Empire Mine State Historic Park

sights / Historic

Empire Mine State Historic Park information

Grass Valley , USA
10791 Empire St
Grass Valley
+1 530 273 8522
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adult/child $7/3
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Atop 367 miles of mine shafts tunneling almost a vertical mile beneath the surface, Gold Country’s best-preserved gold quartz–mining operation is worth a solid half-day’s exploration. From 1850 to 1956 the miners here, mostly Cornish, produced 5.8 million ounces of gold (worth about $8 billion today). The visitor center has maps and leads guided tours (tour schedules vary). Nearby is the manor-like cottage and rose garden of the Bourn family, who originally owned the mine.

You can pay to enter the mine yard , littered with mining equipment and buildings constructed from waste rock, and to view the main shaft's claustrophobic entry , next to the head frame (a tall structure used to haul ore and people from underground).

Hiking the trails that meander past abandoned mines and equipment is free. Trailheads are located at the parking lots behind the visitor center and Penn Gate to its west.