visiting the claims


Glacier Peak Mining LLC is a family-operated business owned by Joseph L. Dorris and is dedicated to mining and producing Colorado mineral specimens. Most of our production is from our amazonite claims in the Crystal Peak Mining District about 4 miles north of Florissant, Teller County, Colorado. We also produce fine topaz crystals from Topaz Mountain Gem Mine at the foot of Pilot Peak in the Tarryall Mountains about 8 miles north of Lake George, Park County, Colorado.

Glacier Peak has been producing fine mineral specimens and gem material for the public and the trade since 1985. We offer our production for sale through Pinnacle 5 Minerals LLC and at several gem and mineral shows throughout the year. Shows normally include the September Denver show, the April Denver show and Tucson (See events for upcoming shows).

We are predominantly mine producers from our own mines in the Crystal Peak District, the Mount Antero (Chalk Creek) District, and the Tarryall Mining District; however, we also operate for other mine owners. Currently we are producing the world’s finest amazonite and smoky quartz combination specimens. In addition to these rare combination specimens, we also produce some fine single amazonites, smokies, fluorite, goethite, and some rare micro specimens. Although we cannot operate mechanized equipment on our claims on Mount Antero, we occasionally produce some fine specimens of aquamarine and phenakite from that locality. Finally, our mines in the Tarryall Mountains produce the finest U.S. topaz crystals and cutting rough. Most notably, we are producing some of the finest bi-color sherry and blue topaz every found in the U.S.

Although we have mineral rights on a number of claims, we are restricted with when and how much we can operate. Generally our active operational season is June through July. (This is the best time to try to arrange a visit.) We are an active mining operation, and NOT A HOBBY RECREATIONAL MINE. Even so, we try to host clubs. When we do, we have one person attend to visitors instead of productive mining. Nevertheless, the hobby is very important to us, and we try our best to support this aspect.

We actively mine for two months because of the long lead-time for cleaning and preparing specimens. We take about eight months for the cleaning and preparation of sufficient product to keep us in business.

The third aspect of our business is the gem and mineral shows. We will be in attendance for over two months at the various shows.

One of the greatest time factors, however, is the permitting process. Although we can hand dig and prospect, in order to get to the depth where pockets remain (the District has been mined since the late 1870s) we must use mechanized equipment. A mining plan of operations which includes a reclamation bond and approval from multiple government agencies may take three years. That’s one of the main reasons we continue prospecting and that prospecting is a continuing important aspect. Very few prospects prove to be worth getting a mining permit for mechanized equipment operations. There is simply not enough economic potential.

So, despite the number of claims we operate and the number of pockets and material we seem to find (we post a lot of pictures) the truly outstanding specimens are exceedingly rare. There are a couple of articles under “Know This” that help illustrate why.

If you are interested in visiting, please see “Amazonite/Smoky Claim” and “Topaz Claim.”

We do hope to see you in the woods or meet you at one of the shows.