Walking in Mud

Waymon Cox

Photo by Waymon Cox

Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! On April 23, more than three inches of rain fell on the park. In the days after, lots of people visited and left with mud-caked shoes, tools, and kids. Visitors often don’t realize how muddy the search area becomes when it rains. Understanding how rain affects the diamond-bearing soil and how to navigate the muddy search area can be helpful when searching for diamonds.

 The volcanic soil in the diamond search area contains lots of clay and gravel. Depending on rain amounts and when you visit, the ground may be soggy, sticky, or slick. Water saturates the soil during rain, making the ground soft and waterlogged. For a short time after rainfall, the mud is thin and watery, making it easy to dig and sift.


As rain stops, water flows from the field and soaks deeper into the earth. The mud thickens on the surface and becomes sticky, making it more difficult to dig and wash. After a few days, the surface of the search area dries but remains wet below ground. Hillsides and other areas may be slick to walk on during this time, as the dry crust slides over wet mud underneath. Depending on the time of year, it may take a week or more for the search area to dry out after a rainstorm.

Photo by Waymon Cox


It’s important to have the right footwear for wet days at the park. Rubber boots are typically the best option, but you can get by with old shoes you don’t mind getting dirty or possibly losing in the mud. Make sure they have good tread! We don’t recommend going barefooted, due to sharp rocks and broken glass in the search area.

Adjusting how and where you walk can help you stay safe while traversing the muddy search area. Relax your shoulders and walk slowly. Take small steps when moving uphill or downhill to avoid slipping. Use a long shovel, hiking staff, or walking stick for extra stability and to check for soft, muddy areas. When crossing ditches, step where gravel is exposed. Areas with exposed rocks are typically more solid, making them easier to cross while avoiding deeper mud.

After a muddy day of searching for diamonds, stop by the cleanup area at the mine entrance. Pressurized sprayers and metal grating will help knock most of the mud from your shoes and tools before you leave for the day.

 If it rains before your next visit, keep these tips in mind to help you navigate the mud as you search for your own diamond!

 Search area last plowed: April 6, 2021

 Most recent significant rainfall: April 23, 2021

 Diamond finds for the week of April 18, 2021 (100 points = 1 carat):

April 18 – Trey & Rheaba Wilson, Valley View, TX, 3 pt. white

April 19 – Ryan Hill, Wichita, KS, 33 pt. white

April 20 – Jason Ivins, Saint Jo, TX, 11 pt. white; Sarah Cooper, Killingly, CT, 98 pt. brown; Marshall Kelly, San Fernando, Trinidad & Tobago, 80 pt. brown

April 21 – Jason Ivins, Saint Jo, TX, 13 pt. white

April 21 Corby Hicks, Austin, TX, 6 pt. white

April 21 Ashley Wonser, Heath, OH, 12 pt. white

April 21 Jason Rigdon, Freeburg, IL, 3 pt. white

April 22 – Jason Rigdon, Freeburg, IL, 35 pt. white

April 23 – Paul Hamilton, Flemingsburg, KY, 9 pt. brown

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