Adventure at Topaz Mountain

Sibling togetherness!  (Also, photobomb by N.)

A few Saturdays ago we took the kids to Topaz mountain, something we’ve been wanting to for a long time.  It’s a mountain range out in the west Utah desert with deposits of topaz and other semiprecious minerals.  It’s public land and you can take home whatever you find.

Topaz mountain is in the middle of NOWHERE and about 2 and a half hours of driving from our house.  After you turn off the main road the last few miles is rough going on a dirt road.  I kept cringing every time our minivan scraped over another large or pointy rock.  We had caravanned out with N’s parents which was fun and it was fun to spend time with them.  It was also nice knowing that if we got a flat tire or had a mishap that we wouldn’t be stuck out there all alone since there’s no cell reception.

I had kind of thought there since it’s a public site there would be some facilities, at least a pit toilet but nope!  Both of my suburban kids fussed about having to pee behind a bush but they got over it.  They were really troopers about the whole thing.

Mimi at Topaz mountain
Mimi, now one with the desert, post outdoor-pee.

N hanging out in a rare patch of shade.

We drove around to multiple sites and hacked away at the mountain for a while but didn’t find anything. But then as we were walking on the side of the road we started seeing little sparkling bits in the dirt.

Can you see the topaz
Can you see the topaz?  Click to view larger.

Topaz on the ground at topaz mountain
Ta-da!  (Yeah, I know.  It’s easier to see when the sun is glinting off it it.)

topaz crystals from topaz mountain
We ended up with a handful of little topaz crystals, these are just some of them.

Finding the crystals was fun.  As you walked slowly you would see little sparkles and then if you retraced your last step you could find the crystals and pick them up.  It was like a zen treasure hunt.  Both of the kids really got into it; Mimi even found a bunch.

This is what happens if you ask them for a thumbs up 😉

Overall, it was a fun day trip and a nice change from our usual Saturday routine.  It’s been weeks since we went and E still talks about it.  On Father’s day we were asking him if he wanted to be a dad when he grew up and he thought about it and said, “Yes.  And when I’m a dad I’m going to take my kids to Topaz mountain EVERY WEEKEND!”  So I guess it was a hit 🙂

We’d like to go out again sometime to look for geodes which are supposedly plentiful nearby.

If you go, I’d recommend doing so on a day that isn’t too hot, taking plenty of water and food and preferably driving an SUV with 4-wheel drive.

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