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Rock Hunting in the Big Bend of Texas with Teri Smith
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Al that, and more....

I am not big on writing reviews so I will just put that out there at the start. I only write... read more

Reviewed December 9, 2017
darsk02
,
San Antonio, Texas
Rock Hunting with agatehunter@sbcglobal.net

Just spent a wonderful time rock hunting. Teri takes groups to Ranches around the Big Bend for... read more

Reviewed November 20, 2017
MHK_11
,
Austin, TX
via mobile
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Reviewed May 3, 2015

I've been trying to get to West Texas for years to collect some of the best and most unique agates in the world. Teri's rockhunts helped me fulfill that quest. Teri is knowledgeable, organized and put us in great places on private ranches to collect the best materials, and the cost was affordable. These are great trips for rockhounds, nature lovers and families with members from age 8 to 80 with a love of the outdoors and a sense of adventure. I highly recommend them to everyone.

Date of experience: April 2015
2  Thank Craig U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2015

Second trip. April is so nice, much cooler than October and I think the rains help with washing material to the surface as it was just everywhere! I had a wonderful time, the weather was beautiful, there were amazing and plentiful rocks to be found. Terri does a wonderful job of organizing everything and the barbecue on Sunday was great fun too and the food was wonderful. I'll be going back. I highly recommend this hunt for anyone who wants to have a good time, either for a day or a week. I went by myself, but there are lots of other hunters about and it's just really a lot of fun. Christine Gunter, Sunnyvale, TX

Date of experience: April 2015
1  Thank christinehughes2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2015

Since I was a kid I would always pick up rocks and stuff them in my pocket. haha. As an adult, I still have the desire to collect interesting/rare rocks/minerals. I met Teri a couple of years ago while visiting Alpine, Texas and she mentioned that she hosted rock hunting field trips. This immediately got my attention. What's great is that Teri has the ability to go onto private ranches (with the ranch owner's permission of course) and bring folks with her to enjoy the rock hunt. This is an amazing opportunity, as you wouldn't be able to access these places without the help of a wonderful field trip guide like Teri. You meet at the Antelope Lodge at an agreed upon time with Teri after reserving your spot. She is excellent in keeping you apprised with the price and other details regarding the ranches that she has access to. A little about Teri, she is kind, funny, very intellegent with all things agate and really makes you feel comfortable and excited about the trip. We departed the Antelope Lodge at around 8:30 am and made our way to a private ranch near Marfa. When we reached the ranch, she did a wonderful job in educating us about what types of agates you could find in the area and gave great tips on where they could be located and what to look for. I was very impressed. As soon as I started walking into the acreage, I was literally seeing agate EVERYWHERE. I was able to find some lovely black plume agate, white plume agate, and lots of the "bumpy agate" which I'm not certain of the name. Geodes and single crystals were available as well. Best part, most of these agates are literally laying right on top of the earth. I did not have to dig once. Of course, the scenery is stunning as well. This was my favorite part of my visit to Alpine and I plan on doing it again every year for my annual visit. Helpful Tips: Bring water, a bucket, a screwdriver or knife to dig out stubborn agates, a non-perishable lunch, and sunscreen.

Date of experience: April 2015
3  Thank Marcos M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2015

We recently visited the Big Bend for the purpose of rock hunting with Teri Smith. She had hosted a rock hunt that we joined about a year ago, and my daughter wanted to have a chance to hunt for crystals. Our first hunt a year ago was at Needle Peak, near Terlingua ghost town. We hunted there with our children and grandchildren, and it was amazing! Teri is so patient, explaining the area geology and what to look for, and then examining the many rocks we would bring to her to tell us what it was and if we should keep it for polishing or cutting. Her enthusiasm never wanes, and she is always so helpful and wants everyone to have fun and find wonderful things.

This year, we hunted with Teri at the Walker Ranch near Alpine, Texas. She set off with us after having given everyone maps and information about where to hunt the many different specimens that are found there. We began finding small crystals, and she kept telling us, " Just wait!" About 1/4 mile from our car, we came across the most beautiful crystals! It was amazing, and she knew just where they were, having scouted the ranch prior. Again, she stayed with us until we knew where to search, giving us great information on the structures we were seeing in the rock and how they were formed. My daughter was SO excited. It was the highlight of our trip, for sure!

The trips that Teri Smith hosts are a great experience for singles, families, even smaller children, young or old. Some of the ranches she uses are more difficult to hunt and others very easy as far as terrain goes. She can give information to make sure the rock hunt is suitable to one's level of fitness, etc.

We highly recommend taking one of these terrific rock hunting trips. It is one of the most exciting things to do in the wonderful Big Bend area!

Date of experience: April 2015
3  Thank chennig48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2015

I am a fan of the Weather Channel's show, "Prospectors." The idea of finding beautiful rocks intrigues me, so when we moved to TX, I began to do some research to learn what types of rocks are native to TX. Eventually, my web searches kept taking me to websites that showed pictures of beautiful agates, native to the Alpine and Marfa, TX, areas. A rock hounding website then took me to Teri's website, which I've copied and pasted here.

You can find more information out about the specific trips Teri offers from going to her website, but expect to pay about $50/trip per person, plus a minimal fee to join the local rock club (if you aren't already a member of your local rock club). At first, if you've never done something like this before, you might wonder why the fee is so expensive. Keep in mind that in that area, there are very few public areas you can rock hound for free on. Your fee is going to the landowner. It gets you a 5 gallon bucket full of agates (and that's a lot of rocks) -- it's also an ALL day experience. Expect to depart at around 8:00 a.m. and depart at 5:00 p.m. You can leave earlier if you like.

We were completely new to rock hounding, and looking for agates in particular. We found Teri to be a real "gem." She was so willing to share her knowledge with us and to even go through our rocks with us and let us know which had potential to be cut into beauties, and which were likely to be duds. It was a wonderful, off-the-beaten-path kind of experience in a beautiful, interesting part of the country. I'd highly recommend it to others.

Date of experience: February 2015
2  Thank naturegirl94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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