Thursday, May 23, 2013

Murfreesboro, AR Crater of Diamonds Field Report

We arrived a little after 6:00pm to find that the visitor center had already closed for the day, and we were unable to officially check into our campsite. Luckily they had tagged our campsite as reserved, and we only had to come back the next morning between 8-10am to sign the paperwork. This was about the time we had planned on entering the diamond fields, so it was a non-issue. We drove around a little bit and found our campsite. It was W5, and it is a walk-in campsite. The rate was $12 per night and had all the features of the  $35/night campsites except for an electrical outlet. The higher dollar campsites are designed more for RVs than campers.

The water spout and trash cans are located at the center of all five of the walk-in campsites. Each campsite includes a picnic table, firepit, and a level area for a large tent.  The best map of the area is here

This sign is located right beside the visitor center, and has a pedestal to place cameras for timed photographs.

We bought a new family tent called the Magellan SwiftRise 4 person tent. This is one of the easiest, and quickest tents that I had put up in a long time. The main tent poles are permanently attached to the tent so you don't have to fight with them. You can also get an idea of how large the campsite is at W1-W5.


The picnic table has seen better days, and I would recommend a plastic tablecloth since the 3 wooden slats that make up the top of the table are very hard to clean. The local crows did a great job of cleaning up the campsites when people left for the day. They routinely pay a visit to the careless to collect tribute. We keep our food in the trunk of the car most of the time, and brought what we needed down for the meal. We also brought a small trash bag for every meal, so that cleanup was more convenient. I would also recommend a small bucket to do your pots and pans. Paper plates are also nice to use as kindling when dinner is done, plus no clean up!

Diamond diggers enter on the left side of the above photo, the wash station is located almost mid-center of the photo. 

Continuing from the right of the first photo, you can barely see the main path that divides the two main digging fields. The main path leads to a panning station that is very muddy, but shaded. There are two panning stations for diamond hunters. The further one was never busy.

This picture also continues from the right of the last photo, but does skip a little bit of the diamond fields. It is about 180 degrees from the first photo. All of these pictures of the diamond fields were taken from under a pavilion that we claimed early in the day. The pavilion had a picnic table in the middle with benches on opposite sides. The old mining building can be seen on the left side, and on the right is some old diamond mining equipment.

My boys were just excited to be playing in the dirt and mud, looking for pretty rocks. Generally, we didn't care if we found anything except happy memories.

My brother and his three kids joined us to dig in the dirt, and it's good to have the cousins playing with one another. Here is the great hunter-gatherer community fighting the local ants. Red Ant with Pincers, the stick holder, eventually came running back to Sweetheart after the ants decided to attack. Due to injuries, the tribe settled down for some peanut butter sandwiches, chips, and Kool-aid.

We wondered what some people were thinking when they showed up in white tennis shoes and nice clothes. Really? Wear mud boats and some yard work clothes.

The admission is for all day at $8.00/adult and $4.00/child, and children under 4 are free. They also rent screens and pans for the wash stations at reasonable prices---Save the receipt with the deposit!!! We didn't have a problem, but could see how losing it would put you out the $20 deposit fee.

We were probably about a month too late to be tent camping, because it was hot and humid in the afternoons. We had to do tick checks on the boys, and found a total of five over the course of the weekend. The bath house was nice to have, but wasn't designed very well. It was hard to get dry and clothed after your shower, and the bathhouse got very sticky afterwords. We'll do it again, but maybe in the cooler months between the first and last frost dates of the year.

Keep Right On Prepping - K


  1. So no diamonds I take it?

    does anyone ever find any there?

    1. No sir, we did not find any diamonds. The park averages about 2 diamonds per day. April 8, 2011 - a 3.86-carat jewel.