There is such a fascinating geologic history and rich mining history within the state of Idaho, so it's just as well that there is a museum dedicate to JUST that - the aptly named Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology!
Exploring the local geology of Idaho, you can soon see that there is something unique about each part of the region. The Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology has a HUGE collection of rocks, minerals and gems from each of these regions - from the mining districts of the north, to the rocky batholith of the central mountains, and the volcanic activity in the south.
Have you ever seen rocks glow in the dark? The Fluorescence Minerals galley teaches kids all about fluorescence, where they can see a regular rock, then turn the light off and - whoa!
Did you know that not all the rocks on Earth are FROM Earth? The Meteorites galley displays rocks that have fallen from outer space, and even talks about the meteor blamed for the extinction of dinosaurs!
The museum also features a seismic station that can track earthquakes from all around the world, and of course not only features exhibits that looks at the mining history but the miners too! Hear the stories of the men and women who worked hard in the mines for over 100 years.
This free admission museum is next to the Old Idaho Penitentiary (also worth a visit!) and uncovers some pretty amazing things about the state of Idaho.
And you just thought Idaho was famous for potatoes!
Experience the Rock Identification with a Geologist: Wednesdays to Fridays from 12-4pm.
Grab something to eat in the area before or after your visit, there are plenty of places in the area!
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Located next to the Old Penitentiary in Idaho’s Historical District
SCHOOL TOURS cost $2.00 per child. Visit includes a tour of the museum and a hillside hike which explores the regional geology & history of the area. Their all-day field trips offer a unique opportunity to explore geologic and mining history with local experts.
The gift shop has some great items for sale, including rough minerals, arrowheads, books, maps, jewelry, kids goodies like magnets and dino balls, and geology supplies!
Give them a call to check on the accessibility of the exhibits, they will be happy to answer any questions!
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12pm - 5pm Wednesday to Sunday
Open year round
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Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology