CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK
Arkansas, The Natural State, is blessed with an abundance of geological wonders. Crater of Diamonds State Park, the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public, stands out as a unique geological "gem" for you to explore and enjoy.
Here, you are invited to prospect in the park's diamond search area, a 37 1/2-acre plowed field that is the eroded surface of an ancient volcanic pipe that 95 million years ago, brought to the surface the diamonds and some of the semi-precious stones lucky visitors find here today.
Diamonds of all colors of the rainbow can be found here at Crater of Diamonds, but the three most common colors unearthed by park visitors are white, brown and yellow. Crater of Diamonds State Park is a rockhound's delight since, along with diamonds, more than 40 types of rocks and minerals can found here, too. These rocks and minerals include lamproite, amethyst, banded agate, jasper, peridot, garnet, quartz, calcite, barite, and hematite.
One of the newest park offerings is a wildlife observation blind. A gravel walkway leads visitors through a secluded woodland setting to this blind, offering a perfect vantage point to view and photograph deer, turkey, squirrels, a variety of birds and other wildlife in their natural setting. The parking lot just inside the park entrance is adjacent to the observation blind's walkway.
In 1906, John Huddleston, the local farmer who owned this property then, found the first diamonds near Murfreesboro, Arkansas, and started the diamond mining rush. According to the history of Crater of Diamonds State Park, after a series of ill-fated diamond mining ventures, followed by tourist attractions, the diamond mine site became an Arkansas state park in 1972.
Within the park boundary, many remnants of old mining ventures remain, including the Mine Shaft Building, the Guard House, mining plant foundations, old mining equipment and smaller artifacts. Nowhere else is North American diamond mining history as evident or as well preserved as here.
Along with the diamond search area, the park has hundreds of acres of natural forest featuring a diversity of flora and fauna and offering visitors interesting things to do. Arkansas's natural and cultural diversity -- the geology, history, plants and animals -- makes Crater of Diamonds State Park a unique Arkansas attraction unlike any other in the world. You are invited to visit this one-of-a-kind attraction and experience the thrill of digging for diamonds in the rough. Our park staff will identify your finds for you. And unlike other diamond mines, our park has a policy of "finders keepers." Any diamonds, semi-precious stones, rocks or minerals you unearth are yours to keep, regardless of their value.
Beginning July 2009 the park visitor center is closed for renovation. While this building is closed, park visitors will access the diamond search area through the Diamond Discovery Center. The Center is open daily throughout the year except for Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day and New Year's Day:
Memorial Day through Labor Day: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. (The last two weeks of August Mon. a?? Thur. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m./ Fri. Sat. & Sun. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. /Labor Day 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)Labor Day through Memorial Day: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Pets are allowed at all facilities with the exception of the Diamond Springs Water Park and Kimberlite Cafe', as long as they remain on a leash under the owner's control at all times.
The Crater of Diamonds gift shop is temporarily located in the upper level of the Diamond Discovery Center while the visitor center is under renovation. The gift shop offers a wide selection of items for sale including souvenir caps, t-shirts, mugs, pins, patches, and spoons. You'll also find an assortment of gem and mineral field guides, diamond-hunting tools, cut and polished rocks and minerals, and novelty items. Drinks and snacks are available in the gift shop. Bagged ice is available for purchase at the pavilion.
Beginning July 26, the park campground featuring 59 campsites will close to undergo renovation. This closure will be in effect for several months while the entire campground is improved. The campground at Daisy State Park is an alternate choice. This nearby state park is 1/4 mile south of Daisy off U.S. 70. The drive time is only about 25 minutes from the Crater of Diamonds to Daisy State Park.
Camping reservations are accepted 12 months in advance of your intended stay. Reservations require a two-night minimum stay on Friday and Saturday nights, and a three-night minimum stay when a holiday causes a three-day weekend. All reservations require payment of a non-refundable reservation fee of one night's camping fee at the time the reservation is made. Payment by credit card is required. Reservations are accepted by phone or in person from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Open seven days a week 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, and only on weekends during the last two weeks of the season. The restaurant offers a breakfast and lunch menu including sandwiches and hamburgers, along with hand-scooped ice cream. Drinks and snacks are available in vending machines and at the gift shop.