Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park
Ages: 0 and up
Features: Port-a-potty, Picnic Area
The Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is open year round for day use and May through November for overnight camping.
For those looking to learn more about traditional Mi-wok and other Sierra Nevada Native American groups, the onsite Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum is open Friday through Monday, 11am - 3pm. Exhibits include tools used and crafts made by the natives. A ceremonial roundhouse reconstructed in the middle of the small valley and a one-mile hiking trail can be explored before or after visiting the museum. Perhaps the most visually amazing feature of this park is its namesake: a large expanse of marbleized limestone with nearly 1,200 mortar holes made hundred of years ago by Native Americans grinding acorns into a flour-like substance.
On the second Saturday of every month, Native American Jack Flores will demonstrate skills such as basket weaving and flint knapping. Call the museum for more information.
Located 12 miles east of Jackson, the park experiences warm, dry summers, making for warm camping. There are 22 campsites for family camping in either RVs or tents. For more information on camping, visit the park's camping page.
Pair this outing with a trip to the nearby Black Chasm Cavern for a great daytrip.
Reviewed on 01/18/2012
To be outdoors, walking along the same paths that another person used, hundreds of years ago, is a thing to relish. How big the world is — and how miniscule we are — is amplified in the small valley where Indian Grinding Rock lies.
Now certainly this is an adult's perspective, and most children will not stop to share such an idea; however, the physicality of the huge limestone grinding rock, with its 1,185 mortar holes which...more