Mining is a part of California history, no doubt about it. The Gold Rush was a point in time many individuals found gold and struck it rich. In the 1800’s, mines opened up all across the state, and one of them included was Empire Mine. Empire Mine first opened in 1850 when gold was found by George Roberts. The mine produced a whopping six million troy ounces of pure gold during the time in which it was open. However, after World War 2 in 1956, the mine was closed. After California had purchased the land in 1975, it was then made available to the public known as The Empire Mine State Historic Park.
When visiting the ginormous 850-acre state park, there are many things to do and see. This mine park is a popular destination for those looking for hiking, biking, dog walking, and even horseback riding. The state park features many trails that can quickly fill the day with fun activities. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the Empire cottage, fountains, and gardens.
Those interested in the mining history of the area can take one of several tours offered here. The Empire Mine State Historic Park provides guided tours as well as the option to choose self-guided. The guided tours include:
Cottage Grounds- The Cottage Grounds tour is approx. 45-minutes long and explores the history of the sites and people who shaped the mine. Visitors will tour the Cottage and the Clubhouse.
Mineyard- The mineyard tour teaches visitors about the tactics used to mine gold at the Empire Mine. From the methods of using mules and the equipment used back in the day, you’ll see how these features contributed to the profitable mining that happened during its heyday.
Garden Grounds-This one hour tour is the ideal for those that love flowers and gardening What makes the garden grounds so unique is the same roses that you see today are the same ones that were planted in 1897.
For those that want a little more information than the three tours above, The Empire Mine State Historic Park offers Living History Tours. These tours cost $2.00 more but are worth it. Your Empire Mine tour guide will bring you back to the day when mining was in full swing. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions; you might find out the info you wouldn’t expect. The tour guides at The Empire Mine offer an entertaining time.
The Empire Mine State Park also has private tours and school tours available. Don’t miss out on the fun at one of the most well-known mines in North America. Make a day out of it, stay as long as you would like. Hours are from 10 am to 5 pm, giving enough time to take tours and explore all the areas of the park. The park encourages people to explore the grounds. Admission to the park is only $7.00 for adults, and $3.00 for kids ages 6-16.
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See directions here:
Empire Mine State Historic Park
10791 E Empire St, Grass Valley, CA 95945, USA
Get on CA-49 S/Golden Center Fwy in Grass Valley from E Empire St
4 min (1.6 mi)
Merge onto CA-49 S/Golden Center Fwy
(!Continue to follow CA-49 S)
(!Pass by Dutch Bros. Coffee – on the right in 18.3 mi)
28 min (22.2 mi)
Continue on Elm Ave. Drive to Borland Ave
4 min (0.8 mi)
155 Borland Ave, Auburn, CA 95603, USA