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Rock Hunting Back to
Rock Hunting

Actinolite at Wrightwood

Next Acton Agates
This is a good trip for the summer season as you will be high in the Angeles National Forest where it is always cool, even when the lower elevations are sweltering in a heat wave. During the winter, the ground is covered with snow much of the time, and it is unlikely much gem material can be found.

Type of material found


Description of material

Actinolite is an amphibole, and is colored a beautiful green due to the presence of lead in its chemical composition. It occurs here as fine, bright green crystal masses. Some single crystals of faceting grade may be found. This material is somewhat disguised and a piece which looks like a poor quality specimen on the outside can prove to be an exceptional piece when broken apart. Look for the rounded chunks of rock when distinguishing the actinolite from the ????? blocky pieces of gneiss that are found ????? in ????? The actinolite may also be found in ????? is usually ????? to recover these larger pieces.(The copy available for transcription was less than perfect.)

Equipment needed

Rock pick. Shovel and sledge hammer.

How to get there

Highway 138 leaves Pearblossom and heads east toward Victorville. Soon you will see a sign directing you toward Valyermo and Devil's Punchbowl. This highway is marked Longview Road. Turn right here and soon you will be winding up toward the tall timber country. As the road slowly ascends into the mountains, you soon leave the joshua trees and before long you are surrounded by the big pine trees. At 17.8 miles you will be at Big Pines Recreation Area. Turn right and continue 1.8 miles. Turn onto the graded and oiled road at the eastern end of Inspiration Point turnout. (Keep in mind this was written in the mid-1980s and there may have been road changes.) Keep right at fork and continue 2.3 miles along the top of Blue Ridge to the Blueridge Campground. The road affords many breathtaking views of San Gabriel Canyon as it winds among the pines and you may be able to see Mt. Baldy in the distance. The road goes through Blueridge Campground and on 2.6 miles toward Guffy Camp. At the fork, stay to the right on the main road marked to Prairie Fork. Continue .4 mile and bear left on East Blueridge Rd. About .1 mile up this road a sign marks the boundaries of Angeles Forest and San Bernardino National Forest. Continue on another .8 mile to collecting area. There are good places to park here near a forestry trail marker. The actinolite is found scattered around the entire area on both sides of the road from the parking area. Large chunks of beautiful crystals can be found if one scouts the outlying ground. For the trip home, one can continue on Highway 2, Angeles Crest Highway, for a scenic trip through the pines and possibly snow, back to the San Fernando Valley or Azusa.

Actinolite at Wrightwood

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