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Situated in the scenic pine woods of the Sierra Nevada foothills, 26 miles away from Nevada City and 30 miles away from Colfax, Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park protects over 3,000 acres of land. The park is also home to one of the biggest hydraulic gold mines in the state, which makes it an embodiment of a California Gold Rush history lesson.
Blair Lake, hiking trails, volcanic rocks, and diverse wildlife and vegetation make the park one of the favorite places for RV campers, mountaineers, anglers, geologists, and ecologists. Another interesting fact about the park is that the surrounding area used to be the home of the Nisenan tribe, which was tragically ravaged by the malaria epidemic back in 1833, and by the Gold Rush in 1848. Today, only a small number of Nisenan descendants are still alive.
Those camping in an RV Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park will want to explore the nearby area as well. No motorhome? No problem. Book an RV in Nevada County and start planning your getaway in the Golden State. Remember to be careful, as black bears, coyotes, mountain lions, and bobcats all roam the park at night. Park officials will be able to advise you on how to handle those encounters, but make sure to store all food and scented items in a vehicle or food locker.
With scenic foothill trails that spread over 20 miles and with different levels of difficulty, hiking at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park is one of the most popular activities for campers. As trails cater to all types of hikers, you should definitely dedicate one day to hiking as it's the best way to soak in the beauty of the park. These trails can be used for biking as well, so bring your bike and cover more ground. Just remember to watch out during your hikes, as there are both poison oak and rattlesnakes throughout the park.
Camping at Malakoff Diggins State Park offers the chance to be a part of different interpretive programs. These are great learning opportunities for both children and adults. The programs are guided tours through historic landmarks, and the kids are sure to love the park's scavenger hunt program. These programs are typically available from April to June and from September to mid-November.
Thanks to Blair Lake and South Yuba River, fishing at Malakoff Diggins State Park is really entertaining. The lake is packed with black bass, rainbow trout, and bluegill, whereas the river is a great location to fish for brown and rainbow trout. Guests who are 16 years or older are required to have a valid fishing license.
Camping at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park is primitive, with 30 sites at Chute Hill and three miner’s cabins located in North Bloomfield. Even though there are no hookups, there are still plenty of amenities to ensure you have a pleasant stay, like a fire ring, food locker, and picnic table. Make sure your RV rental is less than 24 feet.
Another important thing to note is that the nearest dump station is near Nevada City, but the park does have drinking water and flush toilets. The campgrounds are also pet-friendly, as long as your pal is well-behaved and on a leash.
If you consider yourself a trainspotter, make time during your motorhome camping trip to visit the railroad museum in Nevada City. The museum showcases railroad and aviation artifacts and offers guided tours. Check out the wooden rail cars, and grab a train-themed souvenir from the gift shop before you leave.
Nevada City is also a good place to refill your tank or do some shopping, or have a delicious meal. You'll find all sorts of restaurants here: sushi, Mexican, Chinese, fast food places, taverns, and cafes are scattered all around the city center. The city is also home to several art galleries with lovely exhibits. Admire the paintings and crafts of local artists, or pick up something to spruce up the living room back home.
Alleghany is about an hour away and well worth the drive. Considering the amount of gold found in the Alleghany area all the way up to WWII, it's only natural for this quaint town to have a gold miners' museum. As you explore the exhibits and displays at Underground Gold Miners Museum, you'll get a glimpse into the daily lives of the miners, as well as the geology of the mines. This is a "golden" opportunity to learn more about California's natural history.