Hampton Butte and Glass Butte, Oregon

September 11, 2008

It is amazing how a two day work week can go by so slow. After the Labor Day holiday I only had to work two days before taking some vacation time to visit Hampton Butte and Glass Butte in Oregon. The anticipation of the coming trip made that short amount of time quite long.

I started off Thursday morning by starting a list of things I needed for the trip including equipment and meals. After making the list I started loading the car stopping only to check out a tent I haven


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Catherine Noonan March 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Hi–not sure if you can help me or not, but you had such an interesting article on obsidian that I thought it was worth a try.

I am in possession of the most incredible looking vintage lamp that is supposedly made up of chunks of colored obsidian. It is truly spectacular when lit up and is made so that the light shines through the chunks. I could supply pictures.

I am so intrigued by it and really cannot believe nature could make anything like the colors of this lamp, but have been told that it is obsidian in nature. It is some type of rock that does not show much color until the light shines through it. The fashion of lamp speaks art deco all over–and it has the old type of cord one would see on a lamp of that era. I have been trying to decide if I want to part with it for ages, but it is so spectacular when lit up, it would be hard to let go of it. It was found in a old storage warehouse in Kansas and made its way to me via eBay back when eBay was brand new. I purchased it sight unseen from an estate dealer/warehouse owner I had dealt with before and was super pleased when it got here.

At any rate–I would love it if some rock enthusiast who knew their stuff like you do, could give me their opinion of what it might be. I was raised in Central Oregon and amassed a huge amount of obsidian when I was younger, but this really does not look like anything I have ever seen. The person who claims it is obsidian and not just slag glass–has a piece of obsidian similar in nature that he claimed was found in Brazil many years ago. My lamp is in jewel like colors of reds, blues, yellows, greens and purples and probably a few I missed. It is just stunning and the rocks cast off heat when the lamp is turned on. It is amazing. The chunks are not uniform in any way. It does have the sharp edged type of feel and smoothness obsidian seems to have. My daughters call it the ‘Harry Potter’ lamp because of the whimsical style. I would love to send you some pictures if your curiosity is such that you would be interested in a look at it.

Thanks in advance for your time–

Catherine Noonan
Days Creek, OR.

admin March 21, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Hello Catherine,

I would be glad to look at some pictures of your obsidian lamp. If I don

Marlene Affeld March 26, 2009 at 9:29 pm

I love to rockhound and prospect for gold so really enjoyed the story of your adventures. Have you ever mined in Montana? We have some awesome minerals – to learn more please visit my blog.


admin March 27, 2009 at 8:39 am

Hello Marlene,

I have not yet been to Montana to rock hound but am planning on being there at the end of July. I will be going to the gem show in Billings and hope to do a little rock hounding while there.

I have seen some great materials from Montana. A friend gave me some Montana agates and I really enjoyed working with them.

keith July 24, 2009 at 12:49 pm

I am looking to take my son (18) on a final adventure before he moves on with his life. This sounds like a nice side stop. Do you happen to still have the map or location of this area.

admin July 24, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Yes I do still have a map for this area. Here is the link.

Leah Wesselmann February 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm

What a find, this wonderful website! I am an Earth Science teacher in NY and have spent the last 2 summers out in OR. I have fallen in love with that state!! I have gone to Glass Butte once (last year) and I am jonesing to get back there asap. I did find some great pieces of rainbow obsidian–one of which also had a streak of gold-sheen in it!–and I am currently learning how to cut and polish this rock to obtain the best possible coloring. It is trial and error for me, so if anyone can give me a helpful hint on the angles with which to cut, I would truly appreciate it!
Also, does anyone out there know on the map for Glass Butte where I would go to find snowflake obsidian?? I have heard it is up there, but I don’t see it on the map. Perhaps someone could download another version of THEIR map with the snowflake obsidian on it…PPPPPPLLLLLEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! I have to say that I met some AWESOME folks out at Glass Butte, and Rockhounds are the BEST and they willingly point the right way to go to find what youare looking for…I am very happy to say that I am a rockhound!!!

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