underground mine tour



Tour the Sterling Hill Mining Museum

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Video Tour
Overview of the Sterling Hill Mining Museum
Mineral Collecting
Fossil Discovery Center
Rock Discovery Center
Ellis Astronomical Observatory


Periodic Table

Real-life examples of miner life are on display in Zobel Hall, along with this cool Periodic Table display with actual elements.

Even a T-rex skull!

Trex skull on display in the Zobel Exhibit Hall


Top 5 Easy Ways...

To Keep Cool!

To Keep Warm!

1. Visit Sterling Hill Mine and Take a Tour
2. Keep a Spray Bottle in the Fridge
3. Place an Ice Cube on Your Pulse Points
4. Cold Washcloth on Your Neck
5. Soak Your Feet in Cold Water

1. Visit Sterling Hill Mine and Take a Tour
2. Rub your hands together
3. Light the fireplace
4. Get an electric blanket
5. Turn your heat up

So why is it 56° inside the mine all year?

It’s because rocks don’t transmit heat very well.

Zinc with Willemite
Willemite veins in zinc ore.

If you directed a blowtorch at one end of a large rock and held your hand on the other end, it would be a long time before you felt any heat. That means that rocks cannot respond to rapid temperature fluctuations the way our atmosphere does.

Flourescent Minerals, Receive a free fluorescent mineral on your tour of sterling hill minesOutside it generally gets warm in the daytime and cooler at night, but underground, with rock all around you, you wouldn’t notice such temperature fluctuations at all. However, over periods of many decades the temperature of the rock equilibrates with the average temperature of the outdoor air, which in our part of the world is about 56°. That is, if you took a temperature reading every hour of every day for a year, and then calculated the average, for any given year it will come out close to 56° – and that determines the temperature inside the mine.


tourist attraction the Rainbow Room with fluorescent zinc ore at sterling hill mines

What this means, of course, is that it feels comfortable inside the Sterling Hill mine at any time of year. In summer, when it’s 90° or more outside, the mine feels refreshingly cool. In winter, when it’s freezing outside, the mine feels comfortingly warm – even though it's the same temperature as in summer. Not all mines offer this degree of comfort. Mines in high latitudes, in regions with cold climates, can be bone-chillingly cold, while those in tropical areas can be oppressively warm. And in all mines, the deeper you go, the hotter it gets. That has nothing to do with the weather, but with the geothermal gradient of the Earth. Here at Sterling Hill it was noticeably warmer in the deep levels of the mine than in the near-surface levels, but it was nothing like some of the deep gold mines in South Africa, where the temperature of the rock can exceed 130°!

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Krogh's Mine Beer LabelPerfect Temperature to Age Beer

“This mine is about 56 degrees all year round,” said Bill Kroth, president of the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, which offers tours of the former mine.

“We want to show alternate uses of mines once they are depleted.” Read more.


Check out the Underground Mine Tour!

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Call 973-209-7212

After your tour please provide to us your feedback.