Selenite Crystal Digging

Open yearly from April 1 through October 15

View the unique 11,200 acre salt flats and collect the state crystal of Oklahoma free during the Crystal Digging Season open every day from sunrise to sunset during April 1 through October 15.  The observation tower located outside the gate is open all year.


  • Location of Selenite Crystal Digging Area: 66003 Garvin Road, Cherokee, OK 73728. Once inside the gate, drive about a mile following the road and park in front of orange “Dig Area” signs.
  • Bring: a shovel to dig, protection from the sun (sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen) and enough water to drink, rinse crystals and clean after.
  • Learn about the selenite crystals. Selenite is a crystallized form of gypsum, also known as hydrous calcium sulfate. The crystals naturally form just below the salt encrusted surface. Iron oxide in the soil gives the crystals the chocolate brown color.
  • Free activity for everyone!


  • Selenite Crystals are found right at the surface within the first six inches. Since they are fragile using your hands is best.
  • Put on plenty of sunscreen and drink lots of water, it can be very hot.
  • A restroom is located inside the gate to your left.


  • You don't need to fill in your holes many wildlife species use it. The dig area is rotated every year.
  • Wash underneath your vehicle, salt can damage it.

Rules and Regulations

  • Each person is only allowed to collect up to ten pounds and one large cluster per day, selling crystals is not allowed.
  • Pets are allowed but must be on leash.
  • Drones are not allowed.
  • Digging crystals not during the crystal digging season and trespassing outside of the dig area is prohibited. Digging Area is closed the rest of the year to protect Whooping Cranes and other wildlife.


For more information, call the refuge at 580/626-4794.