Washington is known for its diverse geology and the abundance of crystals, fossils, and petrified wood. One such fantastic site is only a few minutes drive from Seattle. Hansen Creek trail is located in the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest just west of Snoqualmie Pass on Humpback Mountain. It’s a perfect location for adventurers who enjoy nature and seek out crystal treasures.
Not only is this place great for rockhounding, but Hansen Creek also offers some fantastic family-friendly hiking trails. So be ready to explore and hike your heart out.
How to get to Hansen Creek?
The drive to Hansen Creek trailhead takes about 45 minutes to one hour from Seattle, depending on the traffic and weather. The best route is to take I-90E towards Snoqualmie Pass. Follow Exit 47, and it’ll take you towards Asahel Curtis road. Follow the signs towards Tinkham Road; after a couple of miles, turn left onto NF-5510.
You’ll see the clear directions pointing the way to Hansen Creek. The road onwards is only dirt, so be prepared for it and take the suitable vehicle for the road.
After about half a mile of zigzagging along the dirt road, you’ll find yourself at big boulders indicating that you’ve arrived at the trailhead. Park your car here and walk about a mile through the forest. You’ll spot the trails going to the lower Hansen Creek.
The site is pretty popular among the rockhounding and hikers, so expect some company on the weekends. A lot of families also come here to let children have a fun time exploring and finding treasures.
Here we should also mention that the creek is actually farther downstream, and you’ll pass it during the hike. Crystals are found on the banks; for the best hunt, go higher.
What type of crystals can you find at Hansen Creek?
Hansen Creek offers the best quality quartz and purple Amythest crystals. You can find every size of quartz, from big chunks to tiny pieces. However, the Amythest here is usually very light purple, and you may not be able to see it under dirt, so it’s recommended to take every piece you think may have a crystal inside and clean it later.
There is a stream just a few meters down from the woods; you can clean your crystals there. Though thousands of people visit the site every season, the crystals are still there to be found if you put in the work. Especially after a rainstorm, lots of crystals get washed up on the trail, and you might see them even before you reach the slopes.
What equipments do I need to rock hunt at Hansen Creek?
A few basic tools like a small hand-pick and a metal shovel and sifting tray will get you started. You’ll also want a headlamp for exploring the damp crevices under the tree stumps; these are the most productive spots. Also, take a bucket or bag to carry your find. You’ll also need hiking boots to get to the site. Finally, wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and prepare for some tough trials.
Good raingear is always a good idea this time of year, and please don’t forget a good sunscreen and insect spray; they’ll be your buddies in the woods. Put together a small kit of necessities to pack with you. You’ll be glad to have plenty of gear since you will be away from your car.
The scenic hiking trails also attract families for a fun picnic day. So you can also bring a mat or a picnic table to set up your spot, especially if you plan to be there for the whole day. Bring some food and drinks, maybe some music, and you’ve got yourself a perfect weekend in the woods.
How much does it cost to rockhound at Hansen Creek?
Hansen Creek is absolutely free to visit. There are no fees, entry tickets, or permits required. Just make sure you take your trash with you when leaving the woods and respect nature. Of course it goes without saying that you should not vandalize or destroy any part of the forest.
What else do I need to know before going?