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Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

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Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park
14881 Pine Grove-Volcano Road
Pine GroveCA 95665
(209) 296-7488

Ages: 0 and up

Cost: Free

Parking: Yes

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.

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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 were created so long ago, will surely impress even the youngest visitors. "How hard was it to grind acorns into a flour? How long did it take? How many acorns were enough?"
The onsite museum is small, but effectively communicates some aspects of life for Native Americans long ago. The tools used and structures built are covered in depth. Folklore and legends, not so much.
The trail is long for those under 8 years old, but active, high-energy kids will benefit from the walk before going into the museum or back into the car. Pack a lunch or snack — there are plenty of places to sit, and the walk will result in hungry tummies, but there is not much available near the park in the way of food... unless you eat acorns.

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park