Gold Bug Mine

Gold Bug Park - The Hattie - Priest Mine

Useful Information

Location: 2635 Gold Bug Ln, Placerville, CA 95667.
2 km north of Placerville on US 50.
(38.745053, -120.796945)
Open: Park: all year daily 8:30-17, weather permitting.
Mine: NOV to MAR Sat, Sun 10-16.
APR to OCT daily 10-16.
Fee: Adults USD 12, Children (6-17) USD 6, Children (0-5) free, Seniors (55+) USD 10, Military USD 10.
Classification: MineGold Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided with audioguide
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Gold Bug Park and Mine, 2635 Gold Bug Ln, Placerville, CA 95667, Tel: +1-530-642-5207. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1849 Priest Mine opened.
1888 Gold Bug mine opened under the name "The Hattie", named after Hattie Craddock.
1928 renamed "The Gold Bug".
1939 mine closed.


The local slate and sandstone is crossed by veins of white quartz which bears gold. This is typical, quartz is the host rock for most gold found on earth. The mines followed the most productive quartz veins.


Gold Bug Mine is part of Hangtown's Gold Bug Park & Mine. The other sights are the Hattie Museum, Joshua Hendy Stamp Mill, Hattie's Gift Shop, and of course Hangtown, an 1800's California Gold Rush town. There are three kilometers of hiking trails and picnic areas. There is no fee for the park, only for the mine tour.

Gold Bug Mine is one of the rare mines, which may be visited on self-guided tours. Generally mines are rather dangerous, even show mines have some dangerous place like deep pits. This one has a solid wooden floor, lighting throughout, and an air shaft providing clean cool air. Visitor get an audioguide or download the free app for their smartphone. The mine tour includes the Hendy Stamp Mill.

Above Gold Bug Mine at the top of the hill lies Priest Mine. This mine is much older and less prepared, with a dirt floor. There are only guided tours, which are held only during the week and must be booked in advance. Helmets are provided. The mine shows tool marks made by the miners while digging the tunnels by hand.

This mines are excellent examples of so called hardrock mining. The miners brought their tools in on burro or wagon. The rock was chiseled by hand or blasted, then both quartz and native rock were brought out in wagons. The ore was hauled up a hill to the Joshua Hendy Stamp Mill for crushing. The ore was then put through an amalgam process to separate the rock from the gold.

The Hattie Museum is located upstairs above the Gift Shop. On display are tools and other artifacts from the locale. Most of these items have been donated by persons interested in preserving the history. Interpretive and educational panels are showing the local geology and the process of prospecting for gold. There is also a working blacksmith shop, which was once needed to repair the tools of the miners.