Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park is 26 miles northeast of Nevada City, California in the scenic foothills of the Sierra Nevada. The park was created in 1965 by concerned citizens to preserve the exciting and controversial story of our country’s largest hydraulic gold mining operation that devastated the area from the mid-1800s. Malakoff Diggins is the site of our country’s first environmental law issued by the federal government against the North Bloomfield Gravel Mining Company (Sawyer Decision) to curtail the release of the mud, gravel, and debris that clogged streams and major rivers from the foothills down to San Francisco Bay.
The dramatic hydraulic mining pit is an enduring testimony to the scale of reckless environmental and social impact that hydraulic mining caused throughout northern California. A 40-minute drive from picturesque Nevada City brings you to the ghost town of North Bloomfield. Here visitors and students can experience a unique window of life in a circa-1880’s gold mining community.
The park comprises approximately 3,200 acres of majestic pines, cedars and oaks between 2,500’ and 4,000’ elevation in the northern Sierra Nevada foothills region. Overnight visitors can choose between a shady, restful campsite in Chute Hill campground or a rustic “Miners Cabin.” The group campsite accommodates up to 60 people.
Approximately 20 miles of scenic trails range from very easy to strenuous and connect with the popular South Yuba River Trail. Overnight and day school programs are offered in the fall and spring. Three popular events offer important recreational opportunities for nearby communities and the region: the Kid’s Fishing Derby in May, Humbug Living History Day in June, and the Ice Cream Social in September.