Crater of Diamonds State Park

In early November 2003 I paid a brief visit to Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro AR (link). Visting the "Crater of Dirt" was a bit of a waste of time and money; I went there on the state highways and if I'd just gone from Hot Springs south along the interstate I could have saved myself at least an hour. The park is basically just a big field that looks like it's been plowed. As in fact it has, by thousands of visitors who come here looking for diamonds. While the rules and regulations might have changed, at the time they were just charging a $5 entrance fee, which let you go in and dig to your heart's content. I don't recall it at the time, but a recent news report says you can't sell any diamonds you find (link).

At the time, they allowed you to even sluice the soil if you wanted. The only thing you couldn't do is use motorized vehicles or diggers or have anything with wheels. If you dug a hole greater than 4', you need to either shore it up or give it sloped sides. And, once the day was done you needed to fill in the hole.

As I was standing there reading their rules and regulations, I began thinking of how I could hack them. Perhaps I could hire a team of laborers and have them (after forcing them to sign 10 page legal documents) dig the biggest hole this place has ever seen all in one day. Maybe this is my big chance to strike it rich.

Large diamonds have been found there, including one that they paid $37000 for, and one that was even larger.

According to the ladies at the counter, the park does have regulars, but it doesn't get the same gambling junkies like you do in Las Vegas, where one can see old people who came there many years ago and still are trying to break the bank.

I got there with about an hour to go before they closed, otherwise I would have gone for it. I decided against camping there and trying to strike it rich in the morning, and I drove to Hope. I'll keep my gambling money for the slots in Vegas.


United States
December 11, 2007 – 9:00pm