Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, Nevada City

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Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park is a state park unit preserving the largest hydraulic mining site in California, United States. The mine pit and several Gold Rush-era buildings were listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Malakoff Diggins-North Bloomfield Historic District. The "canyon" is 7000ft long, as much as 3000ft wide, and nearly 600ft deep in places. Visitors can see huge cliffs carved by mighty streams of water, results of the mining technique of washing away entire mountains of gravel to wash out the gold. The park is a 26mi drive north-east of Nevada City, California, in the Gold Rush country. The 3143acre park was established in 1965.HistoryThe Malakoff mine pit on the San Juan Ridge is the impetus for one of the nation's first environmental protection measures. In 1850 there was little gold left in streams. Miners began to discover gold in old riverbeds and on mountainsides high above the streams. In 1851 three miners headed northeast of what is now Nevada City for a less crowded area to prospect. One miner went back to town with a pocket full of gold nuggets for supplies and was followed back by many prospectors. These followers, however, did not find any gold and declared the area "Humbug", thus the stream was so named "Humbug Creek". Around 1852, settlers began to arrive in the area and the town of "Humbug" sprang up. These miners could not decide how to move the dirt to a place where there was water.
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Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park Reviews
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  • Great road, not too many curves and lovely when Fall color is starting to appear. We went the last week of October. Take your camera or phone as there is so much to take pictures of. The little old to...  more »
  • Well not a mine, exactly, but the remains of a hydraulic diggings from the late 1800's. Hydraulic mining was later outlawed and the action was the country's first environmental law. Here's your chance...  more »
  • First we hiked four days Stuart Fork in the Trinity Alps and saw the 1880's piping, dams and aqueducts built to collect snow melt, and obviously requiring vast amounts of hand and mule labor for const...  more »

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