MOHAVE COUNTY, Arizona – Whether you call it Sparkle Mountain, Glitter Mountain, the Glitter Pit or simply a brilliant find, you are probably talking about the same place. Located approximately 10 miles south of St. George, is a small piece of heaven for rockhounds, kids, nature lovers and family adventures.
In Episode 26 of the “No Filter Show,” co-hosts Paul Ford and Grady Sinclair mine some minerals and are in for quite the surprise when they try and pawn them off.
Watch the “No Filter” video, click play arrow in center of video at top of story
That’s not glass
Though it may appear to be a hill of broken glass, Sparkle Mountain is a mineral deposit. There are no mine shafts there today – just gouges in the hillside where the glittery mineral has been dug out.
Pure selenite is transparent and colorless, or very lightly colored, and easily splits into sheets. It is a variety of gypsum that forms in distinct crystals.
This particular deposit is referred to locally by a variety of names, including the old mica mine. Selenite can easily be mistaken for mica but the two are are not the same.
The Arizona Geological Survey’s Mineral Resource Map (see inset) designates this deposit as gypsum.
Designations vary and an evaluation of the minerals in this area is beyond the scope of this “No Filter” feature.
It’s a made-for-kids natural delight
Perhaps the brightest note in this feature is that kids really love this place. Its quick and fun for family night or a Saturday excursion. Bring water and a few snacks. Gloves would have been nice but not particularly necessary. Small buckets will come in handy for collecting some glitter.
“We ran into a rockhound at the glitter pit,” Paul Ford said after shooting his episode. “She said if you soak the selenite in pool water (chlorine), the ‘rocks’ clean up very nicely with added clarity.”
Directions to the mine
The mine is easily accessible and four-wheel drive is not required. Driving time was about 20 to 25 minutes from St. George.
The exact GPS location of this mine is: N 36 58.715 W 113 27.832
- From the Washington Wal-Mart, located at 625 W. Telegraph Street, head east on Telegraph Street
- Turn south on Washington Fields Road
- When you have made it to Southern Parkway, you are about 10 miles away
- Head south on the dirt road (Arizona Strip)
- You will pass some houses at the Utah and Arizona border. When you see the houses, continue south
- Drive another 1.6 miles and you will see sparkle mountain on the right side (to the west)
“Be safe and have fun! Until next time, Paul & Grady … out.”
St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic and Assistant Editor Kimberly Scott contributed to this “No Filter” article.
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