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Tower Hill Information Page

Tower Hill Field Trip Information Page

Date:  June 1, 2013, Saturday

Lead:  Nancy Ross  cell: 425-672-7064 After 6:20 AM Saturday: 425-312-5546

Departure Location:  Southwest Corner of the Alderwood Target

Meet at 6:45 AM

NOTE:  YOU MUST SIGN UP WITH THE TRIP LEADER TO ATTEND THIS TRIP.  Check out the Field Trip Sign up page.  You automatically agree to the terms of liability when you register electronically.  All attendees who opt out of online registration must sign a copy of the liability waver to participate.  

Difficulty Classification: 2-3

Material:  Blue Agates of many shades with varying clarity and inclusions.

Terrain:  Tower Hill is one of several basalt ridges near Monroe.  Joints and vesicles in the country rock have been filled with agate and jasper in many places, and are often accessible for collecting.  The Tower Hill area is a state park which has granted Mineral Council clubs permission to collect.   We will be visiting 3 areas within this site:

1.       Tower Hill Trail.  The trail is actually a service road that has been closed to car traffic by the state.  It now serves as a path through the park, and is in excellent condition for hiking.  The road bed has been filled with material from nearby Cadman Quarry and supplemented by crushed rock from small quarry near the end of the trail; both of which are rich in blue agate. Most of the best material will be right under our feet during the day.

2.      Tower Hill Quarry.  At about 2 miles from the parking area is the local quarry, and smaller pieces of agate are common.  The largest vein runs right underneath an enormous pile of crushed rock.  If some of this can be moved, there may be treasures below.  Also here is a hidden seam that will take some hiking through the forest for interested adventurers.

3.      Hard Rock Work.  There are small but beautiful veins of nearly clear agate in a small knoll about 1 mile from the parking area.  The rock is very hard here and will require chisels and heavy crack hammers for those interested.

It is critical that every person on this trip has their own two way GMRS radio.  These are common and available at Costco, Home Depot, Walmart and Target.  

The Tower Hill Parking lot can accommodate only 4 vehicles, there are no places along the road to park.  Therefore, we’ll need to stage in Monroe and carry everyone in the group in 4 vehicles.  Please drive the largest car/truck you can.   A Discover Pass is required at the parking lot.


GMRS or 2 meter amateur radio for each person

First Aid kit for each person

Back pack

2 liters of water per person

Snacks and lunch

GeoPaleo Pick or medium size shovel

Leather gloves

Sturdy hiking shoes (tennis shoes not recommended)

Jacket and cool weather clothing.


For those interested in hard rock work:

2-4 pound crack hammer

Assortment of chisels (NOT disco, they are too soft for masonry)

Safety Goggles or face shield

Pry bar




6:45 AM               Meet at the SW corner of the Alderwood Target Parking Lot

7:00  AM              Depart for Monroe via Highway 9

7:45  AM              Arrive Fred Meyers Monroe, organize into 4 vehicles

8:15  AM              Depart for Tower Hill Parking area

8:35  AM              Arrive Tower Hill Parking.

9:00  AM              Leave the trailhead, begin collecting.


10:00 AM             Arrive at Hard Rock Knoll, those interested may stay

11:00 AM             Arrive at High Quarry, those interested may stay

12:00 PM             Arrive at farthest point of the trip

1:00  PM              Begin hiking to the parking lot

2:15  PM              Arrive at parking lot and begin loading vehicles

3:00  PM              Arrive Fred Meyer Monroe

4:00  PM              Arrive Alderwood Target Parking lot.