Frequently Asked Questions
OPEN YEAR ROUND
Including Most Holidays
8:00 a.m. til 4:30 p.m.
Open 7 days a week: March 1 - December 1
Open Monday - Friday: December 2 - March 1
We are located three miles south of mount ida, Arkansas off highway 27 south. turn east on owley road and go two miles. Just follow our signs!
If coming from Hot Springs, Arkansas we are a leisurely 45 minute drive from hot springs on highway 270 west through the beautiful national forest. Warning: Stay on highway 270 all the way into mount ida. Then take highway 27 south and follow the signs.
How to sign up for wholesale:
For wholesale customers, please register your business information and tax identification number issued by your state with us here. Otherwise, please give us a call at (800) 367-9888 and one of our staff members will walk you through the process.
Mine Tour Times:
Trips to our Crystal Forest Mine leave every day at 9:30, 11:30, and 1:30. Please arrive 15-20 minutes early to sign up and have a safety meeting.
Differences between the tailings and the mine:
Our Tailings Pile is a large open area where we bring blasted soil and material from the mine sites and deposit it. We maintain this area regularly by tilling the soil and adding new frequently blasted material weekly to bi-weekly.
Our Mine sites are 40+ acres comprised of large open pits that have exposed sandstone rock walls with quartz veins. During your time at the mine you are able to dig in the exposed veins and open surface areas that are not marked off from the public.
*Both options require a minimum physical activity of walking, bending down and back up, and carrying your finds. For less physicality we recommend the Tailings Pile or one of our other activities such as the Gemstone Sluice, Diamond Experience, Gems of the World, or Geode Cracker.
What you need to bring:
Water, Snacks, Hats, Sunscreen, Old Clothes, Old Sneakers or Boots, Gloves
Extra Items You Might Want Include: Digging Bar, Hammer, Chisel, Small Ice Chest/Cooler
*We provide buckets, small garden shovels, and a tire iron to use as a pry bar for a small deposit while you dig - this deposit it returned once the borrowed items have been returned and checked in.
Can you dig all day:
For all day digging we recommend our Tailings Pile. It’s a one time fee for all day digging until 4:00 p.m.
For the Crystal Forest Mine you can dig two hours for $18 or up to six hours per day (if you leave on the 9:30 trip up to the mine) for $18 per every two hours ($36 for four hours, $54 for six hours).
Can you keep what you find:
You can keep everything you dig during your activities for no extra charge. Bring some old boxes, newspaper, egg cartons, zip locks, tubbaware etc. to take your finds home.
Do we have bathrooms:
We have clean maintained bathrooms at the warehouse and up at the mine sites.
Handicap Accessible options:
The Minerals You Will Find:
Places to Stay:
Mount Ida is a small town with limited options, however there are a few places to stay locally.
Royal Oak Inn - (870) 867 2169
Crystal Inn - (870) 867 2643
Mountain Harbor Resort - (870) 867 2191, mountainharborresort.com
Shangri La Resort - (870) 867 2011, shangrilaresortar.net
River View Cabins - (870) 326 4630
Ouachita River Haven - (870) 326 4941, ouachitahaven.com
Denby Point Campground - (870) 867 4475
Joplin Campground - (501) 767 2101
For more information:
Please contact Mount Ida Chamber of Commerce - (870) 867-2723, www.mtidachamber.com
We have large truck, motorhome, and tour bus parking available by our shop.
Can you drive your vehicle to the mine site:
You cannot drive your vehicle to the mine sites, however you can drive to our Tailings Pile and Gemstone Sluice activity options. Transportation to the Crystal Forest Mine leaves at 9:30, 11:30, and 1:30 daily. Please arrive 15-20 minutes early for mine trips so there is time to sign up, load gear, and have a safety meeting.
Are we pet friendly:
All furry friends are welcome here! If your dog/cat/other is not socialized, please keep them on a leash. We have 3-5 dogs here daily from the owner and employees. This is their home so please be respectful. Make sure and bring a water bowl for your animal.
Where you can wash your crystals:
We do not have a washing station for you to clean your crystals here. We recommend taking them to a car wash and hitting them with the pressurized sprayer, or taking them home and using hot soapy water and an old toothbrush. To remove the orange tint caused by iron deposits in the soil, we sell oxalic acid ($3.00) to soak your crystals after cleaning.