What to expect
Visitors will be guided through about 1300 feet of tunnel inside the mine. There are no train rides involved, therefore, it is a walking tour. Along the way, guides will stop at various stations and explain the equipment, history, working conditions, and geology of the mine. Visitors will see the lamp room, the shaft station, mine galleries dating to the 1830's, and much more. The tour is only the first level of the mine, visitors do not go down to any lower levels.
Things to keep in mind:
1. The mine is a damp 56 degrees Fahrenheit year round -- a light jacket is recommended.
2. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
3. The entire tour is well-lit -- no flashlights or headlamps are required.
4. The path in the mine is flat and generally level -- there is no climbing involved.
5. The tour is wheelchair/stroller accessible.
The Rainbow Tunnel
Arguably, the most anticipated exhibit in the mine is the Rainbow Tunnel. This is an area of the mine wall where the intensely fluorescent zinc ore is exposed.
When subjected to shortwave ultraviolet light, the walls fluoresce bright green and red. The red being calcite and the green being willemite, which was one of the main zinc ore minerals mined here.