Discover the adventurous spirit of the Old West and experience the historical vestiges of gold and silver mines that you can visit during your RV travels. These sites offer a unique insight into the mining history, the lives of the miners, and the challenges they faced.
Gold and silver mines to visit in the U.S.
Reed Gold Mine, North Carolina
Reed Gold Mine is the site of the first documented gold found in the United States. Located in Midland, North Carolina, visitors can tour the underground tunnels, explore the museum, and even try their hand at gold panning. This historic site offers RV parking and is an excellent stop on your mining history tour. Learn more.
Vulture City, Arizona
Located near Wickenburg, Arizona, Vulture City is a well-preserved ghost town and former gold mining settlement. Visitors can explore the old buildings, take a guided tour of the Vulture Mine, and experience the authentic atmosphere of a 19th century mining town. Be sure to reserve a spot for your RV in one of the nearby campgrounds. Learn more.
Virginia City, Nevada
Virginia City, a National Historic Landmark, boasts the famous Comstock Lode, one of U.S. history’s most significant silver discoveries. Visitors can take a guided tour of the Chollar Mine, explore the historic town, and learn about the area’s rich mining history at the various museums. RV parks are available nearby for a comfortable stay. Learn more.
Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, Colorado
Located in Cripple Creek, Colorado, the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine offers a unique opportunity to descend 1,000 feet underground for a guided tour. Visitors will learn about the history of gold mining in the region and witness the original mining equipment in action. There are several RV parks in the area to accommodate your stay. Learn more.
Crystal Gold Mine, Idaho
The Crystal Gold Mine in Kellogg, Idaho, is a fascinating underground mine that lay abandoned for nearly a century before being rediscovered. Visitors can tour the mine’s well-preserved tunnels and marvel at the exposed gold-bearing quartz veins. Full hookup RV sites and other camping options are available at the mine and throughout the surrounding area. Learn more.
Silver Valley, Idaho
Located in the Coeur d’Alene Mining District is a historically significant mining region known for its rich silver, lead, and zinc deposits. One notable mine you can tour in this area is the Sierra Silver Mine.
The Sierra Silver Mine in Wallace offers guided underground mine tours. The tour provides an insight into the area’s mining history, the hard-rock mining process, and the challenges miners face.
Visiting the Silver Valley and touring the Sierra Silver Mine can be a fascinating and educational experience for those interested in the history of mining in the United States. Many RV parks and U.S. Forest Service campgrounds are nearby, making it a convenient destination for RV travelers. Learn more.
Homestake Gold Mine, South Dakota
Homestake Gold Mine, in Lead, South Dakota, was once North America’s largest and deepest gold mine. Today, visitors can explore the surface facilities and learn about the mine’s history at the Black Hills Mining Museum. Many RV parks and campgrounds are available nearby for a comfortable stay.
Argo Mill and Tunnel, Colorado
The Argo Mill and Tunnel in Idaho Springs, Colorado, allows visitors to learn about gold mining through guided tours of the mine and mill. Experience the thrill of walking through the mine’s historical tunnels and discover the challenges faced by miners in the early 1900s. RV campgrounds are available nearby. Learn more.
Kennecott Copper Mine, Utah
Though not a gold mine, the Kennecott Copper Mine in Utah is a must-visit site. The workings are one of the largest open-pit mines in the world. Visitors can take a guided tour of the mine and enjoy the awesome views of this engineering marvel. There are several RV parks in the area for your convenience. Learn more.
Mariposa Museum and History Center, California
Located in Mariposa, California, the Mariposa Museum and History Center showcases the region’s gold mining history. Enjoy exhibits on gold mining, Native Americans, and mining artifacts.
Remember, when visiting old mining operations, avoid abandoned ones and those unsafe for touring. There are thousands of old mines across the country, and many of them are extremely dangerous. Collapsing timbers, unseen shafts, deep flooding, unexploded charges, and bad air are but a few of the hazards.
We have been to both the Cripple Creek and Lead towns and mines. Just getting to Cripple Creek on the back road was the highlight that scared the wife. Good trips. Good memories.
Been to vulture mine twice. Was actually a small city ( really small) but very interesting.
Bisbee is a copper mine, both open pit and underground. Arizona is full of mines. I believe Tombstone has a silver mine to explore. A massive copper mine in Clinton, where I’m told the residual gold pays the bills and copper is the profit. Globe Az open pit copper mine . And my next adventure,Castle Dome peak north of Yuma. An abandoned gold mine thats available for tours.
The Argo in Idaho Springs was never a working mine. It was a drainage/haulage tunnel for the gold mines of the much higher-elevation Central City District. It is much cheaper to haul ore horizontally than to lift it vertically up a deep shaft. So, a mill was built at the Argo Tunnel portal to process Central City, not Idaho Springs District, ore.
I recommend the Queen Mine in Bisbee, AZ
I 2nd this. The whole town is very interesting to vist. Plan a day or 2.
A number of the above mines mentioned I worked in by doing testing in the underground mines for the safety of the miners and moving the. product. I always found the underground mines fascinating, no matter how many times I went into them which was normally twice each year and often more than that. It is a world of wonder and mystery underground. My favorite were the mines in the Silver Valley of Idaho and the Homestake Mine in lead SD. At the time it was operating it was the oldest mine operating in the USA. It was also one of the deepest mines, at close to one mile deep.
I urge you to take these tours. The Wallace Idaho mines are also a very interesting time. If it is still there visit the Brothel museum in Wallace. it was originally owned by one of the fellows I worked with at the hecla mines.