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Mineral Collecting Around St Peter's Dome - El Paso County, Colorado
St Peter's dome is a great place to do some rockhounding. There are over 1,000 pegmatite outcroppings reported in the area.
St Peter's dome is a foothill of the surrounding Pikes Peak region just west of Colorado Springs on Old Stage road. The entire region is a great place to do some rock hounding as it has been reported that there are over 1,000 pegmatites in this area. A pegmatite is a very course grained granite known for the size of the crystals that can be found. Pegmatites differ in their chemical composition thus vary in the types of minerals that can be found. Pegmatites have long been a mineral collectors favorite for finding rare and valuable minerals. Minerals found on St. Peter's dome and the region surrounding it have included zircon, Amazonite, Smoky Quartz, Topaz, Fluorite, Clear Quartz, Magnetite amp; Apatite.
I have been to this location many times and find something different each time. There is a very nice outcropping of green amp; purple fluorite and an abandoned zircon mine that can be found by taking the dirt road to the right of the St. Peter's dome parking amp; pullout area. There is also a well-marked trail that goes up to the St Peter's dome summit. It seems to be a very popular place to hike and for this reason I believe my success here has been limited but I have found some nice quartz points on and around the trail to the summit of the dome. I plan on hiking this region thoroughly very soon in the hopes of finding some nice Amazonite or smoky quartz specimens.
Interesting Mineral Occurences
Amazonite - A green version of microcline feldspar named for the amazon river basin where green rocks were found but probably not actual amazonite. It is thought that the green color comes from small amounts of lead.
Smoky Quartz - Small amounts of iron oxide give the quartz a smoky appearance. It is commonly found in pockets with amazonite in the area.
Zircon - Zircon is a zirconium silicate. It ranges in color from red, brown, green, yellow and colorless. The zircon found in the area now is mainly brown.
Topaz - Topaz is an aluminum silicate containing fluorine. It has been found in the region and Pikes Peak is famous for the nice sherry yellow colored stones.
Elevation - 9,690
Vehicle Access - Easy
Foot access - Moderate
GPS coordinates - 38.74750 N 104.9111 W
Land - National Forest
Maps used - Colorado Gazetteer
Minerals found by author - Quartz points, fluorite, and zircon
St Peter's dome is located on Old Stage road in the mountains above Colorado Springs. This is a terrific mountain drive with excellent views. To access Old stage road from Colorado Springs, take state route 29 (circle Drive) west into the suburbs on cheyenne mountain. It may take you a few tries to find old stage road. A good map of the area will help tremendously. Once you reach the St peter's dome pull-out, you will be overlooking Colorado Springs which is an awesome view. St peter's dome is the mountain to your left.