Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Coloma

(190+ reviews on the web)
State Park History Museum
James W. Marshall discovered gold in 1848 on the South Fork of the American River in the valley the Nisenan Indians knew as Cullumah. This event led to the greatest mass movement of people in the Western Hemisphere and was the spark that ignited the spectacular growth of the West during the ensuing decades. The gold discovery site, located in the still visible tailrace of Sutter's sawmill, in present day Coloma California, is one of the most significant historic sites in the nation.

James W. Marshall found shining flecks of gold in the tailrace of the sawmill he was building for himself and John Sutter. This discovery in 1848 changed the course of California's and the nation's history. See a replica of the original sawmill and over 20 historic buildings including mining, house, school, and store exhibits.

Visitors have the opportunity to try panning for gold in the American River and enjoy hikes and picnics under the riparian oak woodlands. Overlooking the beautiful river canyon, where the gold discoverer rests today, see California's first historic monument, the statue of James Marshall pointing at his gold discovery site .
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Little signs everywhere explaining the history of Sutters Mill made it easy to grasp the history of how the gold rush began. Obtain a parking ticket from the information centre ( $8 ) and you can park...  more »
  • This is perhaps the most important place in California history and the State Park is very informative and interesting. You have to walk through the many sites--but the American river is beautiful this...  more »
  • This is where the gold rush started and you get a good overview of the history in the main building. Some of the displays are a bit dated and simplistic. There are several walks in the park and you co...  more »
Google
  • This state park is beautifully maintained and perfect for a day trip to get away from the city. There's lots of historical buildings to explore, a working blacksmith shop, a small museum, and a nature center. If you get hungry there is a small farm to fork cafe on the main road. There are also at least four bathrooms at various places in the park, and they're fairly clean.
  • Great place to hike around or have a picnic. We did a 3 Mike moderate trail and there are picnic tables hidden throughout the hike. Pay attention to the hike ratings and the weather it's going to be very hot soon
  • Very interesting and fun area to explore. The whole town was fun to trip around in. Many different things to check out and explore.
  • What a cool place. They have done a great job of giving you the information related to this interesting place and than sending you on your way. Their gift shop is also pretty nice trying to balance standard tourist stuff with some actual items related to the area and culture for a reasonable price. Also the rebuilt logging setup is pretty amazing. Didn't get there early enough to pan for gold but you can even do that. Great place for the family to learn about an event that shaped America.
  • Beautiful and well maintained. Walking our dog by the river was relaxing. I especially enjoyed the gold panning classes! This is a great place for picnicking!