Catch the Gold Bug California gold bug

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Glossary of Mining Terms

Not sure what a 'drift' is? How about the word 'stope'? Check out our glossary to discover these words and more.

Tours and Field Trip Ideas

NOTE: Field Trip reservations for 2017 will be taken starting February 23, 2016.

Looking for field trip ideas? Plan a school field trip or group tour to discover Gold Rush History at Gold Bug Park.Whether you're a teacher looking for field trip ideas for your class, or you're part of another group of kids or adults, we offer guided tours for a behind the scenes look at Gold Bug Park and an exclusive tour inside the Priest Mine. Gold Bug Park offers a tranquil outdoor environment where your group will discover the art of hard rock mining while enjoying a day in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Foothills.

Tours are available by appointment for any group up to 65 people.. Our experienced volunteer guides will gear your tour to the interests and needs of your group. If you have a large group but choose to tour the park without a guide, we ask that you please schedule a time with us so your visit does not conflict with other groups.

Standard school tours include Gold Bug Mine, Stamp Mill and Blacksmith Shop, Gift Shop and Museum. The Priest Mine tour is available only by special request and subject to availability.

Our Guided Tour Package Includes:

  • Gold Bug Mine

    Our main attraction!

    The Gold Bug Mine is the major historical and geological attraction in the park. An excellent example of hard rock mining, the Gold Bug Mine has a solid wooden floor, lighting throughout, and an air shaft providing clean cool air at all times. The mine floor is often damp depending on the season. A self-guided audio tour is also available.

  • Hendy Stamp Mill

    The Hendy Stamp Mill is enclosed in a stamp mill building providing a full explanation of the gold extraction process from the ore. The complete stamp mill, on its original site, is easily viewed from various points in the building. A working scale model demonstrates graphically the ore reduction process.

  • Blacksmith Shop

    The park’s working Blacksmith Shop provides an accurate depiction and demonstration of the importance of this ancient trade to the mining industry.

  • Enjoy the rest of the park on your own

    The guided portion of the tour will last at least two hours. Be sure to include extra time in your schedule to enjoy our outdoor picnic areas and visit the Hattie Museum and Gift Shop. You are welcome to plan your own activities at the park as well. Some groups have taken advantage of Gold Bug Park for art lessons, writing and workbook lessons, hiking and nature walks, photo sessions, and more.


From 1 to 15 People (minimum rate)   $100.00
Each Additional Person   $8.00
65 People Maximum    

Plan Your Group Visit:

  1. Schedule your tour

    Your first step is to make sure the date and time you would like to visit is available. Guided Tours are scheduled Monday thru Friday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Guided Tours are not given on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays. To request a date for your group, please call (530) 642-5238 or  email the Park Director.

  2. Plan  your tour with the Park Director and mail in your check                                                                                                                                                                                        After confirming the availability of your tour date and working out the exact details of your tour with the Park Director, you'll next need to mail a check to: Gold Bug Park and Mine Tours, 2635 Gold Bug Lane, Placerville CA 95667. Please make checks payable to the City of Placerville. Please Note:We must receive your check at least 2 weeks prior to the tour date.

  3. If you need to cancel, provide 48 hours notice

    We require 48 hours notice of cancellation in order to receive a refund. If your group does not show up for the tour without giving proper notice, your fees will be forfeited.

  4. On the day of your visit

    We will be awaiting your arrival. Guided Tours will be ready to start at the time you designate. Please arrive 15 minutes early to assemble your group at the Liberty Pavilion. If a problem arises on the day of the tour, please call the park office at (530) 642-5207.

    Note: When using the park restroom facility adults must accompany children. No more than 2 children at a time on either side....please assign adults from your group before arriving at the park.

    All rules and laws of the City of Placerville and the State of California apply during your visit to Gold Bug Park. We expect proper discipline to be maintained, however, we do reserve the right to cancel a tour in progress in the event of excessively disruptive or illegal behavior.

  • Flake Fact

    All tour guides are volunteers and very knowledgeable.

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