Experience the Excitement of Panning for Gold

Visiting a gold mine in the old west has never been so fun. At Phoenix Gold Mine, you can tour the historic mine that has been featured in National Geographic magazine, and on the television shows Ghost Hunters and Globe Trekkers. Gold mine tours last approximately an hour, depending on the number or questions tourists ask their guides. Following your tour, guests are invited to pan for their own gold to take home with them. You will be provided with a pan and given some basic panning instructions. There are also two trails for hiking on the grounds and guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of the scenery and wildlife in the area. Groups are welcome to tour the mine and pan, but groups over 20 need to make reservations beforehand.

You can bring strollers and wheel chairs into the mine but it will take some effort. There are also no ladders used in the tour, but it is important you wear appropriate footwear and prepare to move within the caving environment. Adult admission to the mine is $15 for those over the age of 12 and $5 for those age 5 - 11. Senior discounts are available. If you want only the tour and will not be panning, the cost is $10. The mine is typically between 42 and 54 degrees all year long. The mine is at an elevation of 8,200 feet, and the walk through the mine is at a one percent grade. It is important to let your guide know if you or someone in your group is claustrophobic or if you believe the children you are traveling with may become scared. Also keep in mind the altitude may some time to get use to, so be sure to take your climb slowly and drink plenty of water. You are welcome to photograph or record your visit to the mine.

There is no food or drink available at the mine, so be sure to bring your own beverages, snacks, or picnic lunch with you. There are tables for dining, and outhouses, but no running water or electricity. You may want to bring handiwipes or antibacterial gel, especially if you plan to eat. If you are planning to pan, you will also want to bring along something to carry home your treasures in. Old cans and plastic baggies work great. There is a chance your feet will get wet while panning, so you may want to bring along extra socks and shoes, especially for children.

If you choose to hike following your tour and panning, you can take the trail up to the Kelly Mine or the Little Albert Mine. This is a great strenuous hike, so make sure you are prepared before setting out. Your tour guide will give you advice about hiking and direct you to the trails. Remember it is never safe to enter the mine shaft, so make sure you and all of the members of your hiking group stay on the trail. Children are not permitted to hike without adult supervision. Very rarely, bear and mountain lion are spotted in the area, so be sure to speak with your guide about safety. You are more likely to see chipmunks, squirrels, snakes, porcupine, deer, birds, and raccoons while hiking. For a unique old west experience, try a trip to the Phoenix Gold Mine.

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