Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge
One of nine National Wildlife Refuges in Oklahoma, Salt Plains is an excellent destination for the bird watcher, wildlife watcher, hunter, fisherman or gem seeker. As well as being habitat for over 300 species of birds, the refuge has been designated a Globally Important Bird Area, a Member of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network and critical habitat for the endangered whooping crane. Winter months are prime for eagle viewing, while spring and fall draw thousands of migrating waterfowl to the area. The trails, auto tour and outdoor activities are fun for all members of the family. Guided tours are available with prior reservations.
Those interested in fishing on the refuge or digging for the unique selenite crystals will need to visit the refuge between April 1st and October 15th from sunrise to sunset. No special permits are required to dig, but guests must stay in the designated digging area. Follow these guidelines to make the most of your selenite crystal digging excursion:
Use a shovel to dig a hole approximately two feet wide by two feet deep until you reach a wet, sandy area.
Using water that has seeped in from the hole or your own container, rinse the sides of the hole. This will wash away the soil from the crystals.
When you find a crystal, do not pull on it. Continue gently rinsing with your hand until it is free of the sand and clay.
Crystals are very delicate when wet. Allow them to dry before extensive handling.
Recommended crystal digging supplies: sunglasses, sunscreen, gloves, gardening shovel, drinking and rinsing water, small bucket, container to transport crystals, change of clothing and shoes.