How We Operate
Digging Fee: $1.25 per pound with $12.50 minimum (per car)
Digging is closed November - April (generally).
Our shop hours remain 7am to 5pm (March - October), seven days a week. You must be here before 2:45pm to go dig. Our digging is weather permitting; we close the roads due to rain and open them when they have dried out. Be sure to call us to check on digging availability at 1-800-433-2680! Winter hours 9am - 4pm (November 1 - March 1).
If you are trying to think of something unique to do alone or with your family then you've come to the right place. Rock hounding is a huge hobby actively enjoyed by thousands of people. What we do here at the ranch is to make rock hounding as easy as possible. There is no trick to getting a nice thunderegg. If you dig where we tell you to dig and follow our simple rules then your digging will be safe and successful.
When you arrive at the shop, we will have you fill out and sign a card. Our lawyers put some fancy words on it, but it basically says, "If you break your neck, it's not our fault." Then we'll give you a map of the digging area and go over it with you. We'll show you what a thunderegg looks like, loan you a pick and a bucket when available, and send you on your merry way, seven miles out on a bumpy dirt road.
When you return from digging, we'll weigh your rock and charge $1.25 per pound with $12.50 minimum. A full 5 gallon bucket weighs about 50 lbs. We offer cutting when available at 35 cents per square inch. We take all eggs in turn and do not take more than we can cut by 5pm. You are welcome to leave your eggs for cutting to be picked up later or shipped UPS. We can calculate the shipping charges before you leave.
We have different thunderegg beds for digging:
- Pony Butte Bed: Easy digging.
- South Blue Bed: Easy to moderate digging.
- Red Bed: Moderate to hard digging.
- Moss Bed: Hard digging. Some of the eggs have beautiful red or gold moss in them.
- Flat Bed: Expert digging.
- Opal Bed: Moderate digging. (4 wheel drive HIGH clearance truck road ONLY)
- Ledge Materials (Jasper Agate): Extreme HARD ROCK MINING, BREAKING ROCK OUT OF SOLID ROCK. Chisels, sledges, wedges, etc.
Note: The digging and weighing is based on the honor system "All true, avid rock hounds adhere to" - Do not purposely break the eggs or any rock as you are digging. Do not dig more than you intend to buy. We do have a $12.50 minimum which is about a dozen tangerine size Thundereggs.
Our Roads: The digging area is 8 miles of dirt road from the shop. As dirt roads go, they are well maintained but do have bumps and ruts, some more than others. OUR ROADS ARE NOT MOTOR HOME ACCESSIBLE!
Pets: Pets must be kept in your vehicle at the shop. Otherwise keep all pets chained or leashed.
Notice: We reserve the Right to refuse entrance and service to anyone.
NO CAMPING PERMITTED. NO OFF ROAD VEHICLES (QUADS, DIRT BIKES, ETC.). NO SIDE ARMS OR WEAPONS OF ANY KIND ARE TO BE BROUGHT ONTO OUR PROPERTY.
Madras Area Campgrounds:
- Lake Simtustus, 541-475-1085
- Cove Palisades State Park, 541-546-3046
- Central Oregon KOA, 541-546-3046
- Hay Stack Reservoir, 541-475-9272
- Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 541-325-5050
For more information on local attractions and facilities, call our Chamber of Commerce at 541-475-2350.
Cell phones: Reception is limited in this area.
Use this link to make a payment on orders previously made.
For new orders you must email or call.