Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley is the site of one of the oldest, largest, deepest, longest and richest gold mines in California. In existence for more than 100 years, the mine produced 5.6 million ounces of gold before it closed in 1956. (5.6 million ounces of gold is equivalent to a box seven feet long, seven feet high, and seven feet deep filled with gold.) The park contains many of the mines buildings, the owner's home and restored gardens, as well as the entrance to 367 miles of abandoned and flooded mine shafts. The park consists of forested backcountry and eight miles of trails.

5 months ago

Easy. Nice short loops.

Very nice moderate walk

Beautiful loop. You can see the mine grounds, but can't enter without a fee - although the museum/visitors center is free. Some steep climbs.

Great ride with some good uphill climbs & some great technical riding from beginner to advanced riders

I took my over 50's ladies group up to hike a couple of the trails. We all made it okay but you I have to take into consideration you most definitely are hiking up and down a mountain. The paths are well used/maintained but there is a steep grade. The trails are used by lots of people so they are busy so not a whole lot of peace and quiet. It's nice that there are state maintained restrooms at the mine. Poison oak is on the sides of the trails so watch the kiddos and pets. We will do this trail again.

The Mansion and the grounds are very cool. Multiple loops for hiking as well.

1 year ago

I go there all of the time. There are a number of different length trails. The woods are quiet yet close to civilization. The mining museum and mansion are well worth seeing.

This is an awesome trail, they have done a lot of improvements, it's quiet and woodsy, feels like you're in the forest yet you're in the middle of town. The convenience to get to makes it a regular place for me to jog, bike, hike and stroll with my city visitors! I have logged as much as 6 miles or you can do as little as 1,your choice. Include union Hill and you can do even more. The hill climbing helps give great workout in short amount of time, or avoid the hills and just enjoy the flatter trails. Dogs love it, horses are enjoyable to pass along the way. If you go in summer, start early.


Started at Union Hill and went to Penn Gate, ends up being right about 3 miles. Easy trail. Quite. Can do with a kid strapped to your back;)

Nice short trails to take the dog when I don't have a lot of time. Some beautiful buildings and landscaping on the grounds. I had previously only hiked the trails but never visited the paid area, definitely worth the trip and so cool that its so dog friendly. You don't see that often in a state park

There are several different trails on the Empire Mine property. You can hike as little or as much as you like. Great for the kids. There are several access points to the trails. A few trails extend north of Hwy 174. There are some beautiful areas through there as well.

I have hiked this trail with my family at least 5 or 6 times. Our son is only 4 and has a wonderful time on this trail. It is wide and an easy hike. There is also the mansion and grounds that you can tour for a small fee in the same park. There is old mining equipment that children love to look at and climb on.

My wife and I have hiked the Hardrock Trail at the Empire Mine State Park several times. The trail is a 2-mile loop and is easy with little gain/loss in elevation. This trail is the only one in the park for hikers only; no mountain bikes or equistrians are allowed. Dogs are allowed but must be leashed. Along the trail you'll see abandoned mining equipment from the area's silver prospecting days and cross a small creek. Be careful when leaving the trail due to poison oak in the area. There's restrooms at Empire Mine Visitor's Center. Conveniently located off Hwy. 49 near Grass Valley and Nevada City.