Where to Find Gems and Minerals in Ludlow California

Ludlow, California is a sad place. It used to be a town in support of a booming mine that later played out. A ghost town that will not just give up and die, Ludlow was later a water stop for the Santa Fe Railroad in the late 1800s. By the 1940s, Ludlow was no longer important as a railroad stop, but became a stop on the brand new highway, Route 66. Travellers to the Pacific Ocean found Ludlow to be a great place to get a bite to eat, spend a night in the hotel, or to get their cars repaired before reaching their dream of the blue and the gold.

When Highway 40 was completed, Route 66 became an icon of American road travelling history and Ludlow attempted to die again. Ludlow has, however, been memorialized in films such as “Baghdad Cafe” and “Kalifornia”.

Current estimates of the population of Ludlow, California range between 10 and 20 people.

Broadwell Dry Lake lies North of Ludlow and next to the Old Dominion Mine that is in the Northwest Mountains. This means that there is gold in some amount and that there are fossils to be found, but the penalties for removing vertibrate fossils, prehistoric Indian relics and other prohibited items without a palentology or other permit are high!

This is also high and very real desert, where there are numerous hazards that serve as warnings not to go without the proper accompaniment and preparation!

But where are the gems? They are apparently in the Broadwell Dry Lake area, 6 miles North of Ludlow via Crucero Road and then West into the mountains, and the gems include:

Banded Agate
Moss Agate

Zoisite with massive pink and green Thulite

Bubbly Chalcedony

Agates are found in Lavic Siding Plumes that hold, Flame and Moss Agate. The Lavic region allows the collector to find examples of almost any color and form of agate/jasper combination one can imagine, in a relatively small area. Some examples of agate that was found near Ludlow can be found at the American Agate, Jasper Project web page and at Miner’s Gallery.

Zoisite (green) and Thulite (pink) that was found new Ludlow is pictured here.

Geodes are fun! They are regular, round rocks from the outside, but contain worlds of wonder within. While the Google imagesshow geodes, they are probably not from Ludlow.

References and sites: 

High Desert Insider

Rockhounding Blog

US Bureau Of Land Management, Barstow Field Office