Montana is the Treasure State, so of course rock hounding is a popular pastime. Montana's history is based on the discovery of gold, gems, and other minerals - today there are so many resources and groups for those who love rocks, gems, and geology.

I've mentioned before that I've been a rock collector my entire life. As a young kid on road trips with my parents, I insisted on stopping at every 'rock shop' I spotted from the backseat of the station wagon. Cool rocks and gemstones fascinated me.

FYI, if you too like rock shops on road trips, The Rock Shop in Vacaville, California is apparently the largest in the country. It will blow your mind - it certainly did mine. Obviously it's not in Montana, but true rock hounds hunt for treasures everywhere!

Rock collecting and rock hounding is not just popular in Montana, but across the world. It might be one of the oldest "hobbies" on the planet, since there's evidence that fossils and interesting rocks were collected thousands of years ago.

According to SouthwestMT.com: "2013 marked the 150th anniversary of the Alder Gulch gold strike that spawned the towns of Virginia City and Nevada City, virtually overnight. At least $90 million in gold was extracted there, making it the richest placer gold strike in history."

7 PLACES IN MONTANA YOU CAN MINE YOUR OWN GEMS

The annual Butte Mineral and Gem Show is a great place to meet other Montana rock hounds and gem/mineral fans in person. There's and active gem and mineral club in Butte, and you can expect dealers and collectors' booths. Many other Montana towns have excellent rock shops and gem/mineral events too.

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Butte Mineral and Gem Show 2024
Butte Mineral and Gem Show 2024
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Great Groups For Montana Rock Hounds

Rock hounding in Montana is HUGE! Almost everyone has collected rocks at some point in their life, and for those that still enjoy collecting or learning about geology, there are several active groups for you to join.

Gallery Credit: mwolfe

These Are The Most Popular Restaurants In Montana

Montana is jam packed with some of the best food in the country. From fine dining to small, local joints - it's natural that a state with so many locally sourced foods would have such great restaurants.

Gallery Credit: mwolfe