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Rockhounder's Dream: Dugway Geodes, Sherry Colored Topaz, Wonderstone

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7 Days | 6 Nights
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Jan from Wichita, KS Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/03/15 - 05/09/15
This was my first Road Scholar trip and it was great! Gary,Sandy and Kathleen were all knowledgeable and provided for our every need. Everyone was able to get at least one specimen of all the different rocks, minerals and fossils we were after. However, most of us couldn't stop with just one specimen! A fun and exciting all around experience. It you think you might want to go but...Don't talk yourself out of this one--it was awesome!

Sarah from Irving, TX Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 05/03/15 - 05/09/15
This was a most interesting program. I learned so much. Thanks to the planning and leadership of Gary, Sandy and Kathleen I had a great experience and lots of rocks.

Ernest from Richmond, VA Number of programs attended: 21
Date attended: 05/03/15 - 05/09/15
I have attended over 20 programs. This was one of the best organized that I've been to. I can say I enjoyed it immensely. Came home with many rocks and actually found topazes. The leaders were excellent and accommodating. I recommend it.

Joan from Mukilteo, WA Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 05/03/15 - 05/09/15
A trip to remember for a lifetime! I can't say enough good things about this experience. A wonderful group of people of all walks of life and all ages. Gary, Sandy, and Kathleen were so cheerful, helpful, and caring and treated us all like royalty. I came away with knowledge about geology, rocks, and gems that I had no idea about previously. Digging in the dirt and finding buried treasures was my favorite part. Going to so many different sites for the variety of stones was super. If you have ever thought about this type of adventure, sign up. I hope to go again in the next couple of years.

Opal from Virginia Beach, VA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 05/03/15 - 05/09/15
This is a fantastic program! I was amazed at the number of sites we visited. I especially like obsidian, and we got three different kinds, along with geodes, topaz, sunstone, agate, trilobites and various other fossils. It was just relaxing to be out in nature, enjoying the clean air, the beautiful desert, and wonderful cloud formations. I have a desk job, and I really needed a vacation outdoors. I felt refreshed when I returned to work. I would recommend that you bring Q-tips because my ears got full of dust. Also, I thought I would be wearing shorts, but ended up wearing long pants. It was chillier than I thought it would be and also long pants were better down in some of the quarries. The last day you will be cleaning up your fossils and having your geodes cut, so bring along any old toothbrushes you may have - they will help this day. This was really an adventure! I am so glad I went!

Edsel from Mukilteo, WA Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 05/03/15 - 05/09/15
This program is a rockhounder's dream. Fossils, agates, obsidian, topaz, sunstone, and dugway geodes in three (3) intensive days of collection. Then you get to prepare your collection at a fantastic rock/gem/lapidary shop. Add to this the geological explanation of South-Central Utah and the Topaz Internment Camp. In sum, you have as perfect of a Road Scholar experience as you could hope for. Our group had some people in their late 70's and early 80's and they did just fine (just a little slower is all).

Barbara from Novato, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/28/14 - 10/04/14
I have collected minerals for years, but this is the first time I have gone looking for them. This trip was fantastic! Gary and Sandy were very friendly, knowledgeable, and organized, and the guest speakers were excellent. The time flew by and soon we were driving home with a car full of beautiful rocks. One of the best trips I've ever had!

Helaine from Reno, NV Number of programs attended: 30
Date attended: 09/28/14 - 10/04/14
Couldn't have been any better. Fast pace. Every stop was on schedule. Got all the rocks we set out for. A great leader (and company). Good weather.

