How to Find Arrowheads in the Woods: What You Need to Know

By Don Gerig

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How To Find Arrowheads In The Woods: The Ultimate Arrowhead Hunting Guide

Since I started hunting arrowheads a few years ago, I’ve had a lot of people ask where the best places to hunt for arrowheads are. And if you’re an arrowhead hunter yourself, you know that a single perfect answer to that question just doesn’t exist.

But since many of the friends that ask me this question enjoy spending a lot of time out in the woods, I thought I would focus on that.  And explain to them how they can take part in the fun I was having in hunting for arrowheads, even in the woods!

For information on learning the value of your arrowheads, check out my post, The True Value Of Arrowheads: What Are They Worth To You?

For tips on hunting arrowheads, keep reading!


I created a list of tips for these folks to help answer their question…as well as to share with you, fellow arrowhead hunters. So keep reading, and I hope you find some tips that are useful on your next arrowhead hunting trip.

Once you begin finding arrowheads, the next fun part is identifying them! If you need help identifying Indian arrowheads, you might find my post, American Indian Arrowhead Identification: A Resource Guide helpful for that phase of arrowhead collecting.

Once you find your arrowheads, you’ll want to display them with pride! Check out my post of some of the Best Arrowhead Display Cases.

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Like I mentioned earlier, the answer isn’t necessarily all that straight forward.  I promise that you’re not going to be successful at hunting arrowheads if all you do is randomly walk into the woods and start looking at the ground.  You might get lucky, but chances are you won’t find a single arrowhead point.

How To Find Arrowheads (Tips)

Get To Know The People And How They Lived

The first thing about hunting arrowheads anywhere, whether it’s in the woods, in a creek or in a field, is knowing what to look for.  You want to really get to know where the ancient people who left the arrowheads behind would have spent time or gathered together.  Get to know where and how these people lived, hunted and traveled, and you’ll be a thousand miles ahead of most arrowhead hunters.

Remember The Ever Changing Landscape

The other thing to remember is that the landscape 500, 1000 or even 5000 years ago was significantly different than it is now.  The pond, lake or creek you see today very well could have been a dry meadow or seasonal creek 1000 years ago.  And areas that are now dry, could have easily been shallow ponds, marshes or even the bottom of a massive lake.

So as you walk out into the woods to look for arrowheads, keep these following tips and suggestions in mind:

Look For Evidence of Indian Camps

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Whether you’re walking in the deepest part of the woods or simply following a well used trail, keep your eyes open for evidence of old Indian camps. How do you find Indian Camps? Think about areas that you would be useful to you if you were to set up a camp today. Things that would be important for a camp are natural shelter, like bluff overhangs, sources of water such as springs could be a great indications of a possible Indian camps being near by.

Many Indian camps will be located near a water source, such as a creek, river or spring. Just like modern civilizations, ancient peoples relied heavily upon water. They would have almost always camped very close to a source of fresh water.  Their survival depended on it.

Indian camps would have been close to water, but they wouldn’t have necessarily been right on the water.  Look for high areas that are away from the water a bit, but more importantly, are up out of the floodplain, such as a bluff or a knoll.

Hunting Arrowheads In Creeks, Rivers and Streams

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When thinking about tips on how to hunt arrowheads in the woods, one of the best tips I can give you is to find a creek or river and start your search there. For me, it all starts with a water source. Even the fields I hunt for arrowheads in must always be near some type of water source, such as a creek, stream or river.

Remember that not all streams, creeks and rivers were flowing the same way 1000 or more years ago.  Always keep that in mind. But if you’re certain you’ve found a creek or river that was present in ancient times, it should prove to be an excellent place to begin your hunt for arrowheads.

Creek Walking For Arrowheads: What Time Of Year Is Best?

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Time your arrowhead hunting trip during the part of year when water levels are at their lowest. This is typically during the summer months. Creeks and rivers with low water levels will expose much more of the gravel bars and creek beds, which is where the arrowheads can be found.  Also look in the eroded sides of the creeks that would normally be covered with water.

Arrowheads are made out of stone, so they tend to move along the bottom of the river just like other rocks and gravel.  Spend time looking for arrowheads in the gravel bars and other rocky areas. Look along the water line as well as just inside the water line.  Moving water will wash away the silt and other debris making it easier to see the arrowheads.

Arrowheads tend to get caught between other rocks of the same size or larger as they are pushed along by the water, pinning it in place.

Hunting Arrowheads Where Two or More Rivers or Creeks Join

If you’re just starting hunting for arrowheads in the woods, one of the best tips you could ever receive is to look for areas where 2 or more creeks, rivers or streams come together.  Creek walking for arrowheads is one of the best ways to find arrowheads, and this type of scenario is my absolute favorite location to hunt for arrowheads.

Not only are these areas a hot spot for Indian camps, but they were popular locations for other ancient hunting activities. This is where you can find many other artifacts in addition to arrowheads.

If you’re able to locate where two or more larger sized rivers come together, then you’ll probably find evidence of Indian camps nearby.  In ancient times, these areas were teaming with activity.  People would not have only camped in these areas, but they would have lived in these locations for long periods of time. Because of this, these areas are not only excellent for hunting arrowheads, but are also where to find ancient stone and pottery artifacts.

