Geology Museum

The Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, home to one of the state’s two Goodwill moon rocks collected during the Apollo 17 mission, was started in 1874 and displays mineral, fossil, gemstone, meteorite and historic mining artifact exhibits on two floors.

The museum serves as the state repository for Colorado’s mineral heritage and promotes its importance and understanding to the university community and the public. It aims to inspire scientific curiosity through education and research while encouraging appreciation of the earth and responsibility for its mineral, fossil, meteorite and historic mining treasures.

Discover Mines’ Hidden Gem

The Mines Geology Museum contains extensive displays of minerals, mining artifacts, meteorites, fossils and gemstones as well as a walk-through mine. Founded in 1874, our displays now include over 2500 catalogued specimens and occupy two floors in the modern General Research Laboratory building at Mines.

Highlights include an introductory video about area geology and displays about critical materials and ultraviolet minerals. Apollo 15 and 17 moon rocks as well as the Miss Colorado Crown can also be viewed. Murals originally exhibited at the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939 by artist Irwin Hoffman depict the history of mining and can be seen in the main gallery. Rotating exhibits are also on display because we strive to change 20 percent of our displays annually. An outdoor geologic trail features outcrops containing fossilized dinosaur tracks, logs and leaves.

We are the second most visited university geology museum in the country and the first to receive a moon rock on loan from the Johnson Space Center in Houston. In 2016 we had over 27,000 visitors from all 50 states and 53 foreign countries. We were recently selected by as the #3 ranked tourist attraction in Golden, in terms of visitor satisfaction (out of 58 Golden attractions), and have received their Certificate of Excellence several years in a row.

Guided tours available: The Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum now charges for guided tours. Guests are requested to make reservations by phone one week in advance. Please call 303-273-3815 for exact rates, details and for any inquiries.

Geology Museum

Visit us

Admission: Free

Winter Holiday Hours:
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Sunday 1 – 4 p.m.

Identification of specimens is performed when available. During Winter Holiday Hours, please call to schedule an appointment.

Gift Shop: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–3:45 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Sunday 1–3:45 p.m.

Location: Colorado School of Mines, General Research Lab (GRL) building, 1310 Maple St., Golden, CO 80401

The Geology Museum is closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The Geology Museum may be closed during the university’s winter break. Please call 303-273-3815 to confirm that we are open on other days.

Mines Geology Museum Gift Shop

Located on the lower level of the building, the gift shop features surplus mineral specimens, lapidary materials and equipment, fossils, books, fluorescent minerals, starter kits and related materials. Specimens range from “starter” pieces for less than $1, to fine specimens for the advanced collector.

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Contact us


Curator’s Office
Renata Lafler, Executive Director

Collections Office
Ed Raines