Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Coloma
(4.5/5 based on 180 reviews on the web)
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
  • Historic gem. Nice small museum. Lots of interpretive information, signs and open areas to run with kids. Many old buildings, implements etc. walking through the park was like walking through history....  more »
  • A bit of a windy drive to get here but worth it. Restored site of the first Gold discovery in California. You can see the actual site where Marshall found the gold that started the rush to California....  more »
  • We visited last week Saturday which was "living gold rush day" where folks dressed in period outfits and talked to us about how things were during the gold rush. Kids played with toys of the era, made...  more »
Google
  • Very cool place, there is a lot to do here especially for kids. Check their website for events they have year round. Lots of historic stuff on site, river runs on the east side, nice restroom facilities, BBQ areas, and picnic tables. Deer like to roam the grounds.
  • This was not on our original trip itinerary. We were trying to get a good grouping of Northern California activities and this one just got popped in. My 14 and 10 year old boys forgot all about electronics and caught gold fever. Several days later they are still recounting every part of their visit to this park.
  • One of my favorite places to go. This was the site of the gold discovery in California. A very important part of California history. Just imagine miners coming from all over the world looking for gold and it will blow you away.
  • A nice little historical park, with a small museum. Bring a lunch and picnic by the American River, watching the rafters and kayakers float by. Usually parking is sufficient, except on the busiest days when school groups or such are visiting.
  • It is a nice and mostly quiet Park, at least the day we were there. There is lots to see, including Sutters Mill, circa 1849. Little stores from the original time of the settlement. There are places to swim, hike and plenty of places to picnic.