There is a place 25 minutes drive from St. George, called Glitter Mountain. (Best name ever!!) Just across the Utah state line, south of Washington Fields Utah you can find an old mining site where they would mine for gypsum (or glitter to some of you..). People refer to this as the Old Gypsum Mine, but it has many names. One of which is Sparkle Mountain or Glitter Mountain. Sparkle and Glitter Mountain are fitting names because as you approach the old mine, in the sunlight the gypsum sparkles and sparkles.
Getting to the mine can be the trickiest part of the adventure, but once you’ve been, it’s easy to find it the next go-round. The new highway (Southern Parkway) has provided easy access to the exit you need to take if coming from the Bloomington area of St. George. You’ll be driving on a dirt road for about 7 of those miles and into Arizona before coming to a mound more than a mountain, on your right hand side. For us it felt more like 100 miles with 5 fighting, “starving” kids in the back. But it was worth the haul out there and once there the kids had a BLAST! Down below are some detailed instructions on how to get there 🙂
There is a huge mound that is almost blinding as you walk up the path and then you walk down into a large pit. Stay to your left because if you end up going straight it is a little steep and harder for the little ones to get down. It was hard to chisel a big enough chunk free without it breaking it into a million pieces! But if you can chisel out the shape you want you can easily wiggle big chunks out!
My arms were limp noodles by the time we left but it was a lot of fun! The kids got to release a lot of that bottled energy, get dirty, get a couple
scratches and bruises plus bring a couple really cool rocks home!
We didn’t notice the sign before we walked towards the pit that there was not to be any mining there and that it was still an active pit! The owner of the mineral rights has asked that visitors just enjoy the site from outside the pit, but there are plenty of small pieces on the ground for you to take as souvenirs.