Plumas Eureka State Park: Stamp Mills & