Looking for something fun and unusual to do in Southern California that you’ve most likely never done before? How about digging for gold in an old SoCal gold mine that dates back to the 1870s? I think that sounds like quite a trip! Let’s take a look at this hidden treasure in Southern California that’s just waiting to be discovered by you.
Panning for Gold in Julian, California
We're heading to the charming town of Julian, located just outside of San Diego, for this awesome adventure. Although, if I were you, I would turn it into an entire weekend as Julian is a memorable place to stay for a getaway.
The Eagle Mining Company
The Eagle Mining Company has been offering gold mine guided tours since 1967. After restoring the Old Hardrock Tunnels to their original condition as a way of preserving the state's gold mining history, this mine was opened to the public for onsite tours. Experience firsthand what it was like to be part of the gold rush back in the 1800s through this adventurous and educational tour and learn all about gold mining while walking through a real life mine.
You'll start the tour right here. This setting is the perfect spot to get you in the mindset of a very different time in history. The rusted and dilapidated cars are an interesting relic from the past.
A guided tour is a must. As the sign points out, no one is allowed inside the mine without a tour guide. At only ten bucks per person, this is a fun and economical event for the whole family.
Even little kids will enjoy the tour so make sure to bring the whole family along. The kiddos may even have more fun than you, especially when they get to pan for gold at the end of the tour.
Your tour will include a 1-hour guided tour that will take you on an exploration of the typical day in the life of a gold miner. Your guide will share unique stories that shaped SoCal's history and provide insight into the struggles faced by the gold miners.
My favorite part of the tour? Walking through the mine itself and exploring deep within the tunnel. Pictures hardly do it justice as it's something you must see in person to believe.
I suggest this outing on a hot Southern California day as the temperature inside the mine is quite refreshing and a lot cooler than outside. If you tend to get chilly I would recommend bringing a jacket to wear inside the mine.
Here's a great shot of the foreman's underground office. Can you imagine working in such a dark and claustrophobic space? I guess a window view was out of the question in this line of work.
Panning for gold just like they did in the olden days. Or should I say golden days?
After all that hard work panning for gold, take some home with you in a keepsake jar. There's also a gift shop onsite if you want to buy any other treasures to remind you of this fun adventure.
What a fun afternoon! It’s nice to try something new for a change and check out a hidden pocket of SoCal. Have you ever panned for gold in Julian? If so, I hope you scored a fortune!
If you’re fascinated by unique tunnels in Southern California, you should take a moment to check out my article about the
Hidden Burro Schmidt Tunnel in the Mojave Desert. It’s one bizarre story that will leave you scratching your head.