Visitor Center

Visitor Center – your first stop

A friendly welcome awaits you at the Visitor Center. Here’s where you’ll pay your entry fees, and ask questions about the best ways to enjoy your day. Information about tours and activities is readily available. Don’t miss the scale model of the underground workings of the Empire/Star Mine complex or the “gold room” that displays ore samples from local mines. The Assay Office and the extensive mineral collection are worth seeing as well. No visit to Empire Mine is complete without a visit to our popular Gift Shop.  With its wide range of treasures for all budgets, including geological artifacts, books, prints, jewelry, and mementos, prepared to be surprised and delighted.


See the Activities page for Tour Information.

Enjoy a 20-minute mining DVD called “Tears from the Sun,”
shown by request in our Visitor Center theater


In just a few spellbinding minutes, you’ll learn about the heady Gold Rush days of 1849.  You’ll also see 100 years of California mining technology unfold, as hard rock, placer, hydraulic and industrial dredging techniques are explained.  Detailed footage covers mining and ore processing at Empire Mine during its final years of operation – as well as one of the last hydraulic mines in California.

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Written and edited by Stanley H. Halls and narrated by Fred C. Forsman, copies of “Tears from the Sun” may be purchased in the Gift Shop. 

Restrooms (with A.D.A. and baby changing facilities) are located between the parking area and the Visitor Center.


You can see a map of the Park on the Park Map page. The Visitor Center is #1 on that map, which is shown at the bottom of this page with no legends.  The pink arrow points to the Visitor Center.


For a printable version of this map, click here.