At first glance, it may seem like geodes look exactly like rocks. But this informative TikTik video explains how hikers can quickly spot the difference between geodes and “regular” rocks on trails, setting up the average person to find stunning crystal geodes out in nature.

According to a video posted by TikTik user @Hilla4U, a geode and arrowhead fan in Missouri, the secret for hikers is knowing how crystal geodes differ in appearance from regular rocks.

@hilla4u Reply to @phrog052 #fyp #geode #ClearGenius #XfinityFanthem #rockhound #Crystals #Quartzcrystals ♬ Spongebob Tomfoolery – Dante9k Remix – David Snell

As she points out in the video, hikers should look for rocks that are on the lighter side in terms of color, usually lighter than other rocks around them. Crystal geodes will usually have bumps on the outside instead of being smooth like most of the surrounding rocks. Helpfully, Hilla4U even adds arrows to point out the geodes she spots in rock beds and streams.

Of course, you’ll have to (safely) break the rocks to find out if they’re actually geodes. But if they’re lighter than you expect when you pick them up, they may be geodes, as the holler interiors make them weigh less than “normal” rocks.

What are crystal geodes?

purple crystal geode

Photo: toxxiiccat/Shutterstock

Geodes are semi-hollow rocks usually found in limestone. Many have crystals inside. Most crystal geodes have purple quartz (usually called amethyst) or clear quartz inside, but it’s possible to have agate crystal geodes, which can be anything from red to blue to green. Geodes can form in sedimentary (your “standard” rocks formed overtime by particle buildup) or igneous rock, formed by volcanic magma. Round geodes are the most likely to be crystal geodes as they have the most empty space inside.

Where to find geodes?

crystal geodes lok like rocks - pile in basket

Photo: Tanya May/Shutterstock

You could potentially find geodes anywhere while you’re hiking, but you’re most likely to find them in areas with current or past volcanic activity or in areas with heavy limestone deposits. Almost every state in the western US has regions known for geodes, but if you do a quick search for “crystal geodes + your state,” you’ll likely find a few recommendations of where to go. Places like Utah’s Dugway Geode Beds and Keokuk, Iowa, are well-known for having fabulous geodes. Nevada’s Black Rock Desert is also one of the top places in the country for rock- and geode-hounding.