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Organization Title

Empire Mine State Historic Park

Contact Information

(530) 273-8522

Park Hours

Open seven days a week
10am - 5pm

EXCEPT park closed:
-Thanksgiving Day
-Christmas Day
-New Years Day

Driving Directions to Empire Mine SHP

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.

View on Map

Camping and Lodging

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Brochures and Campground Maps

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

The Bourn Cottage is closed for tours.

Call the parks after 12/1/2015 for an updated on when the Cottage will re-open for tours.  The Cottage will be undergoing roof renovations during this time, and will not be accessible to the public. The inside of the Cottage will be open for visitors on 11/27 & 11/28 only for Holidays at Empire Event. An Empire Grounds Tour at 1 pm (weather permitting) will be offered in its place.
The 2pm Mine Yard Tour will continue to be offered.

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.

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.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended Clothing

Summer and spring are warm; fall and winter can be cool. Layered clothing is advised.

Main Shaft

Empire Mine Main Shaft

Bourne Cottage

Bourn Cottage

Mine Yard 

Mine Yard

Available Activities and Facilities at Empire Mine State Historic Park

Hiking Trails
Horseback Riding
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Family Programs
Drinking Water Available