California Gold Rush Trail

CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH TRAIL follows the journey the gold miners took in 1849.

The miners, known as 49ers because of the year, came from every corner of the country to seek their fortune of “giant gold nuggets”.  Although millions of dollars was mined in total, only a percentage of the 49ers actually saw their dream become reality.  The towns have not changed significantly from this period of California history.  In Mariposa, the Gem and Mineral Museum houses the largest collection of precious gems in the state. A replica of a mine shaft is also on display.  In Jamestown, pan for real gold, walk the wooden and cobblestone sidewalks, visit the 1859 Historic National Hotel with its Victorian furnishings. Murphy Town has not changed since the 1800’s.  Residents still ride their horses on Main Street and tie them up at the hitching posts, the Murphy Hotel bar still pours drinks on the same bar top, and the guest register includes the signatures of dignitaries from around the world. Sonora was the wildest town during the Gold Rush, and had its share of gambling houses, bordellos, bars, shootouts in the street, and a variety of stores that provided necessities to the miners at prices to match!  Columbia State Park is California’s tribute to our Gold Rush history.  Here one relives exactly the day to day life of the miners and their families.  Every store is an exact reproduction, shopkeepers are dressed in period attire, mosey on up to the bars and have a cold one to quench any miner’s thirst, dining houses offer mining faire, board a Wells Fargo stagecoach for your next destination but watch out for bandits!  Placerville is the last stop. Here, justice was served at Hangman’s Tree, and a tour of the Gold Bug Park and Mine provides a look into a still working and producing gold mine.

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