diamond park opens

The diamond search field at Crater of Diamonds State Park opened Friday with some restrictions.

The popular diamond search field at Crater of Diamonds State Park opened Friday with some restrictions, announced Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.

“We are pleased to be able to welcome people back to search for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds just in time for the Memorial Day weekend,” said Hurst. “It is one of the most popular destinations in our system of state parks, and we have had many questions from people who are anxious to again have the opportunity to find and keep their very own gem.”

“We are the only diamond mine in the world where you get to keep what you find and the lifetime memories our visitors make searching for a diamond are important to us,” said Arkansas State Parks Director Grady Spann. “In order to reopen at this time, however, we will be enforcing some restrictions during this public health emergency to keep everyone safe.”

One of the ways to manage the number of people in the search field will be to limit admission to 500 people per day. Tickets can be purchased online at CraterofDiamondsState Park.com and those ticket holders will have more direct access to the mine area. Walk-up tickets can be purchased in the Visitor Center, where maximum occupancy will be limited to 15 people. All 500 daily limit tickets will be available online, this may mean some days will be sold out and walk-up tickets will not be available.

The statewide health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will require that the following rules be followed:

No diamond-mining tool rentals at this time. Guests are asked to bring their own tools as described at the Crater of Diamonds website, no electric or gas-powered digging tools are allowed.

Hand sanitizer will be available for guests in the Visitor Center.

On another note, face coverings will be required for all persons present in the following park facilities:

Visitor Center

Diamond Discovery Center

North & South Sluice Pavilions

All four Sun Shelters

Children under the age of 10 are not required to wear face coverings.

To keep a safe distance in the search field, guests and associated groups will be asked to keep a 12-foot distance between other guests, unless they are wearing face coverings.

Diamond Mine hours: Seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitor Center hours: Seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Walking trails, picnic areas and RV camping at the park will still be open to all visitors. The Diamond Springs Water Park will open at a date to be determined.

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