School Tour Information
GUIDED SCHOOL TOURS (3rd-5th grades only)
Guided School Tours run for two hours beginning at 10:30AM and ending at 12:30PM and costs $100 per class. This program covers the Mine Shaft with a simulation of what it would be like to travel into the mines followed by a visit to the Blacksmith Shop. Once in the Mine Yard, the students will participate in an activity to learn about the jobs performed by the miners of the Empire. All Students will get to visit the Visitor Center.The maximum number of students is 60 (2 classes) per day.
SELF-GUIDED SCHOOL TOURS (K-12th grades)
Students and chaperones are welcome free of charge with an advance reservation. Self-Guided School Tours may watch the Park movie, tour the Mine Yard, Mine Shaft, grounds and gardens on their own. We also have a scavenger hunt geared for 3rdgrade and up which can be sent via email prior to your visit, upon request. School groups may not join nor disrupt the daily public tours. School personnel are responsible for ensuring that students follow all park rules.
Reservations require a minimum of 30 days in advance and may be reserved beginning in August prior to the beginning of the school year. Guided school tours are offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Self-guided tours are offered on Thursdays only. Fall school tours begin in October through early November, and Spring tours begin March through early June only.
Reservations are first-come-first-served and blackout days apply. There are no school groups during the weekends, summer or holidays/special events.
Please Note: These activities are outdoors, and weather or other issues may change tour format. Empire Mine State Historic Park reserves the right to cancel or alter the above tour, when necessary, with limited or no notice.
To schedule a reservation for a field trip at Empire Mine, click the link below:
The gift shop welcomes classes (by advanced reservation only) into the shop. Only 10 students with chaperone(s) are allowed in the shop at one time. It takes on average 12–15 minutes per group of 10 students to browse and make purchases. Schools must have enough time before their departure time for shop access. You can request a gift shop reservation while making your school tour reservation.
Self-guided tours may not access the Gift Shop. This policy is strictly enforced. As a Gift Shop visit alternative, teachers may, by advanced order only, purchase memory bags for students. See the link below for more information:
EMPIRE MINE GUIDED SCHOOL TOUR ITINERARY/INFORMATION
Below is the itinerary of field trips, if for some reason you need to make changes to it, please email SierraGold.Schools@parks.ca.gov .
101:5-10:30amArrive at Park, students use restrooms and eat snack, teacher check-in at Visitor Center
10:30-12:30pm Empire Mine Guided Tour
12:35 Wrap-up, gift shop (if reserved), and depart
Please make sure to share the school tour rules with your students and chaperones:
How to Prepare for your field trip?
Before arriving in the park, please organize each class into two groups who will be split up during their tour. A minimum ratio of 1:10 (adult:child) is required for your tour and parents are expected to help keep students focused. We accept up to 60 students total for a field trip.
What to expect on arrival?
Please arrive 10-15 minutes before the start of your tour for students to use the restrooms located in the parking lot. We recommend using the picnic benches to have a snack before your tour begins. The teacher who made the reservation should come into the Visitors Center to check their group in while restrooms are being used. Tour guides will meet your class near the entrance to the park at the top of the foot path.
What about parking?
There is no fee associated with parking at Empire Mine State Historic Park.
What do I bring?
Make sure to wear comfortable,close-toed walking shoes, pants,and bring sun protection and an extra warm layer. Please bring water bottles, a snack to have before your tour, and lunch to enjoy when your tour is over. Only water is allowed in the park. Food, gum, and other drinks are NOT allowed (unless medically necessary) inside the park. Student backpacks and lunches must be left on your bus or in your car. Picnic tables are available near the parking lot. All litter must be placed in trashcans.
Chaperones are responsible for guiding participant behavior and keeping the group together and focused on the program. We ask that chaperones play an active role in managing student behavior during the field trip as well as helping them when needed during the tour. If teachers or chaperones need to take a phone call, please step away so that we can keep the children's attention.
In the event of injuries, we ask that the teacher be prepared to assume first aid responsibility. Please bring any injuries, accidents, or damage to the attention of the State Park staff.
Extreme weather may cancel field trips if transportation to/from the park is unsafe.
Questions? Please contact SierraGold.Schools@parks.ca.gov.