Skip to Main Content
Contact Us Search
Organization Title

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

Contact Information

(530) 622-3470

Park Hours

Day Use Areas
8am - 6pm

Museum Hours
10am - 5pm

Driving Directions to Marshall Gold Discovery SHP

The park is located in Coloma on Highway 49 between Placerville and Auburn.

View on Map

Camping and Lodging

Online reservations are not available for this park.

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 . 

Come participate in tours or special events, see 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.


Next Living History Day is Second Saturday

Join us on the second Saturday of the month for living history activities and events. Enjoy the park filled with docents dressed in period clothing who discuss the 1850s and give demonstrations. You and the kids can participate in rope making, candle dipping, dutch oven cooking, sawmill wood working and games from the past. Come step back in the time!

Aside from special events, Living History Days are the second Saturday of each month from 10:00am-3:00pm. They may be cancelled in case of extreme weather - please call the museum at (530) 622-3470 to check ahead of time.

Gold Discovery Tours

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is pleased to offer visitors guided walking tours!

Our Gold Discovery Tour tells the story and visits the sites of the Coloma Valley before James Marshall's gold discovery. Hear about the events leading up to his incidental discovery, and the history of the California Gold Rush and town of Coloma.
Tours are offered twice a day or more, weather permitting. Tour cost is $3.00 per adult and $2.00 per child. We do not give tours on our event days including Second Saturday Living History Days, Coloma Gold Rush Live, Historic Holiday Houses, and Springtime in Coloma. Please come enjoy those events!

Any questions? Please call our museum at (530) 622-3470.

Coloma Gold Rush Live - Sept 15-18, 2016

Come learn what life was like in an 1850's tent town! We are changing the date 2016 to coincide with
the World Gold Panning Championships in Placerville, CA (Sept 11-18). Accordingly, Coloma's next Gold Rush Live will be September 15-18, 2016. Bring your friends and family to the park and plan to enjoy the day in Coloma, 10am - 4pm all four days! 

In our beautiful natural environment by the river, the whole family can enjoy old fashioned kids games and activities, gold panning, cannon firings, carriage rides, plays and reenactments, a most entertaining medicine show, and 1850's music. Visit our vendor area to purchase local and handmade items. Our cooperating association, the Gold Discovery Park Association, hosts a fundraising BBQ so enjoy lunch here at the park!

Parking is $8.00 per car, event is free. Please no dogs at this event except service animals. For more information please contact our museum at (530) 622-3470.


Group Reservations 2016

Check school and group information page for change in reservation dates and procedures.
School and Group Information

Sutters Mill

Sutter's Mill

Seasons/Climate/Recommended Clothing

Summer and spring are warm; fall and winter can be cool. Layered clothing is advised.

For current river flow, please click on the link to be redirected.


The park is located in Coloma on Highway 49 between Placerville and Auburn.

Available Activities and Facilities at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

Hiking Trails
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Beach Area
Family Programs
Food Service
Drinking Water Available