Discover Gold Country

Immerse Yourself in Gold History in the Place Where it all Started

California would not be what it is today if it had not been for the gold discovered in Coloma! Here’s how it started. On a cool January day in 1848, less than a mile from American River Resort, James Marshall found a large gold nugget in the mill race of a sawmill his men were building for John Sutter. This discovery did not stay secret for long and, once word got out, one of the largest human migrations in history began! At the height of the Gold Rush that followed, over 10,000 people lived in Coloma hoping for fortune. Now, at the James Marshall Gold Discovery State Park, you can step back in time and learn why California is the Golden State, and why there exists a Golden Gate. You can also try panning for gold yourself!

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is synonymous with the foothill town of Coloma and its boundaries are almost indistinguishable. “The park is the town and the town is the park… at least that’s how it feels. Driving past the city limits sign, you feel like you have gone back in time.” Camilla Mann

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

The discovery of gold in 1848 changed the course of California’s and the nation’s history. See a replica of the original sawmill and over 20 historic buildings including mining, house, school, and store exhibits.

Official Park Association Website

Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm

The first Japanese colony in North America, established in 1869 by 22 Japanese samurai. Contains historic buildings and the gravesite of Okei Ito, the first Japanese woman buried on American soil. By guided tour only.

Gold Bug Mine

Gold Bug Mine dates back to 1888. Self-guided tours inside the mine. Visit a working blacksmith shop, picnic area, nature trails, gift shop.

Official Gold Bug Mine Website

Historic Wagon Train Annual Event

Take part in a living history event once a year the wagon train heads west from Lake Tahoe to Placerville “Old Hangtown” along Highway 50. Relive the history and experience of this historic voyage.

Official Highway 50 Association Website