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California State Mining and Mineral Museum

Mariposa, CA
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Ranked #6 of 17 attractions in Mariposa
Type: History Museums, Specialty Museums
Description: Specialty museum dedicated to the California gold mining industry.
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33 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    20
    9
    2
    1
    1
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pasadena, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2014

Stopped by here to learn all about minerals and were greeted by several men with white beards and mustaches dressed in old-timer's clothes. They gave us a history lesson on the gold rush era and then demonstrated how to pan for gold. You can buy bags of sand that are guaranteed to have real gold flecks in them so both... More

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Mariposa, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

I love this place - both for all the information and the life size, walk-through mine tunnel. There's something for adults and kids as well as a great little gift shop. Put this and the History Museum on your vacation plans while you're in the area.

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Northbrook, IL
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
22 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

This museum houses minerals and gems of all kinds. It has a reproduction of a mine to walk through and has a 100 year old model of an ore processing plant. Because of a robbery in 2012 the large Fricot gold chunk is no longer on display and is in an undisclosed location.

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Yosemite, CA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

From the dazzling 14 lb Fricot "nugget" to countless samples of our state's rich mining (and mineral) history and present, this is a must-stop for the traveler. Even if you're not a gold/mineral/history buff? You WILL be by the time you leave this well-organized, fascinating museum. Mariposa was one of the most active gold mining centers of the southern mother... More

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Altadena, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014

State Park Ranger Randy gave us a personal tour since we were the first ones to show up at opening time. This isn't an all day place, but it was fun to poke around in for about 30 minutes. The mine shaft was fun to walk through, and interesting in terms of seeing how things really worked. Large grassy area... More

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Mariposa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

Many years ago I had the honor of helping to relocate this exhibit from San Francisco to Mariposa. It was sort of a "home-coming" in a way as the exhibit was established to promote early Mother Lode mining enterprises in the state. It has become an excellent display of early mining techniques (with a REAL mine tunnel) and a geological... More

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Arroyo Grande, CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

My husband and I made a point of coming to visit the museum, and were not disappointed. There were lots of incredible examples of every type of rock. We also loved the exhibit on mining. The staff was friendly and knowledgable, and we were very happy that we came. Not too busy, and open when they said they were.

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Mariposa, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

A friend of mine runs his own jewelry business, and is a volunteer at the California State Mining and Mineral Museum, a fascinating attraction 2 miles south of Mariposa in the Sierra Foothills on Highway 49.We went for a tour, and came away with the view that the place itself is a gem. The displays of rocks, gems, and minerals... More

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Sedona, Arizona
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

The hours posted were 10-5. It was nearly 11, but no one there (once we found the museum in a very obscure location). Also, no cameras allowed. We stayed an extra day to see Mariposa museums, but this museum (and the history museum) had the ridiculous, unenforceable rule against cameras. Everyone has a phone or tiny camera that will not... More

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Mariposa, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

If you enjoy Rocks, Minerals and a bit of California Gold Rush History, this is the place for you. There is a huge collection of specimens and a replica mine tunnel that really give you the feeling of what it must have been like to hard rock gold mine in the 1800's. The kids really enjoy the Junior Ranger Program... More

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