What you can find: Jasper of various colors, some agate-laced, and in fairly large boulders. Also sizable specimens of actinolite, some of which is lapidary-quality.
Ease of access: Long drive down dirt roads, but the collecting site is only a few steps from the edge of the road.
Equipment needed: Backpack for specimens, hammer and chisel if you mean to break apart the larger boulders.
Notes: This is a good site to visit in conjunction with the Hearst and Tomki Creek sites
Safety considerations: If visiting in the summer, watch for rattlesnakes, and beware that black widows may nest under the rocks. There are wild pigs in the area, though you are unlikely to see any -- if you do, however, take shelter in your car. Also bear in mind that this is marijuana growing country, and do not stray far from the road.
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Salt Creek crosses under Hearst-Willits Road at the junction on Foster Mountain Road, offering plentiful green, bladed actinolite and red and yellow jaspers.
Foster Mountain Road is usually not marked. The county keeps putting signs up, but the locals remove them regularly, so you might need to consult a map and measure your mileage in order to find the spot.
Find a pullover spot near the culvert, and walk down into the creek bed just below the road. The best actinolite is usually in the area near the culvert.
Salt Creek is only a small creek, and it dries up completely in the summer. The best collecting times are after the water has gone, but before the grass and leaves cover everything. However, I have hunted successfully at all times of year here.
You'll find both jasper and obsidian here, ranging in size from small chunks to sizable boulders.
The actinolite is usually found as rounded cobbles, but the fibrous crystal blades are clearly visible. If you want more spectacular crystals, take the cobbles home and crack them open with a hammer to expose the unworn crystals within. Much of the actinolite is actually lapidary quality, and will take a fine polish, making some spectacular specimens.
Some of the jasper has small veins of agate running throughout it, so if you look carefully you might get lucky. Most of it also appears to be lapidary quality.