Hangtown's Gold Bug Park
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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You'll step back in time when you enter Gold Bug Park! It'a a REAL mining site from the Gold Rush days. Explore the park and then the mining museum. Find your riches in the gem panning trough. Be sure to visit our historic Stamp Mill and working Blacksmith Shop. Hattie's Gift Shop will be open for that special one-of-a-kind memento of your mining experience. Be sure to top off your visit with an audio tour of the Gold Bug Mine (see below; fee applies). Our Hours: April thru October: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Daily November thru March: 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM on WEEKENDS ONLY During your self-guided audio tour of the Gold Bug you'll hear a California Gold Rush miner tell about the tools he used to get at that elusive yellow metal - GOLD! As you enter the 352 foot drift of this hard rock mine, you will feel the cool air brush against your face. Activity Suggestions: Bring a picnic lunch. Take a relaxing hike suitable for all ages along our dog-friendly trails. Check out the gold rush museum and perhaps stumble upon a lively blacksmith or a "real" 49er to share stories of the good ol' days. Gold Bug Park promises to be a wonderful experience for you and your family. Outdoor Pavilion rental available for groups of up to 75 people - suitable for summer graduations, family picnics, weddings, reunions, and more. For Schools: We offer educational and entertaining guided tours for both schools and private groups. Contact the park to bring your California history curriculum to life.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
184 reviews
Excellent
101
Very good
68
Average
12
Poor
1
Terrible
2

Claudia10229
Dallas, TX363 contributions
Jun 2021
We are 2 adults without children and enjoyed the Gold Bug Mine Tour. When you drive into the park, you have an option of driving left or straight. We didn't see any signs with directions so we selected the left turn. Drove up a small hill and parked the car. There was a slight hill to climb up to the Stamp Mill. There was a guided tour which described the stamp mill and the gold mining industry in California. Very informative and we were able to ask questions since we were the only ones on the tour. Then there is a blacksmith furnace on the top of the hill. There were 3 gentlemen actually working on the furnace creating items that are sold in the gift shop. One gentlemen came out to describe what was being done and answered questions.

We then drove to the main entrance of the Gold Mine. Buy tickets at the mining museum, $10 per adult. Receive a helmet and an iPhone with recorded messages for the self guided tour. Due to Covid 19, only 1 family was permitted in the mine at a time, so not crowded or noisy in the mine. We waited about 10 minutes for our turn in the mine. The recordings are informative and some humor is included from the miner who is educating us. The mine is much cooler inside around 55 degrees with the outside weather being 85. I suggest you wear closed shoes since there was some water on the floor which is dripping off the walls and ceilings in some areas. Not very wet, but just be cautious if you wear open shoes. The geology was interesting to look at, I wish we had a flashlight vs just using the flashlight on our personal phones.

The gift shop was reasonably priced for children and some adult gold items. Nothing was too expensive like many gift shops. There were some snacks and drinks to buy. If you want to pan for gold and shiny gemstones, pick up the pan at the gift shop. We did see several families with children enjoying the gem panning troughs.

