If you’re a rock hound, you’ll want to visit Richardson’s Recreational Ranch (6683 NE Haycreek Rd., 541/475-2680 or 800/433-2680, www.richardsonrockranch.com , 7 a.m.–5 p.m. daily Apr.–Oct., $1 per pound). This family-owned and operated enterprise has extensive rock beds loaded with thunder eggs, moss agates, jaspers, jasper-agate, Oregon sunset, and rainbow agates, and it is a huge hit with most kids.
If you want to chip agates out of one of the many exposed ledges on the ranch, you will need to bring chisels, wedges, and other necessary hard-rock mining tools. Once you’ve completed your dig, you drop your rocks off at the office and pay for them by the pound. And if you don’t care for dirt under your fingernails, you can always find rocks for sale from all over the world in the ranch’s rock shop.
To get to Richardson’s Recreational Ranch, take U.S. 97 north of Madras  for 11 miles and turn right at the sign near Mile Marker 81. Follow the road for 3 miles to the ranch office. Rock diggers must start by 3 p.m., and the 8-mile road to the digging site is closed when wet. Free camping is available for dedicated rock hounds.