The era of Gold Rush led to extensive mining activities in California. Established in 1999, California State Mining and Mineral Museum commemorates the era with an intriguing collection of artifacts and minerals. Located at the Mariposa Fairgrounds in the historic gold rush town of Mariposa. Houses and displays the official California State Mineral Collection. The collection was created in 1880 by the California State Legislature and contains over 13,000 specimens. The museum is known for its California gold specimens. Other significant specimens on display include Benitoite the State gemstone, meteorites and historic artifacts including a 100 year old working stamp mill model from the Union Iron Works. It displays some very nice gold and also has a ‘mine’ tour describing what it was like to work in a mine around 1850-75. This museum highlights not only the history of mining in the state of California, but showcases some of the finest examples of beautiful minerals and gems from all over the world. There are many different rocks and minerals from all over the world. The best part is the mine dug into the mountain attached to the museum. Great collection, some nice specimens. Old and tired displays, but certainly worth a look through. The museum is divided into three themes, with a simulated underground mining display to give you a sense of what it is like in a mine, a large area devoted to explaining what mining is; what mining has occurred and is occurring in California; how man uses minerals, and of course an equally large area with displays of specimens of minerals with an emphasis on California.
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Winter Hours: Oct 1- Apr 30, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Summer Hours: May 1-Sept 30, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Admission is $4.00 for adults, children 12 and under are free.
While visiting Yosemite stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates and which are closer to all the above attractions.