Yooperlite Rocks – What they are and how to find them.


Michigan’s shores are a favorite spot for rock hounds, and it is thanks to Yooperlites as well as Petoskey Stones. Unique and unique rocks are collected from the Great Lakes bottom and dropped on the shores for us to discover.

The Yooperlite glowstone is one of many unique gem and mineral deposits found on Michigan’s beaches. Collectors will find a treasure trove of Michigan rocks on the shores of the Great Lakes.

As the luminescence hidden in plain sight begins to emerge, it becomes a strange sensation to walk along the coast at night while using a UV or black light. It will feel like rocks have fallen from space, rather than been washed ashore by the waters of Lake Superior.

Continue reading to learn more about Yooperlite glow rock.

If you are planning to visit Michigan to search for Yooperlites, please use the map at bottom of this post.

What is Yooperlite?

Erik Rintamaki discovered Yooperlites in 2017. He gave them their northern Michigan nickname. They are a relatively recent discovery, but not new to the state.

They are mostly composed of syenite, which is similar in appearance to granite. Yooperlites contain a lot of fluorescent sodalite that glows bright orange or yellow when exposed to Ultraviolet Light.

These glow-in the-dark deposits can create a variety of patterns including dotted lines and a more general pattern that is reminiscent of a space galaxy.

Every stone is unique, and could even contain a mixture of fluorescent sodalite patterns. This adds to the amazing beauty of this glowing rock. Photo by -sovereign-photography

How to Find Yooperlite

Yooperlite hunting is different from other rockhounding activities. You will need to search at night for Yooperlites. However, we have a guide that will assist you in your search for the right Yooperlite rock.

Where can I find Yooperlite?

Yooperlites are, as their name implies, found in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They can be found along the Lake Superior coast. They are found mostly along the eastern shores of Lake Superior, between Grand Marais and Sault Ste. Marie, but they can also be found on the Keweenaw Peninsula.

How to Find Yooperlite

Yooperlite should be searched in the spring (between March and April). The ice is shifting and rocks that were stuck all winter are now pushed up to shorelines in spring. The rocks aren’t being picked up by summer crowds, so spring allows you to go on the beach before the summer season begins. Spring brings with it fewer mosquitos!

How to Find Yooperlite

You can use a variety of tools to help you find Yooperlite. Some are specifically designed for this purpose, while others are safety equipment that will keep you safe.

Tools/Equipment to Find Yooperlite

This is how you will find your Yooperlites. The rocks won’t glow if there isn’t an ultraviolet light. For best visibility, we recommend a UV flashlight with UV 365nm filter.

Headlamp: Upper Michigan can be quite remote, and it can get dark quickly, especially when you are on the water. You can safely navigate the rugged coastline with a headlamp. While a flashlight is also possible, a headlamp can help you stay as hands-free and safe as possible.

Additional Batteries:There is no greater bummer than having your Yooperlite hunt prematurely halted by a dead headlamp or UV light. Get batteries to replace any damaged ones, and go hunting!

Bag: The last thing you want to do is gather a bunch of Yopperlites and have no place to store them. To store your treasures, bring a bag. For coastal rock hunting, a mesh bag is ideal. However, a backpack or fanny pack can be useful to keep your hands off the rocks. It’s all up to you.

Glowing Sticks: Glowing sticks are great navigational tools. To avoid becoming lost in the dark, place them at key points such as the entrance to the beach. TIP: Keep them out of the water to prevent them from getting washed into Lake Superior.

What to wear when looking for Yooperlite

Wearing appropriate shoes is important because you may get a little wet if you live near the coast. Shoes that can withstand the water and sand waves will be able to navigate safely.

Warm clothes: The temperatures drop by the water after the sun sets. As the temperature drops, be prepared. Layer warm clothes.

You have more to offer when you are looking for Yooperlite
Water/Snacks – It is always a good idea to bring water with you when you are outdoors and especially when exploring at night. Always be prepared. You can also satisfy any late-night snack cravings.

Sand Dipper/Rock Scoop – While it is not essential, it can be a nice luxury when you are looking for rocks in the water.

Tips and tricks for finding Yooperlites

You should arrive at your destination before sunset to allow you to familiarize yourself with the area. Also, make sure to know how to return to your vehicle safely.

Do your research about the area you are planning to collect. It’s easy to forget about safety precautions in this area.

Before you leave, always check the weather forecast. You don’t want to get caught in a storm that you didn’t know was coming.

It is important to ensure that someone knows where your are! It is possible for cell service to be poor in the UP, so it can be a big help to have someone who knows where you’re at all times.

Get together with your friends! Group rockhounding is more fun and safer than solo.

Always check behind you! Different angles can cause sodalite to fluoresce. Shining the UV light from behind can make rocks visible that weren’t visible when you were in front.

After a storm, search for Yooperlites. Storms can cause damage similar to Petoskey rocks and may result in new rock surfaces.

Respect the great Superior and be careful when crossing her coasts. You should exercise caution as the water level can fluctuate rapidly within minutes due to sudden changes in wind direction or barometric pressure.


Q: Where can I find Yooperlites?

A: Yooperlites can be found along the Lake Superior coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Q: What makes Yooperlites glow and why?

A: The fluorescent sodalite in the rock’s makeup is what makes Yooperlites shine.

Q: Are Yooperlites rare?

A: Yooperlites, a unique form of fluorescent sodalite, are an unusual example of the common element.

Q: Is it possible to find Yooperlites in the daytime?

A: You can see Yooperlite at night, but you will need a dark light to make it visible.

Q: What color is sodalite?

A: Yooperlites glow a fluorescent orange-yellow under ultraviolet light.

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