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Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals, Hillsboro
(4.9/5 based on 120+ reviews on the web)
The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals is a non-profit museum in Hillsboro, Oregon, United States. Located just north of the Sunset Highway on the northern edge of Hillsboro, the earth science museum is in the Portland metropolitan area. Opened in 1997, the museum’s collections date to the 1930s with the museum housed in a home built to display the rock and mineral collections of the museum founders. The ranch style home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the first of its kind listed in Oregon.The museum sits on 23 wooded acres (9.3 ha), with the main building containing of space. Collections include petrified wood, various fossils, fluorescent minerals, meteorites, zeolites, and a variety of other minerals. With more than 20,000 specimens, the museum is the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. The facility has around 25,000 visitors each year, many of whom are on school tours.HistoryRichard L. Rice married Helen Hart in 1932 and the couple began rock collecting in 1938 after finding agates along the Oregon Coast. In 1952 the Rices built a new home north of Hillsboro on 30 acres (12.1 ha) that would later house the museum. The Rices founded a museum in 1953 to display their collections. Their collections won them the Woodruff Trophy three years in a row at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, which led to that trophy's retirement. Helen served as president of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies from 1959 to 1960.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I don't know much about rocks but visited this place with a geology major and museum buff, who was absolutely fascinated, and I not only learned a lot but want to return. It's an amazing collection an...  more »
  • My boyfriend is a geology nerd, so when this place popped up it was impossible to pass up. First, the staff is very friendly and always make you feel welcome. Second, the variety and sheer number of s...  more »
  • Absolutely fantastic collection of rocks, minerals, petrified wood, fossils and more from all around the world. 
Google
  • Guys, in case you don't know, rocks and minerals are cool. So glad I went there. There's totally enough cool and awesome stuff for people that aren't rock nerds to enjoy the trip too, including a black light rock room. Beautiful scenery that the museum is on. Definitely worth the $10. The gift shop is great too with lots of little things under $10 to buy as souvenirs.
  • Rocks and minerals from all over the world. Very interesting and educational. Unique house with lots of history. Fun place to visit and take a field trip too. If you are a local, the library offers discounted passes.
  • So many amazing displays! My favorite is the different colors under different lighting display, incredible colors! Hands on stuff for the kids. Incredible hand built for this purpose house and grounds. Would live there if I could. :)
  • This place is amazing. They have such a great collection of gems and minerals. Their displays are beautiful and educational.
  • The best museum of rocks, minerals, fossils, semi-precious and precious gemstones in Oregon. My ten year old could not be torn away without first plundering the $1/lb rock-pile out. A well laid out display of beautiful specimens that fuels the curious mind.