California State Parks, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) and Friends of Sutter’s Fort are proud to present an interactive and fun “Hands on History: Frontier Survival Skills” event on Saturday, March 17, 2018. While the Fort is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day, hands-on activities are available for guests until 4 p.m. With interpretive themes that change monthly, the popular and interactive “Hands on History” events typically happen on the third Saturday all year long.

For this special hands-on event, Fort visitors will have the opportunity to step back in time to the 1840s to learn necessary skills to survive on the frontier. As background, many of the 19th century adventurers who came west were farmers, clerks, smiths or bookkeepers and not prepared for life on the frontier. When they made the decision to leave behind their old lives and head into the largely unknown western lands of North America, they had to acquire new knowledge, new skills, and adapt their life to survival in the wilderness. Pioneers had to learn how to use and maintain weapons and firearms, how to hunt and gather food, cook without a stove or fireplace, care for wounds and sicknesses, find fuel, and light fires without the aid of matches. For many, this new life was a challenging transformation, while others discovered new talents.

As event highlights, Fort guests will view demonstrations of how fire is started with flint and steel (and see if they can create a spark!), explore what plants could be used for food or medicine, and how to treat wounds when no physicians were available. Guests will also learn how foods can be prepared and preserved, unexpected places to find fuel, and see many different types of guns and how they were used for survival. And, of course, popular demonstrations of black powder weaponry in action will take place including the crowd-favorite firing of Sutter’s cannon.

Admission to Sutter’s Fort SHP costs during “Hands on History” days is $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and is free for children 5 and under (regular admission pricing is $5 per adult, $3 for youth). For more information, call 916-445-4422 or visit

Subscribe to California State Parks News via e-mail at or via RSS feed.

California State Parks Mission
To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.

Friends of Sutter’s Fort
The Friends of Sutter’s Fort is a nonprofit 501 c 3 organization dedicated to the enhancement, preservation and protection of Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, and educational and interpretive programs at the park. Friends of Sutter’s Fort is a Cooperating Association for California State Parks since 2006. Friends of Sutter’s Fort is the major funder of both restoration work and programs at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. Through the generosity of our donors, in the past 3 years alone, we have funded several major projects including the painting of the exterior walls, the restoration of the blacksmith shop and the painting of the interior walls (currently underway). In addition, we are proud to provide funding to support the educational programs at the park. For more information, please visit

Social Media Tags: #SuttersFort, @SuttersFort

Sutter''s Fort SHP

Event Dates