Barbara from Salem, OR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/28/14 - 10/04/14
This is a great program for the beginner an experience rock hound, we learned so much and found all kinds of rock, gems and minerals. Trilobites, sunstones, jasper, agate, fossils,

Pamela from Huntington, WV Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 06/01/14 - 06/07/14
I'm not a rockhound but attended this program because I'm interested in geology. Gary, Sandy and Trent, our leaders, have a lot of experience leading Road Scholar programs and anticipated all our needs -- including bringing along a portapotty. Before we went into the field, we listened to experts tell us about what we'd be finding. We were able to go to several sites not open to the public. The program was fun and informative and I was amazed at all the rocks and gems we collected. We filled up many buckets full of geodes, had a great time splitting shale to find trilobite fossils, picked up sunstones and Apache tears and hunted for topaz, among other things. We also had the opportunity to have some of these treasures turned into jewelry. So neat to be able to wear (and give to friends) a beautiful gem I found in the desert! Although this program is listed as "active," I am NOT, and couldn't climb steep hills or scramble over large rocks in the quarry. However, this was no problem because Gary showed me how to find gems and special rocks "on the flat." I highly recommend ths program.

Gerald from Los Angeles, CA Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 06/01/14 - 06/07/14
This was my first experience at rockhounding and it was great. Gary and Sandy put a tremendous amount of energy in making this program a successful and enjoyable experience.

Carol from Hopkins, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/01/14 - 06/07/14
This program is exceptionally well planned and organized, providing a positive experience for both experienced rock hounds and neophytes at collecting rocks and minerals.

William from Henderson, NV Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 09/29/13 - 10/05/13
So NICE! We did it TWICE!! This was our second time on this program. Our leaders, Gary and Sandy had made modifications and it was even better than the first time. Access to locations, not available to the general public, really made this a Rockhounder's Dream! People staying at our hotel were envious of our "loot."

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"Trilobite Dug from U-Dig Fossils Site" Uploaded By: Edsel
"Trilobite Dug from U-Dig Fossils Site" Uploaded By: Edsel

"Roka at Topaz Internment Camp Site" Uploaded By: Edsel

"A Hailstorm Adds To The Adventure!" Uploaded By: Edsel

"The Cut Dugway Geode" Uploaded By: Edsel

"Gary Cutting a Geode" Uploaded By: Edsel

"Brachiopods from Fossil Mountain" Uploaded By: Edsel

"Picnic on Fossil Mt Hunting Day 1" Uploaded By: Gale

"Hilde at the Dugaway Geodes " Uploaded By: Barbara

"Topaz gem " Uploaded By: Barbara

"wonderstone mine" Uploaded By: Barbara

"In search of Apache tears " Uploaded By: Barbara

"Wonderstone at museum " Uploaded By: Barbara

"trilobites at Great Basin museum " Uploaded By: Barbara

"each room had a coal burning stove, no bathroom or kitchen furniture made from crates. " Uploaded By: Barbara

"Monday - class lectures, Topaz museum, Great Basin museum, geology lesson, etc. " Uploaded By: Barbara

"You had to carry bedding for everyone, and could only bring what you could carry." Uploaded By: Barbara

"WRA Camp Topaz in background gravel paths are still visable." Uploaded By: Barbara

"Topaz Museum - recreation room from camp. " Uploaded By: Barbara

"Topaz relocation camp" Uploaded By: Barbara

"Suga 2nd baby born in block 19 in the laundry room." Uploaded By: Barbara

"fossils everywhere on fossil mountain" Uploaded By: Barbara

"View from the second van. what a relief our own porta potty." Uploaded By: Barbara

"Apache tears- the larger tears were at the bottom of hill" Uploaded By: Barbara

"Fossil Mountain - fossils everywhere" Uploaded By: Barbara

"Robert Harris creating a pendant." Uploaded By: Barbara

"Judy and Vickie with their bucket of geodes!" Uploaded By: Pat

"Pat and Vickie sporting their geodes! " Uploaded By: Pat

"Pat finding her first topaz!!" Uploaded By: Pat

"Janet digging for Topaz!" Uploaded By: Pat

"Educating & Sharing Rock & Mineral Specimens from Participant's Home States During 'Trading Post' Time During Program" Uploaded By: Gary

"Thayne Lee from Local Brillium Mine Discusses Mining Operations and Items Made from Brillium such as Laser-Guided Missile Head He is Holding" Uploaded By: Gary

