Look no further for a truly unique activity! Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds State Park is one of the only diamond-producing sites in the world where the public can search for diamonds in their original volcanic source. The policy here is "finders, keepers," meaning the diamonds you find are yours to keep. The most recent large find is from this Minnesota couple, who found a 1.9 carat diamond. Crater of Diamonds State Park, in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, is about a 90 minute drive from our Aiukli Cabins.
Here's a little more information about what to expect, but you're in luck. We've taken our family here a couple of times and have some tips to share with you.
- Kids of all ages can get into the action. Here, digging in the dirt is encouraged, every little child's dream! Older kids can help move buckets and even sift for diamonds.
- Make sure to stop by the room across from the gift shop and where you pay for entry. Inside that room, you will see examples of what raw diamonds look like. This will help you identify them if you are lucky to find one.
- Also, take the time to watch the video outside on the method to sift the soil. You'll be using this to find diamonds. There is a science to how the sifting method works the diamonds to the bottom of the box but eventually to the top of the dirt/rock pile you flip over. And take a look at the rocks and minerals downstairs near the equipment rental so you can easily identify some of the things you'll find.
- In hot weather, it is hard to find shade. Bring an umbrella or pop up tent, large brimmed hat, sunscreen, and lots of water. Also, the dirt can get super hard and compact so be aware that digging can be harder, and the terrain will be uneven making it harder to walk and pull the wagon. There is a small water park next door for a separate fee that can be great for the kids to cool off-- they are only open seasonally.
- You might want to bring a small stool to sit and dig for comfort. Or if you prefer, bring knee pads.
- Wear old shoes that you don't care if they get dirty.
- Food and snacks. There may be a food truck open while you are there, but there isn't anything else.
- We recommend you bring some of your own supplies. Bring a small bag or bottle with a good closure to store any rocks that you may think is a diamond, or just a rock that you like. You don't want to risk putting that diamond in your pocket and losing it. Bring a bucket and shovel for each person. We also recommend a wagon to pull your supplies and buckets of dirt to the washing station. You can rent the bucket and shovel, but most of us already have these things at home. You'll definitely want to rent the sifting screen boxes, but be warned that they have limited supplies. Renting is easier if you bring cash-- while the cost of the rental is inexpensive, you will have to lay down some money for the deposit. Use this rental and deposit chart to see how much you should bring.
- If it has recently rained or is raining, bring rain boots! You will get very muddy, but diamond seekers also say this is the best time to find diamonds because the diamonds will wash down to the bottom of running water or to the bottom edge of the dirt piles.
- You can take anything you find to the desk next to the supply rental and the park employee will help you identify what you found. They can usually spot a diamond right away because of its luster.