The Sacatone Springs Pegmatite
McCain Valley Resource District
San Diego County, California

About: The graphic granite deposits are extensive in the area but the best material (spessartite on feldspar) has come from this deposit. There is plenty of pegmatite all around this area. There is also an awesome overlook of the Carrizo Gorge. There are several active mining claims in the area. The main ones are the Packrat Claims include the Packrat 1 thru 3 plus the old Beebe Hole famous for a large kunzite find. These form a series of contiguous claims running roughly south to north. From the Carrizo Gorge Overlook look to the north and you will see the dumps. A trail leads to the workings and the dump. The current claims are now owned by Jim Means and another party. Before collecting here seek his permission.

Other mines in the area include the Charlie Dog Claims and Schoolhouse Mine. Jim Means is the owner of the Charlie Dog Claims and you can see material from his claims bi clicking here. To find out more specifics about what was found in these areas to start a collection or to possibly collect you might want to sign up for the Minerals of California Online Database. Click here to sign up.

Directions:To get to this site take Highway 8 East from San Diego towards Ocotillo, California. Take the Boulevard/Campo exit and turn right to the main road. Turn left here and follow the road back under the freeway and toward McCain Valley. You will pass a CCC facility and turn right onto the road to Sacatone Spring. Drive NE for about 3 miles to the overlook. Park here and hike to the north and you will see the workings and dumps. There are a lot of small pegmatites exposed all over the local hills and small garnets in feldspar everywhere if you look carefully. These claims are on BLM lands and most have been filed on as lode claims probably with no provision for stockpiling of "ore". Surface collecting in the dumps or talus slope should not be a problem but ask permission to be safe. The best time to collect is the winter as is the case with most California gem mines in Riverside or San Diego Counties. Why? Because the temperatures are moderate to cool and the snakes are asleep.

Schorl Crystal 1cm long

Spessartite Garnet Crystals in Feldspar 3 cm max
Largest Crystal 3mm

Spessartite1Garnet Crystals in Feldspar 2.5 cm max
Largest Crystal 2mm

Spessartite Garnet Crystals in Feldspar 3.6cm max
Largest Crystal 3mm

DT Quartz 5cm max

Beryl Crystal 2.6cm max

Beryl Crystal Cluster 5cm max

Beryl Crystal 3.5cm max

Schorl Crystal 3.4cm max

Smoky Quartz Crystal 3.5cm max

Garnet in Feldspar 4cm max

Aquamarine Crystal 1cm max

Felspar Crystal w/overgrowth 6cm max

Chondrodite Crystal? 1cm long matrix 5cm max

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