"Road Scholar Rock Hounding Group May, 2013" Uploaded By: Gary

"Lunch Break at Topaz Mountain while Collecting Utah State's Gemstone Sherry-Colored Topaz and Birthstone for November" Uploaded By: Gary

"Agate & Jasper After Being Tumbled for Five Weeks" Uploaded By: Gary

"Collected Agate & Jasper" Uploaded By: Gary

"Collecting Agate & Jasper to Tumble for Polished Stones" Uploaded By: Gary

"Group Below Mary Laird Peak Learning about Silver Mining Ghost Town of Joy" Uploaded By: Gary

"Mary Laird Known as 'No-Nose Maggie' in Front of Her Store in the Mining Town of Joy 1930's Photo Courtesy of Beckwith Family Collection" Uploaded By: Gary

"Learning About the Ghost Town of Joy Founded by Henry Bourne Joy" Uploaded By: Gary

"Sitting in Remaining Foundation of Laird's Store in the Ghost Town of Joy in the Drum Mountains" Uploaded By: Gary

"Exciting Times Seeing one of the Wild Horse Herds While Traveling to Dig Dugway Geodes" Uploaded By: Gary

"Vickie Doubled Her Luck with Her Unique Double Geode Found" Uploaded By: Gary

"Richard with One of His Amazing Geodes" Uploaded By: Gary

"Julia is Proud of Her Geode Found at the Dugway Geode Dig" Uploaded By: Gary

"Bard's Geode Bookends" Uploaded By: Gary

"Bard's Geode Cut into Beautiful Bookends to Display in His Home" Uploaded By: Gary

"Everyone's Collection of Dugway Geodes Get Cut Open to See the Amazing Crystals Inside" Uploaded By: Gary

Uploaded By: Kay

"Searching for jasper and agate" Uploaded By: Kay

"With our Backhoe at Work 30 Feet Deep Road Scholar Participants Get Spetacular Specimens of Dugway Geodes" Uploaded By: Gary

"Participants Digging Through Freshly-Dug Dirt from Backhoe for Dugway Geodes" Uploaded By: Gary

"Road Scholar Participant, Squy, Cleaning His Trilobite Collection with Dremel Tools" Uploaded By: Gary

"Wonder-Stone, a Volcanic Layer called Rhyolite which Contains Iron (the rust color), is cut into Beautiful Bookends" Uploaded By: Gary

"Collecting Beautiful "Wonderstone" in Quarry" Uploaded By: Gary

"Digging for Trilobites in Quarry" Uploaded By: Gary

"Road Scholar Participant "Bea" Excited with Her Trilobite Discovery" Uploaded By: Gary

"Judith Splitting the Wheeler Shale Deposit Layer Looking for Trilobite Bugs" Uploaded By: Gary

"550 Million Year Old "Elrathia Kingi" Species Trilobite Discovered" Uploaded By: Gary

"Tim's Dugway Geode Just Cut Open is Filled with Beautiful Drusy Quartz" Uploaded By: Gary

"Geology Professor, Emily Lamas Teaching Road Scholar Participants How Gemstones Such as Red Beryl is Formed" Uploaded By: Gary

"Geology Professor, Emily Lamas Teaches Geologic Timeline Using Roll of Paper Towels" Uploaded By: Gary

"Close-Up of Pat's Great Topaz Gemstone from Topaz Mountain" Uploaded By: Gary

"Pat Shows Her Amazing Topaz Gemstone Discovery at Topaz Mountain" Uploaded By: Gary

"Shayne Crapo, Expert Instructor and Rock Hound Guide Shows Unique Dugway Geode and Discusses How They are Formed" Uploaded By: Gary

"Jane Beckwith, Expert Instructor, Discusses Complexities of the Japanese Relocation Camp Called Topaz in Delta, Utah" Uploaded By: Gary

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
6 nights of accommodations
17 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
9 Expert-led lectures
16 Field trips
11 Hands-on experiences


Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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