Wolf Creek Pass
July 19, 2008

by Dale Gann


Arrived at the campground, set camp and off we went. Paul LyVere and I decided to climb straight up to the basalt field from the trail head. The usual way is to follow the old road to the exposure. This is a 2 mile hike. Going up the way we went is tuff. We finally started coming across basalt. Most of the early basalt had weathered down the hill long before the road was blasted across the face of the mountain. We started finding agate nodules and then it started to rain. We hunted a little longer and then started back to the Jeep.

There is another exposure of the agate bearing basalt southwest of where we were hunting so we decided to check it out. As we approached there was a locked gate across the road with a sign that stated that the road was closed because of a land slide. The land slide had closed the road and also damaged a natural gas pipeline. I called the Forest Service office in Pagosa Springs and I asked if we could hike the road and they said no that the hill side was still moving and that they would reevaluate the situation August 15.

Saturday morning everyone met at the trailhead. We had about 10 people. Everyone else headed up the trail and I waited a little while for any late comers. When I got to the agate area everyone was busily beating on the basalt. I searched the trail area a little and then headed down the slope. I started finding nice agate nodules as soon as I dropped over the edge. One word of caution, if you ever go this way be careful about knocking boulders down the slope. More than once people had to yell a warning to those below that a rock was coming there way. There were geodes and nodules in the basalt along with loose nodules around the larger rocks. Everyone ended up with some nice examples.

I had originally planned on taking everyone to the other area on Sunday but with that area closed we decided to try our luck in the Twin Mountain area northwest of Del Norte. We used directions found in the guide books. Most of the road and trail to the side was good. The last mile felt like I was back in Utah. Very rough, we had to give a ride to one couple that had a VW bug. We got to the old diggings and headed further up the hill. There were broken thunder eggs all around. Everyone picked up more than they could carry. There were 2 types of thunder eggs, ones with pressure ridges and ones without. After cutting both types, only the ones with pressure ridges had good centers.

After Twin Mountain we decided to head up to House Log Creek, another thunder egg local. We found thunder eggs along a road cut and more in the area of the old diggings. We all ended up with many thunder eggs but all of the ones I have cut so far are duds.