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The Baker River Mining Sluice

Learn about geology by getting your hands wet and your arms shaking – mining for gemstones that is! Purchase a bag of “mining rough,” take it to our new sluice and get to work like the miners of the gold rush.

Become a PC Prospector

Sluices were used by 19th-century gold miners across the western frontier as a way to separate gold nuggets and other valuable gemstones from the earth. So how does it work? Well, because gold weighs more than dirt and loose stones, the gold and gemstones – become trapped in the bottom of the sluice box while running water carries the dirt and sediment away, leaving miners with the real treasure!

PC Explorer fact: Many modern-day amateur prospectors across the United States use portable sluices to pan for gold and gemstones. How’s that for a weekend hobby?

Exploration Tip: Don’t fret if you’re traveling with a pack of energetic children, or if you are with some friends who are more mellow. Polar Caves offers a variety of experiences; some more challenging than others. Regardless of your choice – one fact remains – the views are spectacular and the experience one-of-a-kind.

Informational signs will help you and your fellow explorers learn about park features, geology and to identify native plants along the paths. Don’t forget to wear sturdy shoes as the park’s features require some scrambling over rocks and trekking on uneven ground. Flip Flops are a big no-no .