Sunday, November 18, 2018

CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK - More than Diamonds to be Found

This past June, I camped for two days at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. This gem of a state park is truly a hidden treasure, nestled in an ancient volcanic vent not far from I-30. I had visited this park briefly a few years back while passing through Little Rock, and was literally devastated in having to leave after 2 short hours. It wasn't necessarily the prospect of finding diamonds that drew me to the park, but rather I wanted to linger at the "only diamond mine IN THE WORLD that was opened to the public"... It was truly a finders keeper type of experience, and deserved more than just a few hours. 

Since we couldn't stay long, I knew I had to return.

Their website  has a link for camping reservations, and I was able to secure a camping spot in the primitive camping area. 

A campsite with water is $13 a night

The primitive campsites are right off the road, requiring no hiking, which was fine for me as I was camping in my van. 

Right across campsite are bathrooms and showers

This park has many attractions for visiting families. Not only is there a giftshop and info center/museum in the main visitor center, but this park also has a cafe, swimming area, and offers free services where you can bring your gemstones to the counter for identification. Not only are diamonds to be found (over 600+ a year on average) but many people uncover Amethyst, Agate, Jasper, Garnet, Peridot, to name a few. 

Keep in mind that the ADMISSION FEE to enter the diamond fields are $10 a day, and this is not covered with your camping pass. This is $10 per day per person. Discounted rates for children. 

Plenty of acreage to explore 

And relax

 You'll be looking at this all day... 

 Did I mention it rains at the Crater of Diamonds State Park? 
Nothing like a surprise thunderstorm in the wee hours of the morning!

I was informed that diamonds are easier to find after the rain! 

If you get stir crazy, Murfreesboro is a wonderful little town to visit nearby for souvenirs, ice, and groceries. 

All of those "crystal looking rocks" that you see all over town is just glass. I asked. 

This is what I learned while camping at this state park:

Diamonds come in all shapes and sizes and are easy to find in others (I discovered some incredibly nice people at the campsite!)  

The number #1 question I got asked after visiting this park was, "did you find any diamonds?" 

I think deep down, I went for the solitude and the joy of anticipation. The mornings become busy as people show up, dragging buckets and pulling on boots. There's an air of excitement and adventure. And that is why I left feeling like I'd hit the jackpot, even though I never found a diamond... 

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