We did hike a bit in the area. Going up a hill to another mine (Priest) which was closed. We liked walking through the trees for about 45 minutes and then returned to the front entrance. Supposedly there are quite a few hiking trails to explore. There are restrooms on site and a covered area with picnic benches. We had a good time.
Written June 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HBSnowFlower
Huntington Beach, CA738 contributions
Jun 2022
When in Placerville, the question begs: what is placer gold mining anyway? We pulled off the El Dorado Farm Trail to learn more about Placerville’s gold mining history at this former family-owned mine, now listed on the National Historic Registry. Using the Apple cellphones provided with the entrance fee, we took the audio tour into the twisting cave, actually called a drift. We were lucky to be alone in the caverns, directed to 13 different stops explaining the mining processes and geology of the mines. Skipping the gold panning option in a trough outside the gift shop, we drove up the hill to see the stamp mill. Here, a very knowledgeable volunteer regaled us with details on how industrial miners used huge stamp mills to extract gold dust out of tons of pounded rock. Be sure to ask about Black Bart, who robbed 29 Wells Fargo Banks – using an unloaded shotgun. Ask any gold mining questions here – and you too will learn what placer mining is.
Written June 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Christina M
San Diego, CA51 contributions
Apr 2022 • Family
Did the self-guided audio tour with my daughter. It’s pretty quick, but she enjoyed it. The best part was the gentleman working up at the Stamp Mill who was a great storyteller and told us all about how gold was first discovered in California and about Black Bart, who robbed a bunch of Wells Fargo stagecoaches.
Written April 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lynn M
Carmel, California, United States891 contributions
Apr 2022
We were just an older couple but we had a great time exploring the park. Take the self-guided audio tour of the mine. There is a cost for this. Then explore the park. Easy to walk the entire grounds. Visit the blacksmith and stamp mill. They also have a picnic are if you bring snacks. I think this would be great for children.
Written May 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lisa Y
El Cerrito, California112 contributions
Oct 2016 • Couples
This mine in Placerville is easy to reach from Hwy. 50; the exit street, Bedford Ave., is well marked. The site has two parts. The lower part includes a small gift shop, a picnic area (no food is sold on site, however), and access to the mine tour. The upper part has a blacksmith shop and a stamp mill, which my husband and I did not visit. That area has a second parking lot, so you don’t have to walk up the hill from the lower parking lot.

The mine tour costs $7, which gets you a hard hat—very useful if you’re tall, since some of the ceilings in the mine are rather low—and a recorded audio tour, delivered either via ear buds and a remote or as an app on your smartphone. The tour has 13 stops inside the mine and lasts about half an hour. The audio, narrated by a “ghost” miner, provides mildly interesting information about how the mining was done, names that the miners gave to their tools and procedures, etc. The tour is more accessible than many tours; the tunnel is flat, fairly short, almost entirely dry, and wide enough for wheelchairs. It’s not wildly exciting, but it would make a good family activity and could be done on rainy days.
Written October 27, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Shafsky
Placerville, CA29 contributions
Sep 2014 • Friends
This small park has a gold mine that you can tour and visit a stamp mill. The mine in horizontal, rather than vertical so it is an easy walk thru, just watch your head. That is why they give you a hard hat! You can also try panning for gold and enjoy the small gift shop. Nice place for a picnic. The stamp mill is very impressive.
Written November 11, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

A Pampered Traveler
Burbank, CA378 contributions
We took a morning to visit this park and gold mine, the kids enjoyed themselves but the parents did not want to leave the gold panning area. The park has an old gold mine to tour(it is best to get the audio tour.) The kids loved putting on the hard hats for the tour. After the tour you can take your turn at some gold panning(for a fee-get the pan in the gift shop), during our panning we found several small pieces of gold and precious stones. The adults could have stayed gold panning all day but the kids wanted to play. There are some picnic benches and the kids had a great time playing by the stream. I would recommend bringing your lunch up with you. There are multiple benches up the road, so if you want more quiet go up the road. There are also bathrooms at the park.
Written June 17, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Triphappy69
Placerville, CA5 contributions
Jan 2017 • Family
Had a great time. Grandson was so excited about going thru the mind ! Went hiking along the trails ...nice and easy. People are very friendly. Stamp mill is very interesting and Black Bart was a hoot !
Written February 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brad D
El Dorado Hills, CA237 contributions
Sep 2016 • Family
The gold mine here is fascinating - you can tour at your own pace. Our children of middle school and elementary age loved this place. And it is very convenient - only 10 minutes from Placerville.
Written February 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Allison K
Long Island, NY272 contributions
Sep 2016 • Family
The park is a quick drive from Placerville's Main Street, in a sunny forested area, where I saw 4 deer. I first went to the stamp mill where a volunteer explained its function and history. There is a blacksmith shop on site where the blacksmith demonstrates making a nail ring and will give the ring to youngsters watching. This is free.
Was also able to visit the Priest Mine, which is not open all the time (cost $4). There's a steep walk up to the mine entrance, but the mine itself is level and not hard to negotiate. Volunteers dressed in old-time clothes are full of information and they seem personally vested in what they say.
Written September 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Hangtown's Gold Bug Park (Placerville) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Hangtown's Gold Bug Park

Hangtown's Gold Bug Park is open:
  • Sat - Sun 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM


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