Road Trip to Arkansas: Crater of Diamond State Park

First day of arrival

I wasn’t thrilled at first to drive cross-country to Arkansas (really its more like a 4hr drive but it’s much longer if you don’t want to go ha!). Crater of Diamond State Park is where we landed, known to create riches out of diamond finders.

Before we arrived, we found this neat place ran and owned by a husband and wife, Diamond John’s Riverside Retreat. It seemed to have a lot of praise for its teepees, cabins and the wild naturistic feeling with wandering ducks and dogs and a giant flow of a water stream that didn’t look the cleanest. We read reviews on this place and what caught our eye is someone posted “I wouldn’t let my dog swim in that water” among some other things that person shared so I was firm with not wanting to book a stay with this couple. Well turns out a quick phone call to inquire about the cleanliness of their place landed us an upgraded cabin that was so nice I couldn’t have dreamed of anything better.

TV, in-room private bath, very spacious with 2 beds. Other guests had to use an outhouse for shared shower/bathroom.


The entire time we were there was filled with driving scenic routes along the hills – very gorgeous views.

We also spent a lot of time at Crater of Diamond State Park. I was surprised to see that many people living there stayed in trailers, some had missing teeth – none of that diamond sparkle seemed to rub off on the area. We saw loads of people paying their way as did we to have a chance of finding a diamond. We even saw one lady keep her daughter from using the restroom to help dig through mud so no one else beats them to the find.

I also had my own tantrums – I was hauling heavy buckets of dirt that goes into a long sink to wash and look for your diamond. It’s a very messy procedure. And we ended up empty handed. Funny thing – when we returned home someone found a diamond – big one too – we were so pissed but that’s how the story goes.

A lot of locales give up their job just to search for diamonds every day. Many are lucky, but they tend to be small and worth significantly less than their time is worth exerting energy to search.

I did enjoy my time there. We learned a lot of history about its famous location: rags to riches stories of past diamond seekers from the 20s and prior. I recommend reading the history of the more famous diamond finders during those times. Some died broke and squandered their money from spending too frivolously.  

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