Indian Grinding Rock State Park

  • Picnic
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Hiking

Features

  • Picnic
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Hiking

Information

Website:
visit link
Address:
14881 Pine Grove-Volcano Road, Pine Grove, CA 95665
Region:
Gold Country
Phone:
Info: 209-296-7488
Hours:
Day use: sunrise to sunset
Museum: weekdays - 11:00am to 3:00pm and weekends - 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Dogs:
On leash
Last Visited:
August 2009
According to Park materials, large numbers of people, both Indians engaging in tribal functions and interested visitors, regularly gather here, but when we stayed in the campground most of the sites were unoccupied, and we were alone in the Indian village that has been reconstructed in the golden meadow surrounding the grinding rocks. It is a sacred place; the Miwok Indians ground acorns and other seeds here for thousands of years, and though now wooden rails prevent visitors from touching any of the 1,185 mortar holes in the two outcroppings of marbleized limestone, it is easy to imagine clusters of women processing baskets of acorns gathered from the giant trees where now only noisy woodpeckers are at work.

You're at 2400 feet here, which means summer days may be hot. The trails have not been planned for accessibility, and many are difficult or unusable, but one paved path leads across the meadow, and paths between facilities are generally hard and smooth. Some routes across the meadow are uncomfortably rough, but may be worth the trouble.

Trails and Pathways

Trail:
South Nature Trail
Trailhead Location:
Near the roundhouse
Trail Length:
Under one mile total
Typical Width:
30 in. to 4 ft.
Typical Grade:
Mostly gentle
Terrain:
Firm
Trail Overview: This is a self guided nature trail, quite comfortable at first, but becoming narrower, with rocks and roots eventually making it impassible well before the 0.5 mile loop can be completed. Still it is worth a visit. The trail guide available to be borrowed at the roundhouse describes the ethnobotany of the area and identifies some of the plants that were used by the Miwok.
More Info: Since our visit, according to state parks website there is now an accessible trail. The North Trail features an accessible segment for 0.6 mile. The accessible segment begins at the main parking area near the amphitheater and ends at a seating area located near the junction of the North Trail and the Loop Trail. The accessible segment includes a trestle bridge crossing over Else Creek, views of the Historic Farmhouse, and a hike through a mixed hardwood forest.

Accessibility Features

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – designated accessible parking, van accessible, hard

Accessible Restroom:
Yes – At the campground adjacent to designated accessible campsite, Partially accessible restrooms are at the visitor center; there's no clearance for a lateral transfer and the stall is not deep enough to fully close the door.

Camping:
Yes

Accessible Picnic Table:
Yes – firm & stable path to tables, firm & stable surface, 27" or greater knee clearance; Several tables are provided, on slightly sloping hard dirt.

Other Things of Interest:
Next to the grinding rocks, the Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum, a 2 story building styled to evoke a traditional roundhouse, features an outstanding exhibit of basketry, feather regalia, jewelry, arrowpoints, and other tools of the Miwok and other Sierra Nevada native Americans, including the Maidu, Konkow, Monache, Nisenan, Tubatulabal, Washo, and Foothill Yokuts.

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