager to find "diamond" crystals.
The easiest way
to get there is to take 260 East of Payson to FR64. (Before Kohls Ranch) Drive aproximately 4 miles and then turn
left onto FR65. (it was marked by a sign)
We drove all the
way to the end of FR65, which is gated off to further driving. Park along the road somewhere here and you will have
a spectacular view. Then, walk all the way up to the top, to where the fire tower
is. The view is even more spectacular and you can see the entire Payson area, Mogollon
rim, etc. The forest ranger stationed at the tower for the summer was incredibly nice and
showed us her collection of "Arizona diamonds". She allowed the kids to take some and then told us where to find
them. She also gave the kids a bunch of activity books and comic books about Smokey the Bear and preventing
forest fires. The kids fell in love with her 3 legged dog, "Blaze"
the ranger dog, and were impressed by how easily he made it up to the top of the fire tower on only 3 legs!
When we were done
taking pictures at the top, we headed back to our car and drove slowly back looking for drainage areas along the
road. This is where the ranger suggested looking, since the rain water naturally washes out the crystals and they
are laying there, easy to spot. Supposedly, the best time to find the crystals is right after
it rains, and it hadn't rained for 2 days when we were there. Despite that, we found several tiny
crystals at our first drainage area. We continued to stop at locations all the way down the road, with some
success. Although, all of the ones we found were smaller than dime size and not the best faceted crystals. We did
find some really cool fossils on our search too!
We also stopped
near the large sign that says, "Diamond Rim Quartz Crystal Collection Site." About 2 feet onto the
trail I looked down and saw a little shiny bit sticking out from under a stick. It was a beautiful larger (bigger
than a quarter) crystal! But, that was the only one we found in that area. Since we were there in August, we
were not allowed to dig, and could only find them if they are laying out. I am anxious to go back
after September 30, so that we can try digging for crystals!
definitely recommend giving yourself plenty of time to wander around a bit, and to take time to enjoy this
beautiful scenic area!