Marshall Gold Discovery SHP
State Historic Park
NEW Junior Ranger Program
Stop in at our Visitor Center and pick up your copy of our Jr. Ranger Activity Book, then explore the state park where gold was discovered on the South Fork of the American River. Learn about the Gold Rush that changed our state, our nation, and the world! Once you've completed the program, you can earn your Jr. Ranger Patch. (Program booklet is free - patch is $2)
The World Rushed In
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 .
Throughout the year the park provides daily interpretive programs at the sawmill replica. Participate in special events, exhibits and "Living History Days" planned regularly throughout the year; contact the Gold Discovery Museum and Visitor Center for details. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is proud to now offer the Eureka Experience school and group programs, and gold panning lessons for park visitors.
Summer and spring are warm; fall and winter can be cool. Layered clothing is advised.
Group Reservations 2013-2014
Check school and group information page for change in reservation dates and procedures.
School and Group Information
The park is located in Coloma on Highway 49 between Placerville and Auburn.
- Hours of Operation:
- Park Office Telephone:
Gold Discovery Museum and Visitor Center
Gold Rush Mercantile
Day Use Areas
Labor Day to Begining of Memorial Day Weekend
8 am - 5 pm
Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day
8 am - 7 pm
Open Monday - Sunday
November - March
10:00 am till 3:00 pm
March - November
10:00 am till 4:00 pm
Park closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day
North Beach and Monument Picnic Area Closed November 1- March 1
310 Back Street
Coloma, CA 95613
PO Box 265
Coloma, CA 95613