If you find where two or more smaller creeks or streams come together, you’ll probably also find a lot of evidence of high animal traffic.  Today, these areas are excellent for finding deer and other wild game to hunt. The same would also hold true in ancient times.

Many arrows and spears were shot or thrown at deer and other game while they approached the water. Many of these arrows and spears missed their target, only to be lost in the creek or tall grass. Spend time looking for these lost arrowheads in the eroded sides of the creek as well as on the bottom creek bed and gravel bars.

How To Find Arrowheads in Creeks and Streams

Like I mentioned, creek walking for arrowheads is a great way to find them, and gravel bars can be great places to spend your time searching. Here are a few things to keep in mind when hunting arrowheads on gravel bars in streams, creeks and rivers and what your levels of success might be. These are not concrete rules, but rules of thumb.

Sandy Bottom:  very rare to find arrowheads. Artifacts you may find are pottery shards and possibly flint.

Pea Gravel: Higher rate for finding small arrowheads/ birdpoints.

Small gravel: Higher chance of finding small arrowheads/ birdpoints and other arrowheads that are about the same size as the gravel.

Medium to Large Gravel:  Any size arrowhead can be found in this kind of creek or river bottom.

How To Find Ancient Creeks

Use Google maps to your advantage.  Google maps can play a very helpful role when researching good areas for looking for arrowheads in the woods.

Use the topographical option on Google maps to investigate where rivers and streams may have traveled through in the past.  You may find that two streams converged in a much different location than where they currently join.

Do your research before you head out and you will find arrowheads and other artifacts!

Now that you know how to find arrowheads in the woods, get out there and start looking! Leave a comment below and share any other tips you might have.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve taken the information in this post and are still unable to find the elusive arrowhead. I’ve located a few places online that sell authentic Indian arrowheads.  You can find these items on my post, Where To Find Indian Arrowheads For Sale.  However, the best thing you can do is continue to educate yourself on arrowhead hunting.

Expert Knowledge!

The experts have given us everything we need to know to successfully find arrowheads! All that knowledge and experience is written inside the pages of this book!  Take advantage of it! And go find those relics!

Available on Amazon.

To read the original article from Rock Seeker, click here.

About the Author

Driven by a lifelong passion for geology and rockhounding adventures, Don Gerig founded to share his enthusiasm and knowledge about all aspects of the hobby. Originally from Oregon, Don’s fascination with rocks, minerals, fossils and the stories they hold took hold at a very early age. Now based in central Texas, he provides guides and educational resources to help fellow enthusiasts identify specimens and appreciate the natural world beneath their feet

About Rock Seeker

The mission of Rock Seeker is to cultivate curiosity and connection to the natural world by empowering rock and mineral enthusiasts of all ages to discover the wonder, beauty, history, art and science within every stone. Leveraging decades of collective expertise, Rock Seeker has partnered with major media outlets including National Geographic and The History Channel to provide engaging educational content about the wonders of the geological world. Rock Seeker prides itself on sharing its passion for all things rock, mineral and geology related in order to make the captivating world beneath our feet more accessible to all.

US Launches Program To Provide Electricity To More Native American Homes

The construction project to build the Kayenta solar farms on the Navajo Nation employed hundreds of people, nearly 90 percent of whom were Navajo citizens. Renewable energy is drawing attention from tribes and others as a way to build jobs for the future. (Photo Credit: Navajo Tribal Utility Authority)

Associated Press

The U.S. Interior Department unveiled a new program to bring electricity to more homes in Native American communities as the Biden administration looks to funnel more money toward climate and renewable energy projects.

The program will be funded by an initial $72.5 million. In all, federal officials said $150 million is being invested from the Inflation Reduction Act to support the electrification of homes in tribal communities, many of which have seen mixed success over the decades as officials have tried to address the lack of adequate infrastructure in remote areas.

In 2022, the U.S. Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy issued a report citing that nearly 17,000 tribal homes were without electricity, with most being in southwestern states and in Alaska. Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland testified before Congress earlier this year that 1 in 5 homes on the Navajo Nation and more than one-third of homes on the neighboring Hopi reservation are without electricity.

Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland during his 2021 confirmation hearing. (Photo Credit: Francis Chung/E&E News)

Newland described the announcement as a historic investment to fund long- overdue needs in tribal communities.

“It will have a fundamental and significant impact on businesses, communities and families," he said in a statement.

Tribes will have to apply for the funding and federal officials will choose projects based on need, readiness, risks of climate change impacts, new job opportunities and other factors.

The program will provide financial and technical assistance to tribes to connect homes to transmission and distribution that is powered by renewable energy. Funding can also be used to transition electrified homes in tribal communities to zero-emissions energy systems and to cover the costs of repairs, as well as retrofitting that is necessary to install the new systems.

Newland had previously estimated that it will cost roughly $70,000 per home to deliver electricity to areas that are not already on or immediately near a power grid, or wired for electricity.

Energy experts have said that the work could require developing micro-grids or installing solar panels so residents can power refrigerators, and charge up cell phones and laptops. The Energy Department earlier this year said it would tap tribal colleges and universities to help build out an renewable energy economy in Indian Country that could support the work.

The Interior Department consulted with tribes late last year as officials developed the new program. The plan is to award the funding during two rounds by the end of 2024.