The historic Techatticup Mine in Eldorado Canyon is the richest and most famous gold mine in Southern Nevada. For a Wild West experience conveniently located outside of Las Vegas, take a tour of the mine where Vegas's gold rush began. Ask about the rumored ghostly residents while you're there.
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, California
A man by the name of James Marshall struck gold in 1848 at the current site of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. Today, the site contains 20 historic buildings and a replica of the original sawmill. After you've toured the facilities, try your hand at gold panning in the American River.
A few miles from Silverton, Colorado sits an abandoned mine known as Old Hundred Gold Mine. While no longer in operation, the mine remains open to visitors during the summer months. You'll get to see how the old mining equipment works, see a real mine elevator and learn how to pan for gold, silver and gemstones in the Old Hundred miners' sluice box.
Tour guides – all former miners – at Bisbee's Queen Mine will equip you and your family with hard hats, headlamps and yellow rain slickers before leading you more than 1,500 feet into one of the world's most productive copper mines.
Discover the history of the Klondike Gold Rush with a visit to the Liarsville Gold Rush Camp. After you've explored the old bordello and laundry tents where the miners left several items behind, you'll learn the art of gold panning and have the opportunity to pan for your own treasures. There's also a live comedy show to keep you entertained.
In Pennsylvania's Lackawanna Coal Mine, you'll descend 300 feet into the earth to explore the same tunnels miners once used to dig for coal. An introductory video will introduce you to the mine before your slow descent on a mine car into the ground.
In historic Sumpter, Oregon, you can access your inner prospector with a gold mining or gold panning package at the Cracker Creek Mining Camp. The staff will provide you with modern panning equipment and teach you how to strike gold.
Historic Argo Gold Mine in Idaho Springs, Colorado
A short drive west of Denver, Colorado, you'll find the town of Idaho Springs and the historic Argo Gold Mine. Throughout its years in operation, the mine and mill processed more than 100 million dollars in gold. Here you can tour the mine and watch a demonstration of how the drilling, crushing and milling process worked.
The Randall Glen Mine near Asheville, North Carolina is all about the gems. Located in a beautiful meadow of wildflowers, the mine allows visitors to dig their own dirt directly from the mine shaft and pan it for sapphires, rubies, topaz, quartz and garnets.
The Empire Mine has the distinction of being the oldest and richest gold mine in California, producing 5.8 million ounces of gold from 1850 to 1956 when it closed. Experts estimate that 80 percent of the area's gold stores remain un-mined. A tour of the mine includes displays on historic mining practices and hands-on experiences in the mine yard.