The second location we decided to visit this weekend was on the other side of Highway 143 near the town of Panguitch (“the Gateway to Bryce Canyon National Park”). I’m sure there are multiple “agate hills” throughout the world, but the two I know of in Utah are one located in the Drum Mountains South of Topaz Mountain and another one located Southeast of Panguitch near the West wall of Bryce Canyon National Park.
This “Agate Hill” is truly a hill made up almost entirely of agate–just about every single rock you pick up will be some sort of agate. As such, this truly is an agate-lover’s paradise with multiple colors, multiple varieties, and an abundance of material. If you remember, we were coming from the Brian Head location and I noticed we passed several lava flows on Highway 143 while en route to this location. From my limited knowledge on how agates are formed, I assumed that the numerous amount of agate material was due to these large ancient lava beds.
If you get bored searching the hill itself, I would highly recommend meandering around the washes surrounding the hill, especially to the East when you start getting into the red sand. I’ve heard of some really cool fossils people have found in the area. Bryce Canyon is my favorite National Park in Utah and, although the views from this area are mesmerizing in and of themselves, I would highly recommend a quick trip into the park itself. It is one of the few National Parks you can explore and take in most of it in just one day.
We didn’t run into too many other people around the area (Probably because of the season), but I did notice that many of the trees on and around the hill had been cut down with all of the limbs cut off and left there. This made for an easy scoping of the area, but I didn’t know the reason for it.
Again, as with many of the other locations I have been to and mention on this site, the directions to this place were completely off-base in the other books and references I was using so I have corrected that below. As always, please let me know if you have any new information on ANY of these locations or if I have any incorrect information. I don’t want to lead any of you astray!
Directions to Agate Hill near Bryce Canyon:
From the intersection of 800 North and I-15 in Orem, Utah
1. Drive South on I-15 for 178.4 miles until exit 95 toward US-89/Panguitch/Kanab
2. Turn left (East) onto UT-20 E and drive 20.5 miles to US-89
3. In the town of Panguitch, turn right (South) onto US-89 for 10.1 miles until you get to a dirt road on the left hand side called Casto Canyon Road
4. Turn onto Casto Canyon Road, cross the bridge and hang left, and drive 2.4 miles in total from the highway to the location on the left