Exploring, hill climbing and digging are all popular activities to keep childeren entertained.

Throw in some pretty rocks, reptiles and animals, and you have a can’t-miss adventure.

That combination is exactly what one can find at the Dugway geode beds in Utah’s West Desert.

Geodes are essentially volcanic rock bubbles. Over time, the hollow space inside the bubble fills with water-carrying dissolved minerals that eventually form crystals. Dugway is among the best places in the country to find these unusual rock specimens.

But in spite of the unique nature of the Dugway geode beds, the site doesn’t attract many visitors. About 100 miles west of Lehi, the area is remote and not widely known. There are no gas stations or convenience stores along the route, so visitors should take plenty of water, fuel, food and anything else they might need.

Locating the geodes is simple. Take shovels and look for places where there is evidence of previous digging. The biggest excavations cover hundreds of square feet, and there will be small geodes and broken pieces of larger geodes lying on the surface. Digging can produce unbroken specimens. Most of the geodes will be fist-size or smaller, but it is possible to find some that are much bigger.

Anyone who wants to break open geodes at the site should take a hefty hammer and some safety goggles for eye protection.

Geodes have no real value except as unique and pretty rocks. The crystals inside are usually white or clear but can be found in other colors, such as pink or purple. When cut and polished, they can be quite beautiful. Samples of other unique rocks are also common in the area.