School Tours

School Tour Information

Empire Mine State Historic Park offers two types of school tours, Guided School Tours, which are intended for 3rd-5th grade, and Self-Guided School Tours, which are intended for K-12 students. Students will experience the rich history of the Empire Mine from its origins to the present day, in a period setting replicating the heydey of the Empire Mine. Students will learn the significance and implications of the gold mining industry in the Nevada County area, throughout California, and the world. They will learn how California's gold rush and the gold mining industry helped shape and develop California today (economically, culturally, and technologically). Students will have the opporutnity to tour through the lush gardens and Estate grounds, which starkly contrasts with the austere and begrimed Mine and Mineyard. Touring Empire Mine State Historic Park will stay with students for a lifetime.

To make reservations for both guided and self-guided school group programs or to check available dates, please go to and search for "Empire Mine" in the Sacramento area.

Any further inquiries can be directed to the School Tour Coordinator at 530-273-7714 or send an email to


(3RD – 5TH grades only, all others must self-guide)

Fees: $4 per student (subject to change)

Deposit of $80 required in advance, remaining balance due upon arrival

California 3rd - 5th grade tour fee is $4 per student, by advance reservation only. The signed reservation form and deposit must be received by the Park to confirm the tour. Currently the deposit is $80.  This 2 hour tour begins at 10:30AM and ends at 12:30PM. The program includes  the Mine Shaft and the “Illusion” (using darkness and flashing lights creates the illusion of movement into the mine), a visit to the Blacksmith shop, the mine yard  work station, a tour through the Visitor Center and a look at the Mine Model.

Reservations require a minimum of 30 days in advance and may be reserved a maximum of 180 days in advance. Guided school tours are offered weekdays September through early November and February through early June only. The minimum number of students required is 20, and the maximum is 90 (3 classes).

Please Note: All of 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.



(K-12th grade)

Fees: Free with advanced reservation & signed waiver form only, "Drop-in" visits are not permitted. 

California K-12th grade students and chaperones are admitted free of charge with an advance reservation and waiver form which must be signed by a school administrator and returned prior to the visit. Reservations are first come first serve and blackout days apply.  No weekend, summer or holiday/special event period visits are allowed. Self-guide groups may watch the Park movie; tour the Mine Yard, Mine Shaft, grounds and gardens on their own. 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 notice, with a maximum of 180 days in advance. There is no minimum number of students, but there is a maximum of 90 students per visit (3 classes).