|Quarry, as seen from parking area|
The Laytonville Quarry, also called Longvale Quarry, is famous among rock hunters and geologists, for being the Type Locality (original discovery site) of the three minerals Deerite, Howieite, and Zussmanite. (Side note: these three minerals were discovered in 1965, and named after the authors of this book: Introduction to the Rock-Forming Minerals)
Difficulty of access: Near highway, trail is easy, but you need to be able to do the 50-foot sprint across a four-lane highway very quickly.
|Trail is difficult to spot, but it's to the left of the sign, near the big rock|
Materials Found: Rare minerals Deerite, Howieite, and Zussmanite, as well as small but well-formed pyrite cubes, and masses of small garnets.
|Howieite (black crystals)|
Equipment Needed: Hiking boots, water bottle, rock pick, safety glasses, sun hat, backpack for carrying specimens.
Safety Issues: Site is somewhat remote and gets extremely hot in the summer. Beware of heat exhaustion, take plenty of water and cool off in the shade when you can. Rattlesnakes are an issue, as are black widow spiders -- be careful of where you put you hands and feet, and wear boots that protect your ankles. Dead grass and loose rocks make steeper portions of the path extremely slippery.
Directions: Site is approximately 17.5 miles North of Willits on Highway 101. You will see a large pullout on the left side of the road -- this is the parking area (It's generally safest to proceed up the road a ways to find a spot to turn around before attempting this).
And if you'd like to do further reading on the subject, I recommend: Geology of the Covelo/Laytonville Area.
Good luck and happy hunting!