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When I saw Glitter Mountain for the first time my thought was: “That’s the perfect name for this place!” As we drove up to the pit, the hill was sparkling in the sunlight. Here’s all the information you need to plan your trip to Glitter Mountain!
The Glitter Mountain mine (aka Sparkle Mountain or the Old Gypsum Mine) contains deposits of a transparent crystalline form of gypsum called selenite. There’s an active mining claim at the pit, but luckily, they allow visitors.
What You Need to Know Before Visiting Glitter Mountain
Access and costs have changed over the years at this site leading to mixed information on what you can and can’t do. I emailed the owners of the claim directly to get clear on the rules and information that they would like visitors to know.
First of all, there IS an active mining claim on Glitter Mountain, so make sure you read and follow the posted signs when you arrive.
The Feller Stone family holds the claim and has the exclusive right to remove the selenite for commercial sales. They ask first and foremost that you use common sense when visiting the site and use caution around the pit area.
The owners prefer that people do not go down into the pit, but as long as you use common sense and stay safe, it is okay. Of course, make sure you stay away from any machinery when they are mining.
When we visited, we did not go down into the pit and instead walked around the outside. There was so much selenite on the ground outside of the pit that we didn’t feel the need to go down into it.
We started seeing pieces as soon as we got out of the car!
Bring plenty of water, especially if visiting during the hotter months. There’s no shade.
Related >> Find Geodes at Utah’s Dugway Geode Beds!
Is it okay to use hand tools?
It is okay to bring a small hammer, chisel, (or garden tools), and a bucket. They do not allow “mining”, power tools, or heavy digging.
If you plan to use a hammer or chisel or do some light digging, I highly recommend a pair of safety glasses. They’re cheap and a good idea to have on hand if you’re digging around. You can find them easily at hardware stores or on Amazon.
What is the cost of visiting Glitter Mountain?
There’s no fee to visit the site, but the owners ask that people pay for any selenite that they take home. There’s a sign on site with pricing information for paying through PayPal or Venmo. We had service out there, so it was really easy to send the money on-site.
How to get to Glitter Mountain
Directions from St. George to Glitter Mountain
Glitter Mountain is only about 30 minutes from St. George making it the perfect day trip! I recommend using Google Maps to navigate. (Apple Maps gave some weird results for directions.)
The Glitter Mountain mining pit is in Arizona, not Utah. Once you cross over the Arizona border, the pit is about 1.5 miles away.
You’ll need to travel on a dirt road for some of the drive. I thought the road was fine, although many people have complained about the dirt road once you leave Utah and enter Arizona.
Keep in mind that the owners have no control over the roads. They’ve tried to work with the State of Arizona to fix the road, but so far that hasn’t happened so you can expect to drive slowly.
We did not have a high-clearance vehicle and made it just fine. I would imagine the road is muddy and hard to travel in wet conditions so keep that in mind too.
What crystal is at Glitter Mountain?
You can find gypsum at Glitter Mountain. One of the main identifying characteristics of gypsum is its hardness (or lack of hardness).
Gypsum is a 2 on the Mohs Hardness Scale and you can scratch it with your fingernail.
One of my favorite features of selenite (the form of gypsum that’s at Glitter Mountain) is the transparent columnar structure.
Light can pass through the selenite which gives it a glow. We held our cell phone flashlight up to a piece and it looked so cool.
Glitter Mountain Resources and Updates
Check these resources for any current events, announcements, or updates from the owners of the mining claim:
Other Things to Do Near Glitter Mountain
Nearby Glitter Mountain is the Little Black Mountain Petroglyph Site.
This is a great stop if you have time for a little detour. There’s a nice walking path to various petroglyphs on the rocks representing 6,000 years of human habitation and use in the area.
I would recommend a high-clearance vehicle for the road out to the Little Black Mountain Petroglyph site. The drive was a little sketchy in parts and I would say it’s downright impassable in wet or muddy conditions.
More Activities Near St. George
- The Ulitmate Guide to Snow Canyon State Park
- 10 Best Hikes in St. George
- 5 Reasons to Visit Zion National Park in Winter
We had such a fun time at Glitter Mountain! I hope you enjoy your visit and find some nice pieces of selenite to take home as a souvenir.