Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, Nevada City

#1 of 13 in Things to do in Nevada City
Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park is a state park unit preserving the largest hydraulic mining site in California, United States. The mine pit and several Gold Rush-era buildings were listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Malakoff Diggins-North Bloomfield Historic District. The "canyon" is 7000ft long, as much as 3000ft wide, and nearly 600ft deep in places. Visitors can see huge cliffs carved by mighty streams of water, results of the mining technique of washing away entire mountains of gravel to wash out the gold. The park is a 26mi drive north-east of Nevada City, California, in the Gold Rush country. The 3143acre park was established in 1965.
The Malakoff mine pit on the San Juan Ridge is the impetus for one of the nation's first environmental protection measures. In 1850 there was little gold left in streams. Miners began to discover gold in old riverbeds and on mountainsides high above the streams. In 1851 three miners headed northeast of what is now Nevada City for a less crowded area to prospect. One miner went back to town with a pocket full of gold nuggets for supplies and was followed back by many prospectors. These followers, however, did not find any gold and declared the area "Humbug", thus the stream was so named "Humbug Creek". Around 1852, settlers began to arrive in the area and the town of "Humbug" sprang up. These miners could not decide how to move the dirt to a place where there was water.
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Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
89 reviews
  • This park checks all the boxes—beautiful hiking, spectacular and clean campground, friendly and knowledgeable rangers, a ghost town, and an educational glimpse into a significant piece of California’s...  more »
  • We were very impressed with the small town tour of North Bloomfield, and Malakoff Diggins St. Historic Park. The walls of the canyon were grand and larger than we expected. A very valuable piece of hi...  more »
  • We just went up for the day but I loved the camp ground. I've been looking for a group camp site and I think I found it. The little ghost town is adorable and the diggins themselves a warning of what human greed can do to the earth and a testament to what the earth can do when left alone.
  • Had an enjoyable stay. Lots of historical facts. Great camp ground. Costs reasonable. Dog friendly.

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