TREASURES AT SUNFLOWER FLATS AND COYOTE CREEK
Well known to rock hounders across the states and abroad, Sunflower Flats is located on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon, and was once one of the most popular digging sites to rock collectors for it's rare rock specimens. Today, Sunflower Flats is no longer accessible to the public, though it remains a treasured site.
Coyote Creek runs through Sunflower Flats.
Back in the old days, advanced permission to collect rocks from Sunflower Flats had to be granted by the tribe. And even if it was accessible for many years back in the day, the Warm Springs Tribal Council had been somewhat inconsistent to the issuance of digging permits. Most often than not, access was limited.
One would be considered quite lucky to be granted access. Sunflower Flats is an outstanding site known for its flurry of colorful rare rocks. It has always been a digging paradise with rock hounders that would come to collect from as far as Australia. This site has also been mentioned in many books relating to the collectible specimens found here. Approximately 35 to 40 years ago, Sunflower Flats was permanently closed off to the public due to the destruction of the tribes' land from heavy equipment use without any care for the land.
But it's easy to tell when you are at Sunflower Flats. There are sunflower plants everywhere - hundreds of them! Here, we find green jasper, brown jasper, lavender jasper, red-green jasper, green-red-orange jasper, green-black jasper, rose jasper - much of which has flows, bands and swirls. There are also unique, one of kind agates, crystals, and ancient petrified woods; so many variations of rocks that, when out and about in the Sunflower Flats area with our digging equipment, it's always hard to see the day come to an end.