Sunstone Rockhounding: Delta, UT
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Watch the ground glitter in the sun from an ancient volcanic eruption at Sunstone Knoll. This unique site, located just outside Delta, Utah, contains a vast ground cover sprinkled with tiny yellow-colored sunstones, just waiting for you and your family to collect.
Fun: ⭐⭐ (out of 5)
Difficulty: VERY EASY Easy Moderate Hard Very Hard
Distance: Short walk
Elevation Gain: 100 feet or so to the top of knoll or flat if you stay below knoll
Terrain: Dirt and rocks
Time: 15 minutes to 1 hour
When to Go: Anytime of the year when it is sunny
No bathrooms or water at Sunstone Knoll but Delta is only about 20 minutes away and has gas stations and grocery stores.
THINGS TO BRING
Bucket for gathering
Shovel, if desired
Pick-axe or hammers, if desired
Plenty of water, especially in summer months
Sunscreen (no shade)
We love hunting for rocks and minerals! After hunting for fossils during social distancing of COVID-19 we went searching for Sunstones at Sunstone Knoll, near Delta Utah.
Sunstone Knoll was a volcanic vent formed around 1 million years ago and is only about 20 minutes south of Delta, Utah. The susnstones are yellowish in color and range in size from 1/8 to 1 inch. The best place to find sunstones is on the east side of the knoll.
We spent 30 minutes gathering the small sunstones all over the ground. You can also break rocks open to find more, but there were plenty of small stones on the ground for us to gather easily with kids. Make sure to go on a clear sunny day so you can see the sunstones glitter the ground. You cant see the glittering from the picture. :(
We took a short walk to the top of the knoll where you get a 360 degree view of the Great Basin area. Even our 2-year-old could climb to the top.
There is a lot of broken glass in the area which look a lot like the sunstones, so make sure your little kiddos (or adults) aren’t picking up broken glass, unless you are helping clean up to throw it away.
The knoll can be visited any time of the year, however the area is very hot in the summer with highs averaging in the 90s. We visited in March. The area might be covered in snow at times during the winter. Check weather forecasts before you go.
PROS & CONS
Easy and fun for kids
Does not take a lot of time
Glass can be mistaken as sun-stones
No amenities on site
Not worth the long drive just for sun-stones, do other things in Delta in conjunction to make the trip worth it. This is why we rated this as 2 stars for fun.
Sunstone knoll now is basically a hill in the middle of a flat desert. It is located directly east of highway 257. You will need to drive across the train tracks to access it.
The road from the highway to the knoll is dirt but it should be accessible with most vehicles. Our van handled the dirt road just fine. You can either park your vehicle after you cross the tracks, where you will have to walk to the east side of the knoll, or simply drive around on the dirt road to the east side.
OTHER NEARBY ADVENTURES
U-dig Fossils or Fossil Finding on BLM land (1 hour)
Paul Bunyan's Woodpile hike (1 hour)
Fort Deseret (10 minutes)
Fort Deseret is also right off highway 257, about 10 miles outside of Delta. If you are traveling to Sunstone Knoll from the Delta area it will be right of Highway 257 on the right side. Fort Deseret was built in 1965 during the Utah Black Hawk War to protect settlers against attacks of the local Ute Tribe. It is made of mud and straw and is still standing over 150 years later.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, I'm Corrine! I'm an outdoor enthusiast, mother of four, wife, nurse and runner. I believe God gave us this beautiful earth to explore, enjoy and protect.
My goal is to inspire you to get outside and create your own amazing memories as a family. Life is precious and there are too many adventures to be had to spend life on the couch or in front of a screen.
Join me and my family for "Adventures off the couch!" Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest @outdoorfamfun.