Rock Discoveries

Discover the Geological Wonders of Oregon: Richardson Rock Ranch

Have you ever thought about taking your daughter on a multi-day camping and fishing trip? If so, consider venturing to Madras, Oregon for a fun and educational father-daughter adventure! At the heart of this journey is the Richardson Rock Ranch, a 17,000-acre working cattle ranch that boasts world-famous Agate Beds and a plethora of geological treasures.

Camping and fishing are popular activities for father-daughter bonding, and the sprawling river and surrounding countryside of the Richardson Rock Ranch offer the perfect backdrop for such a trip. Get lost in peaceful and serene surroundings at this unforgettable destination.

River Canoe Fishing

Whether it’s your first time fishing or your hundredth, the river canoe fishing experience at the Richardson Rock Ranch is something you don’t want to miss. Cast your line and enjoy the peaceful serenity of the gently flowing river while surrounded by lush vegetation and wildlife.

Be sure to bring plenty of bait, sturdy fishing gear, and your favorite fishing snacks for the trip. You can even pack a camping grill to cook your catch over the fire!

Rockhounding at Richardson Rock Ranch

If you and your daughter are more interested in rocks than fishing, explore the geology of the Richardson Rock Ranch. Take a camping trip in a Siesta canned ham trailer and explore one of the ranch’s crown jewels, the Richardson Rock Ranch.

The Siesta canned ham trailer is a retro, yet functional camping trailer that will add an authentic and unique experience to your camping trip. Its compact nature makes it a great option for families looking to enjoy a rustic camping adventure.

Once you set up your trailer, take a walk and explore the ranchs agates, jasper, petrified wood, and other geological treasures.

Explore the Priday Agate Beds

A visit to the Richardson Rock Ranch is not complete without exploring the world-famous Priday Agate Beds. Stroll through the store and museum for an orientation of the ranch, learning about the different rocks and minerals you may encounter.

You can purchase rock hammers and other rockhounding tools, as well as collectible rocks as souvenirs. Don’t forget to sign a waiver of liability before heading out with your bucket in search of geological treasures!


Overall, the Richardson Rock Ranch is a unique and awe-inspiring destination that offers the perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and education. From fishing in the river to rockhounding at the Priday Agate Beds, this destination offers something for everyone.

Whether this is your first trip or a longtime annual tradition, the Richardson Rock Ranch is the perfect way to bond with your daughter while enjoying the great outdoors. Head to Oregon today for an unforgettable trip to Richardson Rock Ranch!

Getting to Richardson Rock Ranch

Getting to Madras, Oregon is relatively easy via several highways, including U.S. Highway 97. Once in Madras, following signs near milepost 81 will guide you onto a well-marked road that leads directly to the Richardson Rock Ranch.

The road is almost entirely paved, with only the final portion of the journey leading to the parking area as dirt. Parking near the store is available on the side of the dirt road leading to the property.

Property Features

Upon your arrival at the Richardson Rock Ranch, you will be greeted by stunning views and ample opportunities for exploration. The property is home to an array of flora and fauna, including peacocks, chickens and other domestic animals.

The ranch store and museum is the perfect place to stock up on essentials before venturing out on your adventures. You can also purchase beautiful rock specimens, peacock feathers, and other souvenirs to commemorate your visit.

Thunderegg Dig at Richardson Rock Ranch

If you’re looking for a unique and exciting adventure, consider participating in the thunderegg dig offered by the Richardson Rock Ranch. These unique rocks have a soft outer layer and a hollow interior filled with minerals in fascinating patterns, making them a very unique and prized possession.

As you drive to the thunderegg dig site, be prepared for rocky, bumpy, and slow-going dirt roads. The terrain can be challenging, so it’s best to bring along a high-clearance 4×4 vehicle to ensure a safe journey.

Dig Sites

The Richardson Rock Ranch offers access to several thunderegg dig sites, including the South Blue Bed, Red Bed, and Pony Butte Bed. These dig sites are marked by well-labeled signs to guide your way.

Each bed offers different rock specimens that will keep you entertained and inspired. During your hunt, you will locate thundereggs that range in size from a golf ball to a baseball or softball.

