Vanderhoof's Moon Rock

Field review by the editors.

Golden, Colorado

The Apollo 17 crew returned to Earth with so many moon rocks that in 1974 President Nixon ordered NASA to give each state two apiece for public display. Colorado kept one in its state capitol, but the other, valued at $5 million, vanished. It wasn't until 2010 that a college student tracked down the rock, finding it in the possession of John Vanderhoof, who was briefly Colorado's governor in 1974. A face-saving story was concocted that Vanderhoof had held onto the rock for "safekeeping," and that he now wanted it to be put on display in the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum -- where it was unveiled with much fanfare on August 25, 2010.

Vanderhoof, deprived of the powers of his moon rock, died in 2013.

Vanderhoof's Moon Rock

Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum

1310 Maple St., Golden, CO
On the campus of the Colorado School of Mines, on the west side of Maple St., just south of its intersection with 13th St.
M-Sa 9-4, Su 1-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Leap Year Landmark BuildingsLeap Year Landmark Buildings, Golden, CO - < 1 mi.
Triceratops TrailTriceratops Trail, Golden, CO - < 1 mi.
Coors Plant ToursCoors Plant Tours, Golden, CO - < 1 mi.
In the region:
The Old Prospector: 12 Feet Tall, Denver, CO - 12 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Colorado

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Colorado.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

July 8, 2020

My Sights

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Colorado Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Spud Drive-In Giant Potato, Driggs, Idaho (Jul 6-12, 2020)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now! Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now


Favorite Quirky City Sights