Have you ever wanted to dig for diamonds? Well, you can do just that at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.
Not only can you dig for diamonds, but they also have a pretty awesome full hook up campground! Which is great especially for RVers. It is not often that you find that state parks have full hook-ups. Or at least the ones in Texas don’t! Check out my review towards the end of the article.
Digging For Diamonds
The diamond search area is open year round except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve beginning at noon, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
What is really cool about this is not only can you find diamonds but other gems and minerals, all of which you can keep! You can even take up to 5 gallons of sifted gravel home with you (so you can continue sifting and searching at home).
It doesn’t matter if you are a novice or pro, everyone is welcome to dig. If you don’t have the proper gear to dig, you can rent equipment from the Crater of Diamonds Discovery Center within the park. We decided to save some money and buy our own tools (or grab stuff to use from the house).
Suggested Tools To Take With You:
Keep in mind that any tool you bring cannot be motor or battery powered.
5-Gallon Bucket – You can buy this for cheap at Wal-Mart or Home Depot
Garden Shovel – Most people have one laying around the house. If not a cheap one from Wal-Mart will work!
Magnifying Glass – This is my favorite one because you can put the rock or gem directly under to look at it.
Thermarest Sleeping Pad – I know this may seem odd, but it is used instead of knee pads and provides more uses than just knee pads. You can use it as knee pads, or a pad to sit on. They do make a much smaller version that is made for sitting on, however, if you have more than one person going it is cheaper to buy this and cut it in sections instead of buying individual seating pads.
Screen Set – Used for sifting the dirt. We bought this set from Amazon and it worked great as it fits onto any 5-gallon bucket.
Containers – Used to hold the items you think may be diamonds or other rocks you want to keep. A plastic container with a screw lid works well. I brought two sizes, small for the possible diamonds and larger for items I knew were not diamonds. You can use a clean peanut butter container or buy some off of Amazon.
Snacks – Because digging will make you hungry =)
Drinking Water – Especially during the hotter months, you will want to make sure you bring plenty of water with you!
Hat – To keep the sun out of your face and eyes.
Umbrella or Pop Up Canopy – Used for shade while digging
Sunblock – There is no shade, it is an open field!
Wagon – To carry all your stuff in. You know the kind with big wheels. Totally optional, but I really wish we would have had one!
Some Things You Should Know
The park is pretty relaxed as far as rules go. But you should keep in mind that weekday and weekend hours differ and the diamond search area closed one hour before the Diamond Discovery Center and Visitor’s Center does.
Also, metal detectors are not allowed anywhere in the park. This is actually a rule for all of Arkansas State Parks.
Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash at all times and within the owner’s control. If you bring Fido, make sure to also bring plenty of water for them (and shade).
There is an onsite restaurant if you want to grab lunch instead of packing in your own, however, we learned that it is only open on the weekends.
Camping at Crater of Diamonds State Park
The camping section at Crater of Diamonds State Park is spacious and absolutely wonderful! They have a total of 47 RV/Tent Campsites all with full hookups (water, 30/50 amp electric, and sewer). Each spot has parking for an RV and a tent pad.
Additionally, there are 2 bathhouses with showers and restrooms and a coin-operated laundry facility that is available from March to November.
There are also 5 primitive walk-in tent site that has a faucet located in the middle.
Pricing: Prices, when we went in August of 2018, were $34 per night for the RV/Tent sites and $13/night for primitive tent sites.
Sites: All of the sites at Crater of Diamonds State Park that we saw looked spacious. However, with any park, there are some that are less desirable. I did find out that Google Maps will allow you to “tour” each site and that is how we found our site #43 (pictures below). When we arrived we toured the entire area and also noted the sites 2, 3, 7, 23, 26, 43, and 46 were prime spots. Site 9 is next to the trash area and site 47 is right next to the main road, so I would avoid those two if at all possible.
Reserving Sites: You can reserve specific sites via their website.
There are two short hiking trails at Crater of Diamonds State Park. Each only 1.2 mile loops. If you are looking for a park to stay in with a lot of hiking trails, you will be disappointed.
Prospector Trail is located within the diamond digging area and requires an entrance fee to the digging area in order to gain access (even if you are camping at the park). If you plan to hike this trail, plan to do it on a day you will be digging for diamonds. I didn’t and therefore was unable to hike it!
River Trail is located within the campground area and can be hiked at any time. 1/2 of the trail is paved with exhibits the rest meanders on level terrain and crosses two footbridges. It is a nice little hike that will take you to the banks of the scenic Little Missouri River.
About Crater of Diamonds
Address: 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, AR 71958