Open seven days a week
10am - 5pm
EXCEPT park closed:
-New Years Day
Empire Mine State Historic Park
Driving Directions to Empire Mine SHP
Camping and Lodging
Online reservations are not available for this park.
Brochures and Campground Maps
Upcoming Park Events
No events scheduled at this moment.
Empire Mine State Historic Park is the site of one of the oldest, largest, deepest, longest and richest gold mines in California. The park is in Grass Valley at 10791 East Empire Street. In existence for more than 100 years, the mine produced 5.6 million ounces of gold before it closed in 1956. (5.6 million ounces of gold is equivalent to a box seven feet long, seven feet high, and seven feet deep filled with gold.) The park contains many of the mine’s buildings, the owner’s home and restored gardens, as well as the entrance to 367 miles (the distance, as the crow flies, from Grass Valley to Magic Mountain) of abandoned and flooded mine shafts. The park consists of forested backcountry and eight miles of trails - including easy hikes (for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding) - in the park.
Fuel Reduction Project at Empire Mine to Reduce Wildfire Risk
In an effort to reduce the risk and severity of wildfires, Empire State Mine State Historic Park will begin a fuel reduction project on Monday January 13, 2014 and wrapping up in February. During this time, trails on Union Hill will be subject to intermittent closure in areas in the interest of public safety where heavy machinery will be operating.
"This is an ongoing effort designed to protect the park and the surrounding communities from wildfires as much as possible," said Sierra District Sector Superintendent Matt Green. "We hope to reduce the fuel load and provide defensible space to the park property boundary, and to improve the health of mixed conifer and oak forests to reduce the risk of catastrophic a wildfire."
A large mobile masticator will be used to chip small trees and brush within the project area. There will be 100-foot undisturbed buffers on select trails and a 200-foot buffer on the park boundary. The chipped material will be left on site.
Work will be performed by Sierra Nevada Forestry Services of Yuba City, California. This project was made possible by a Healthy Forests grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.
Visitors looking for information on trail closures can visit Empire Mine Park’s web page. For questions or additional information about the project, contact Sierra District Forester Rich Adams at (530) 581-5746.
The project had been scheduled for fall 2013 but was delayed. We would like to ask for your patience and cooperation as we conduct this project. Thank you for your continued support of California State Parks!
Guided Tours and Living History Presentations
Guided tours and audio-visual presentations are offered throughout the day at various times.
The Secret Room
To keep track of the mine's 367 underground workings, a place called "The Secret Room" (named for its blacked-out windows) was built. In it, the entire room was filled with a scale model of the mine's below the surface workings. Few people knew the room existed while the mine was in operation. Today, visitors to the park can see it in the Visitor Center. The model represents five square miles of underground workings. When the visitors go down the actual shaft in the park, they have journeyed only "one inch" on the model. Anything past "two inches" on the model is underwater in the actual mine.
Drive 24 miles north of Auburn on Highway 49 to Empire Street exit in Grass Valley. The park is located in Grass Valley at 10791 East Empire Street.
Summer and spring are warm; fall and winter can be cool. Layered clothing is advised.
Empire Mine Main Shaft