Once you have located your unique thunderegg, you can use a crowbar to extract it from its rock matrix.

Thunderegg Hunting

Once you have successfully extracted your thunderegg from its matrix, you can take it to the cutting table where professionals will cut it open for you, revealing the fine mineral patterns within. This is a great activity for families to engage with, as it is safe for children and provides a rewarding sense of accomplishment.

The cost of digging at the Richardson Rock Ranch is $1.50 per pound, with a $15.00 minimum. Cutting the thunderegg will cost $.50 per square inch, and there may be a wait time, so it’s best to plan accordingly.


Overall, the thunderegg dig offered by the Richardson Rock Ranch is an experience unlike any other. Get ready to journey through breathtaking scenery to locate some of the most remarkable geological treasures in the world.

The combination of the challenging terrain, the rewarding discovery of thundereggs, and the opportunity to bask in the beauty of nature make the thunderegg dig at Richardson Rock Ranch a must-do adventure for anyone interested in exploring the great outdoors. As you wrap up your exciting journey to Richardson Rock Ranch, take some time to reflect on your trip and favorite moments.

Whether you enjoyed camping, fishing, rockhounding, or thunderegg digging, this destination offers a unique and engaging experience that will leave you with cherished memories for years to come.

Trip Review

For those who have never visited Oregon, Richardson Rock Ranch is an excellent introduction to the state’s diverse natural offerings. Camping and fishing in the lush countryside is a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

You can explore the geology and history of the state’s natural resources at the Richardson Rock Ranch and take a multi-day trip that offers fun, adventure, and lifelong memories. The thunderegg dig is a unique activity that can truly take your breath away as you uncover these fascinating geological treasures.

Rockhounding Oregon Guidebook

If you’re interested in exploring Oregon’s natural geological wonders beyond Richardson Rock Ranch, consider investing in a rockhounding guidebook. A good guidebook can provide you with useful information on different rockhounding locations, including detailed descriptions, directions, maps, and GPS coordinates.

These guidebooks will help you discover a plethora of fascinating locations throughout the state, with many containing information on rocks, minerals, and fossils.

Oregon is packed full of unique rock formations, and many parts of the state are known for their rich geology.

By using a rockhounding guidebook, you will be able to access lesser-known sites and discover geological wonders that make for an exciting and fulfilling adventure.


When it comes to natural beauty and sightseeing, few states can compete with Oregon. Whether you’re interested in camping, fishing, rockhounding, or thunderegg digging, the state is brimming with affordable and engaging activities.

Overall, a trip to Richardson Rock Ranch would conclude with a newfound appreciation of the geological beauty of Oregon. And if you’re serious about discovering all that the state has to offer, a rockhounding guidebook is an absolute must-have for any adventurer.

In conclusion, exploring natural geological wonders such as Richardson Rock Ranch or any other site in Oregon is an exciting and unique way to spend a vacation. Whether you’re bonding with family or taking some time to appreciate the great outdoors, rockhounding and thunderegg digging offer a rewarding experience that allows you to appreciate the beauty of nature on a deeper level.

With the help of a thorough guidebook, you will gain access to all the unique locations that the state has to offer and expand your knowledge of the natural world. FAQs:


What is the cost to dig at Richardson Rock Ranch, and what payment methods are accepted?

– The cost of digging is $1.50 per pound, with a $15.00 minimum, and most major credit cards are accepted.

2. What type of vehicle should I bring to the Richardson Rock Ranch if I want to go thunderegg digging?

– A high-clearance 4×4 vehicle is recommended for the rocky and bumpy dirt roads leading to the dig sites. 3.

What should I bring for river canoe fishing on my father-daughter camping trip to the Richardson Rock Ranch? – Bring sturdy fishing gear, plenty of bait, fishing snacks, and a camping grill for cooking your catch over the fire.

4. Are there any additional fees for cutting open a thunderegg that I found while digging?

– Yes, there is a fee of $.50 per square inch, and wait times may vary during peak seasons. 5.

What kind of rockhounding locations are featured in the Oregon Guidebook? – The guidebook covers many different locations throughout the state, including descriptions, directions, GPS coordinates, maps, and information on rocks, minerals, and fossils.

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