In August 2014 I took a ride on a Road King (Harley Davidson) around Flathead Lake, Montana. See prior post on the whole motorcycle trip! I intended to visit all the rock shops that I had found on the web in the Flathead region. The route was Whitefish to Columbia Falls, south on Rte 206 to Kalispell, on to Polson and then back to Whitefish. What I found along the way is listed here for rock hounds and others who might be interested in purchasing finished or unfinished Montana Agate.
Montana agate is also called moss agate, because of the black moss-like inclusions, which are oxides of manganese or iron, usually on a milky white quartz background. It is a form of chalcedony. It is formed from volcanic rocks and abundantly found in the riverbeds of the Yellowstone river and it’s tributaries.
1. Junction Rock Shop (just east of Columbia Falls). Some really nice finished slices of Montana Agate and lots of other pieces including fossilized dinosaur bones. Not much unfinished rock in the shop. The owner helped me out and I bought a very nice piece: black moss in a clear to white slice with no cracks. It is a small shop with limited selection but great customer service.
2. Montana Within Rock Shop LLC. Sandra Dahl and her husband collect rough Montana Agate in large quantities. This is a great place if you are looking for rough rock to cut yourself. They collect their rocks along the Yellowstone River, which is quite far away. They know what they are doing! They are difficult to find as they run their shop from their home, south of Columbia Falls. Call because you will need directions!
3. Kehoe’s Agate Shop in Big Fish MT. Well advertized and easy to find, this shop has mostly finished rock slices. Nice selections.
4. Meneralholics LLC, on Melita Island Rd, near Polson MT, on the south end of Flathead Lake. Definitely call before you visit them (Velvet Philips-Sullivan). They are hard to find. They do mostly B to B whole sale. They have loads of rocks in large mounds in their back yard! I bought as much as I could carry.
5. The Treasure Outpost in Whitefish. This is a small rock shop (in the basement of another shop) in downtown Whitefish. They have mostly finished pieces and very few pieces of Montana Agate. Helpful staff. Caters to tourists rather than hard core rock hounds.
6. Rocks and Things.. Metaphysical, in Whitefish. Small shop with mostly finished pieces, some rough rock. No Montana Agate. Nice owner who also runs a Yoga Studio next door. As I could not find what I was looking for, she gifted me a piece of rough rock quartz. Thanks :-)