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May 26th, 2023

Explore California’s Historic Gold Rush Country

Gold! When the cry first sounded at Sutter’s Mill, the Gold Rush was on, bringing hoards of fortune-seekers to California from around the world. The ’49ers established hundreds of mining towns along the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Many of these historic and colorful places still exist, linked by California Highway 49 and the Gold Rush Trail. Some of the most picturesque Gold Rush towns and attractions are just a short drive from Cyrene at Meadowlands, where you can discover historic hotels, 19th-century saloons, stagecoach rides, charming shops, and unique restaurants. You can even try your hand at panning for gold and keep the nuggets!

Visit El Dorado County near Cyrene at Meadowlands

Visit El Dorado County

The 1848 discovery of gold in Coloma, California touched off the largest gold rush in history, and El Dorado County was at its epicenter. In fact, the name El Dorado (the gold) refers to a place of fabulous wealth and opportunity. Today, the region is one of the most diverse, beautiful places to visit, with spectacular Sierra scenery, quaint historical towns, a welcoming wine and agricultural scene, endless outdoor activities, and a proud Gold Rush legacy.

Placerville in El Dorado County near Cyrene at Meadowlands

Placerville, El Dorado County

If you’re looking to plan a trip to the Gold Country but don’t know where to begin, Placerville is the perfect spot to start your adventure. Placerville is a charming California gold rush town named after the placer gold deposits found in its riverbeds and hills in the late 1840s. Its treasured heritage is reflected in the historical nineteenth-century architecture of its downtown, where you’ll find an abundance of unique shops and museums, fine art galleries, a variety of restaurants, and several wineries.

Gold Bug Park & MIne in El Dorado County near Cyrene at Meadowlands

Gold Bug Park & MIne 2635 Gold Bug Ln, Placerville, CA 95667

You’ll step back in time when you enter the Gold Bug Mine, a real gold mine from the Gold Rush days. Explore the Gold Bug and the mining museum, and find your riches in the gem panning trough. Be sure to visit the historic Stamp Mill, the working Blacksmith Shop, and Hattie’s Gift Shop, for that special one-of-a-kind memento of your mining experience. The park’s free admission provides access to the Mining Museum, Stamp Mill presentations, mineral displays, and Blacksmith demonstrations. The Gold Bug Mine tour includes a self-guided audio device and the use of a hardhat for adults.

Georgetown in El Dorado County near Cyrene at Meadowlands

Georgetown, El Dorado County

Main Street in Georgetown looks much as it did long ago, with its wide streets and historic buildings. A young man named Hudson is credited with discovering the rich diggings in Georgetown in the summer of 1849. It is said that Hudson dug out more than $20,000 in gold within a six-week period. Soon after, a company of sailors, lead by George Phipps, began working the stream at a spot below the present townsite, where they uncovered rich placers and took out a fortune in gold.

Pollack Pines in El Dorado County near Cyrene at Meadowlands

Pollack Pines, El Dorado County

The Pollock Pines area has a rich history that began when westward immigration brought gold seekers into this part of California via the Mormon Immigrant Trail. This colorful and unhurried route begins south of Pollock Pines and is one gateway to vast areas of the Eldorado National Forest. The Desolation Wilderness is accessed from Highway 50 east of Pollock Pines and is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the United States. History also raced through this part of the county when young men on fast horses delivered the mail and news between St. Louis and San Francisco on the Pony Express.

Cool, historic town in El Dorado County near Cyrene at Meadowlands

Cool, El Dorado County

Cool is the Northern Gateway to El Dorado County, located at the crossroads of Historic Hwy 49 and Hwy 193. Once an important way station during the Gold Rush, today Cool offers residents and visitors alike the opportunity to enjoy a peaceful rural residential environment, including small restaurants, a brewery, and shops. This is also a popular entrance to Auburn State Recreation area with more than 100 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.

Sutter's Mill in historic town of Coloma in El Dorado County near Cyrene at Meadowlands

Coloma, El Dorado County

It was here in Coloma on January 24, 1848, that James Marshall first discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill, an event that would radically impact the history of California and the nation. The Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is open year-round and features a replica of the original sawmill where gold was first found, a museum, guided walking tours, gold panning, and blacksmith. Situated along the South Fork of the American River, Coloma is known for its outdoor adventures. Visitors and residents enjoy year-round hiking, mountain biking, fishing, camping, wine tasting, whitewater rafting, and kayaking.

Photo Credits:

Photo #1: Gold Bug Park & Mine

Photo #2: Visit El Dorado

Photo #3: Visit El Dorado

Photo #4: Gold Bug Park & MIne

Photo #5: Sierra Nevado Geotourism

Photo #6: Sierra Nevado Geotourism

Photo #7: Sierra Nevado Geotourism

Photo #8: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park





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