We recently took a day trip to the Dugway Geode Beds. It is a long, dusty drive on dirt roads, but our boys loved the experience and easily found dozens of geodes. Best of all, we paired this trip with Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge and saw over 50 species of wild animals throughout the day.
The road to the Dugway geode beds is a doozy. We wouldn’t recommend it for cars, though our van did fine. We have heard many stories of people with flat tires, though. Whatever you drive, make sure it has good clearance, a full tank of gas (there are no services), and the means to change a tire if necessary. They often grade the road, and mud is not a problem as there is a solid base, but it is bumpy, dusty, and filled with big rocks.
The geode beds are easy to find. There are good signs, and Google Maps got us there, but we made sure to save the destination before we lost service. We also attempted both Bed A and Bed B. We found Bed A to have better geodes and Bed B to have more numerous geodes and a lot more space to explore. When you arrive at the Geode Beds, make sure to stop at the roadside map display to orient yourself. There are several options, and a few ghost roads that can be confusing.
What to Take
A trip to the Dugway geode beds without the proper equipment would be disastrous, so make sure you take the following:
- Hammers, including a hand sledge if you have one. You’ll want to break the geodes on site.
- A bucket to collect geodes. We tried to be reasonable about what we took so others can enjoy the geodes, too. We still filled a five gallon bucket a fourth of the way full.
- Shovels. Some people were really serious about digging. We dug a little, but we also walked around to see what the weather had uncovered. We had success both ways.
- Safety glasses, jeans, and gloves. We had two mishaps where geodes shattered sending shards into people. Dad got a serious cut on the hand, and our youngest, though six feet away got hit with a shard right above his safety goggles.
- First aid kit. We used three bandages on the above injuries.
- A paper map. We wouldn’t drive that far with out a backup plan if the phone fails you. The signs are good, but a hard copy is a wise move.
It will also help to be able to recognize a geode. Look for egg shaped rocks with a chalky exterior. The ones with a sort of peach color seemed the best. It took us a while to figure out what we were looking for, so hopefully the picture below helps.
We have animal lovers in our family, but of the five of us, two enjoyed the Dugway geode beds most, and three proclaimed the refuge was their favorite. It was a perfect trip for everyone despite the long, difficult drive.
Just one tip on the directions: We recommend going the extra 15 minutes on paved roads up toward Tooele. The worst dirt road that we went on was the first one after Camp Floyd over to Highway 36. This is the way we went from Lehi.
- Head west on Cory B Wride Memorial Highway (UT Highway 73).
- Google Maps will want you to turn left onto Pony Express Road right after Cedar Fort/Camp Floyd, but we took Highway 73 all the way over to Highway 36 near Stockton.
- Take a left and drive south for about 12 miles.
- Turn right onto Pony Express Road. It is paved for the first mile.
- Follow this bumpy dirt road for 50 miles.
- After 50 miles, turn right onto Geode Bed Road. Stop at the sign and look at the map to see which way is best for you to get to the Dugway Geode beds.