Diamond Point

Diamond Point Sign

Find 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. 

 

Arizona Diamond

 

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!

Diamond Point Fire Tower

 

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!

3 Legged Dog BLAZE

 

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!

 

The view from the top of Diamond Point

 

 

I would definitely recommend giving yourself plenty of time to wander around a bit, and to take time to enjoy this beautiful scenic area!

 

More info:

http://www.fs.fed.us/kids/  (USDA Forest Service)