Along California’s historic Highway 49, in Coloma between Placerville and Auburn, tucked neatly into a beautifully forested valley in the Sierra foothills, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park straddles the South Fork of the American River. James W. Marshall discovered gold in 1848 on the South Fork of the American River in the valley the Nisenan Indians knew as Cullumah. This event led to the greatest mass movement of people in the Western Hemisphere and was the spark that ignited the spectacular growth of the West during the ensuing decades. The gold discovery site, located in the still visible tailrace of Sutter's sawmill, in present day Coloma California, is one of the most significant historic sites in the nation. The purpose of Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is to secure for the people and to make available for their observation, inspiration, and enjoyment, the gold discovery site and its environs as an accurate portrayal of the story that unfolded at the time of the discovery and Gold Rush. The park's interpretive program primarily embraces the period from 1847 through 1852, but also shows the town of Coloma as it developed. Visitors have the opportunity to try panning for gold in the American River and enjoy hikes and picnics under the riparian oak woodlands. Overlooking the beautiful river canyon, where the gold discoverer rests today, see California's first historic monument, the statue of James Marshall pointing at his gold discovery site. Throughout the year the park provides daily interpretive programs at the sawmill replica. Participate in special events, exhibits and "Live History Days" planned regularly throughout the year; contact the Gold Discovery Museum and Visitor Center for details. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.
I did this hike last spring. An easy day hike. Best to go in Spring and Autumn or even a nice winter day. If you go in the summer it's dry and hot, however I remember a lot of the trail was shaded.
It was a beautiful and easy trail. Thank you.
This was done almost 10 years ago with my wife on a very hot , dry summer afternoon. She live nearby in Rescue for a short time. Good hike with some views that we found more on accident than looking to do a trail that day. Sightseeing and stumbled upon it..
dennis t. on Monroe Ridge Trail and the Monument Trail
Adrienne P. on Monroe Ridge Trail and the Monument Trail
This is one of our family favs. Love stopping at the local cafe/deli. This trail is particularly special because of the history. Very enjoyable.
My kids & I (10 & 8yrs old) drove up to Coloma. It was not very busy. The trail was moderately difficult for me. Only seen one other couple on the trail. We had a great time together!! I did not realize it was a loop trail we went to monument and then back down the way we came. Said 1.5 miles on Fitbit but was 611 calories burned!! We also gold panned!! Good day!
It was okay. There was tons of poison oak, we had to pay $8 for parking, and dogs are required to be on leash. The bathrooms are pristine and the park Rangers are nice and helpful. There are probably better trails in the same area.
It was ok. We started late and ended up going down the way we came after we realized following the trail would take us way farther away from our car and it was not really a loop unless you count going along the road as a loop. We did see fresh scat on the trail. Possibly mountain lion.
Monroe Ridge Trail to Monument. Seems to make the Coloma Loop. Gary Pinkley gives good advise on Trail.
Finding it was not fun. Look for the set of white buildings. Trail is to the right of the building.
Pretty nice in the winter. Wont go int the summer! to hot!
The Coloma Loop Trail is comprised of the Monroe Ridge trail and Monument trail.
Total combined is 3.7miles Pretty easy haul.
If you are coming from Placerville the GPS told me to go up hwy 49 then take a left on Church Street then a right on Hwy 153. If you are looking for the trail it is a hug waste of time and will take you to the actual monument that you'll hike up to. Hwy 49 takes a hair pin turn to the right. Church street goes left, stay on 49 to the right. Go into town and you will see two very large parking area on your right. Doesn't really matter which one you park at. The trail head is across the street. There is an area with several white buildings farm house looking structures and there must be 8 of them. Facing the buildings, the trail head is on the right side. Look for the big rock with metal plate. Its up in the field maybe 150yards Not on the road side.