4 Most Popular Outdoor Activities in Coloma, California

Posted by Miley Munroe on April 12th, 2019

High up in the Sierra Nevada lies Coloma, a little place once synonymous with the gold rush but now only a distant reminder of its glorious past. It is situated between Mormon Island and Sutter’s Mill, along the banks of the South Fork River. It was on this river that the first veins of gold were found by James Marshall, a construction worker for Johann Augustus Sutter, the owner of Sutter’s Mill. That was the beginning of the great California Gold Rush, which caused thousands of people from around California to throng the area in search of what was to be their means of wealth and prosperity. Gold panning in the American River still continues, though more as a tourist-y adventure than as a sustenance activity.

If you ever find yourself in Coloma, which is now considered a ghost town in spite of its population of around 500, here are some adventures that you should to embark on:

  1. Visit Hangtown’s Gold Bug Park and Mine

The Gold Bug Park, which was once a hot bed of gold mining activities, is now on the list of National Register of Historic Places and has been open for public use since 1980. Owned by the City of Placerville, the Gold Bug Park is a major tourist attraction in Coloma. Going to the park will feel like a step back into the history of the 1800s, and you will be able to experience what it was like to be a miner back in those days. You can take a self-guided audio tour or be a part of guided group tour of the Gold Bug Mine, which was originally called the Hattie Mine.

  1. Gold panning in Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

The Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is arguably the most famous destination in Coloma. As the name suggests, this was the place where the Californian history was forever changed. The park features a monument dedicated to James Marshall, a museum, old restored buildings and also costumed volunteers. It also has one of the best places for gold panning in El Dorado County, which is the northeast shore of the river. You can pan for gold using only your hands and pans, and you never know, Lady Luck might just end up being generous with you.

  1. Whitewater Rafting

If you are in the mood for some adrenaline rush, Coloma has something in store for you. In Coloma, you can raft on the river that started the gold rush. The American River flows right through the heart of this place. It is one of the most popular family-friendly whitewater rafting destinations in California. If you are planning to go there during the summers, expect calm waters punctuated only by a few rapids. It is suitable for all levels of rafting.

  1. Wine Tasting

Even at the peak of the gold rush, many people found that grape farming was a more lucrative option, given the soil and weather conditions of the area. Even James Marshall grew grapes! There were more than 3000 acres of grape vines in El Dorado, which made it the largest producer of wine in California in the 1900s. Today, Coloma boasts of a number of vineyards and wineries that are known for their assortment of delicious and affordable wines. You can take a tour of the many family-owned wineries dotting the area and sip on some of the finest wines that the valley has to offer.

Coloma stands testament to times that transformed California as well as the entire country, which is responsible for making it an important but a seemingly unusual tourist destination. The best part? It has something to offer for all kinds of tourists, whether you are a thrill seeker or an American history nerd.

Author’s bio: The author is a blogger. This article is about things to do in Coloma.

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Miley Munroe

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Miley Munroe
Joined: August 9th, 2017
Articles Posted: 64

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