Underground Gold Miners Museum

Sixteen to One Mine

Useful Information

Location: Alleghany.
I80 exit Auburn, take Hwy 49 north through Grass Valley, Nevada City and North San Juan. Between North San Juan and Camptonville turn right on Ridge Rd. CR-S180. Be careful with route planners and navigators, as maps of the area are bad.
Open: Memorial Day to Labour Day Mon-Fri by appointent, Sat, Sun, Hol 13-17.
Mine tours by reservation only.
Fee: Museum: free.
Mine: Adults USD 95, Children USD 47.50, Groups (10-15): Adults USD 60, Children USD 30.
Groups (16+): Adults USD 40, Children USD 20.
Boy Scout Geology Merit Badge: Per Person UDSD 30.
Miner for a Day: Per Person USD 300.
Executive Tour: Per Person USD 600.
Classification: MineGold Mine
Light: helmets and lamps provided.
Guided tours: D=3 h.
Address: Underground Gold Miners Museum, 356 Main Street, Alleghany, CA 95910-9998, Tel: +1-530-287-3330. E-mail: contact
Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc., PO Box 909, Alleghany, California 95910, Tel: +1-530-287-3223, Fax: +1-530-287-3455. E-mail: contact
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.


1896 Sixteen to One Mine established.
1911 Incorporated in California.


The Sixteen to One Mine is called a pocket mine. What they mean is, the gold is found in highly concentrated deposits or pockets within the quartz vein. The mine has produced 28,350kg of gold during its existence. The quartz vein with its gold content looks very good and is used directly by jewelers.


The Underground Gold Miners Museum (UGMM) is dedicated to the many miners in California which dug their own claim. It is located inside a livery stable which was built around 1900 and later served for more than 50 years as the town's General Store. The exhibits of the museum tell the history of the town of Alleghany, the mining district, the Sixteen to One Mine, and hardrock mining in general. The museum is an educational non-profit corporation and the entrance is free.

The three hour underground tour visits the working Sixteen to One Mine. It starts at the museum, where participants are introduced to the history of the Alleghany Mining District and the Sixteen to One Mine. Then they drive in the cars of the visitors down a dirt road to the mine entrance at Kanaka Creek. Then the mine is entered, in local miner terminology the visitors brass in. The first stop is at the 800 Station which is 365 m deep in the mountain. After another 300 m the Tightner Shaft is reached. On the tour the working conditions, contemporary mining technology, and of course the geology of the mine is explained in situ (on site).

Beneath the regular tours there are some (really) special tours. The Boy Scout Geology Merit Badg is a special tour conducted by the mine geologist. It takes a full day and is a combination of lecture and hands-on teaching. Various points of geological interest along the way are examined. Finally the participants receive the Geology Merit Badge, as the tour covers the curriculum as defined by the Boy Scouts of America. Miner for a Day is a full day with the miners, lunch included. Participants must be over 17 years, the tour is obviously available only on weekdays. This is probably the strangest tour we ever heard of, others get paid for working a day at a mine.... Much cooler is the even more expensive Executive Tour, where participants are guided by the President of Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc., personally.

As this is a working mine, the conditions are not the same as in a show mine. There are no clean paths with hand rails, there is no electric light except for a few special locations. Be aware that it will be cool and humid, and it will be necessary to walk steep terain and uneven and dirty ground. Wear appropriate clothes, long pants, a light jacket (fleece if possible), waterproof shoes, rubber boots or sturdy boots are ok. Bring a flashlight, if you have a headlamp or even better a helmet with lamp. For the standard three hour tour bring a day-pack with water.