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Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park
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Quick Facts
Handicapped Accessible: Yes Accessible camping, picnicking, exhibits and video.
Reservation Status: Accepted Reservations accepted for the bark houses only and are made by contacting the park directly.

General Information

An old indian village in Indian Grinding Rock SHP
Copyright: - California State Parks
An old indian village in Indian Grinding Rock SHP
Description - Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills eight miles east of Jackson. The park nestles in a little valley 2,400 feet above sea level with open meadows and large valley oaks that once provided the native Americans of this area with an ample supply of acorns. The 135-acre park was created in 1968 and preserves a great outcropping of marbleized limestone with some 1,185 mortar holes -- the largest collection of bedrock mortars in North America.

Attractions - Trails make it easy to explore the meadows and surrounding forest. The Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum features a variety of exhibits and an outstanding collection of Sierra Nevada Indian artifacts. A Miwok village complete with roundhouse has been reconstructed in the middle of the valley. The Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum has been designed to reflect the architecture of the traditional roundhouse. Exhibited in this two-story museum are outstanding examples of the technology and crafts of the Miwok and other Sierra Nevada native American groups. As a regional Indian museum, the collection at Chaw'se includes Northern, Central and Southern Miwok, Maidu, Konkow, Monache, Nisenan, Tubatulabal, Washo, and Foothill Yokuts. Examples of basketry, feather regalia, jewelry, arrow points, and other tools are on display.
Museum Hours: (11 am to 3 pm Monday - Friday) (10 am to 4 pm Saturday - Sunday)

Recreation - A picnic area with a shade ramada near the grinding rock can accommodate large groups (up to 150 persons). Reservations for the area are not accepted. There is also a small picnic area next to the museum. Please do not use the campsites for picnicking.

Camping Information - 23 developed sites with pay showers - 1 group site - 45 environmental sites. Please contact the park directly for detailed camping availability.

Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The park is open for camping all year, but is subject to closure during times of heavy snowfall. The park has 23 campsites with paved parking (trailers/motor homes to 27-feet); tables, food lockers, fire rings, piped water and restrooms with flush toilets and showers. Wood gathering is not allowed but firewood may be brought in or purchased at the park.

Camping in the U'macha'tam'ma' sites (bark houses to the north) is a unique experience. Here you can "get away from it all" and get back in touch with the natural world while simultaneously learning something about Miwok life.

Seven bark houses, each one suitable for up to six people, have been constructed in a secluded area of the park. They can be reserved for a group of up to 44 people. The camping is primitive; therefore you must haul water, supplies and equipment 200 yards or more from the parking area, but your time here will be unforgettable. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance by mail. Reservations cannot be made by phone. Contact for park for application forms and further information.

Climate - A generally warm, dry climate prevails in the Central Valley, it is hot in the summer, mild in the winter. In the Central Valley precipitation falls mainly from October through April. Winter temperatures well below freezing producing frost, however, snow is very rare. Summer temperatures above 100 degrees are part of the normal pattern. The Sierra foothills experience warm, dry summers and cool, moist winters. Many summer days exceed ninety degrees. Snow falls occasionally during the winter in the Chaw'se area, but most precipitation takes the form of rain.

Location - The park is northeast Stockton, about one mile up Pine-Grove-Volcano Road, which turns off from Highway 88 between Jackson and Pine Grove.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This is a great place to go if you have small children. It has mildly hilly terrain, so they can keep up with you on hikes. The rocks are really cool and kids like them. It's about 10 minutes from Jackson, so if you forget anything, the store is nearby.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Camping Camping available in traditional campground or overnight stays available in unique Miwok bark houses.
ICON History
ICON Historic Sites (major)
ICON Viewing Historic Sites

More Information

Contact Information:
Calaveras District Headquarter, P.O. Box 151, 22708 Broadway Street , Columbia, CA, 95310, Phone: 209-532-0150, Fax: 209-532-5064
, calavera@goldrush.com

Additional Information:
California's Historic Sites - This section includes the major historic sites within California. California's rich history is showcased in its many historic sites and monuments.
Central Valley State Parks and Recreation Areas - The Central Valley Region, located in the middle of California, stretches from south of Bakersfield, north to almost Chico. It features rivers, lakes and reservoirs for water recreation and camping opportunities, as well as historic sites and the Tule Elk State Reserve.
Route 88--Carson Pass Highway - This byway winds through the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada south of Lake Tahoe, crossing the summit at Carson Pass to the eastern slope.

California State Parks - Official agency website.


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