Columbia is a real town, it never actually closes.
Park Exhibits open daily 10:00am - 4:00pm
Most businesses are open from 10:00am to- 5:00pm.
Columbia was once known as the "Gem of the Southern Mines." The town's Gold Rush-era business district was designated as a State Park by Governor Earl Warren in July 1945. Today we can take a step back in time to experience life in 1850s California.
Parking and entrance to Columbia State Historic Park are free. Additional fees may apply for special events in the park.
Fourth Grade in park virtual scavenger hunt. This activity will help students learn about the impacts the gold rush had on the culture, environment and economy of California. They will explore town and learn about Columbia by playing a game that highlight learning through multiple choice questions, historic photos and artifacts.
To play Agents of Discovery:
Download the Agents of Discovery App using the free parks WI-FI or your own data plan. Search for the Columbia State Historic Park mission and download the mission. Start the mission at the Columbia Museum. Once the app is downloaded you can turn off Wi-Fi if you choose.
Good Luck Agents!
Special School programs designed to meet state curriculum standards for 4th graders are offered from September-June. Programs include Town and Schoolhouse Tours, Gold Trek, and Diggins Tent Town Education Days. Programs are popular and fill quickly. To sign up or learn more information, click HERE.
2019/2020 School Tour Reservation Information
Reservations for 2019/2020 School Tours and Programs can be made starting August 1st at 3:30 P.M. on our website at http://friendsofcolumbiashp.com/ for all the details and to book your field trip. Programs will continue to take reservations after this date until full.
Columbia Virtual Curriculum
Free PORTS for Columbia
Parks Online Resource for Teachers and Students
Three downloadable lesson plans focused on 4th grade curriculum culminating with a staff member from Columbia interacting with the class via video conference providing a tour of our gold rush town.
We can also create content for any gradelevel on the Gold Rush, diverse cultures, building a comunity, geology, westward expansion and other science concepts.
This virtual tour gives students and adults a chance to interact with a ranger outside in the park and see the artifacts and buildings of the Gold Rush.
to book your Gold Rush virtual program click the link below.
Free Town Tours:
June 15th - Labor Day: Daily @ 11:00 AM Monday-Friday based on staff and docent availability. Please check with museum upon arrival.
Year-round: Saturday & Sunday @ 11:00 AM
Led by staff and docents. Meet at the museum.
Approximately 1 hour.
For groups over ten people, special tours must be arranged in advance by calling 209-588-9128.
Our Museum is currently open from 10:00-4:00pm. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Gold Rush Days occur the second Saturday of each month from 1 to 4pm. Many special exhibits are open and hands-on activities are led by volunteers in period attire throughout the afternoon. Call 209-588-9128 for details.
Gold Rush Days
2nd Saturday each month from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturdays & Sundays from 11:00am to 12:00pm
March 27th from 11am to 4pm
Diggins Tent Town
May 16th to 19th from 10 am to 4pm
June 22nd and October 26th from 8pm to 12am * purchase tickets online at http://friendsofcolumbiashp.com/
July 20th from 5pm-10pm
July 20th, 27th, August 3rd and 17th from 10 am to 12:30 pm * purchase tickets online at
Back to School 1861
September 21st from 3pm to 7pm
Stories in Stone
September 27th, 28th October 4th and 5th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm * purchase tickets online at http://friendsofcolumbiashp.com/
October 26th from 3pm to 6pm * purchase tickets online at http://friendsofcolumbiashp.com/
December 6th and 7th from 5pm to 10pm * purchase tickets online at http://friendsofcolumbiashp.com/
December 14th, 15th, 21st, and 22ndfrom 12 to 3
Want to host your own event in Columbia? Weddings, birthdays, family reunions, retreats, and more have all been hosted in the park. Click here.
The park was once known as the "Gem of the Southern Mines." Between the 1850s and 1870s over one billion dollars in gold (at today's value) was mined in the area. For a time, Columbia was the second largest city in California.
Unlike many other settlements that disappeared due to fire, vandalism and time, Columbia survived. It was never completely deserted. In 1945 the State Legislature made the site a State Historic Park in order to preserve a typical Gold Rush town, an example of one of the most colorful eras in American history.
Visitors can taste hand-dipped chocolates, a superior cup of coffee, savor fine dining, family fare or purchase picnic provisions. Stagecoach rides are available, season and weather permitting.
There's also the chance to relax at one of two comfortable hotels, listen to music in historic saloons, or take in a performances at the Fallon Theatre.
Visitors can make a candle or purchase Columbia soap, wooden toys, old fashion clothes, or dress-up for a photograph.
Other highlights include taking a walk to the two-story brick school house and cemetery overlooking town, or hiking the one-mile nature trail where mule deer and wild flowers may be seen.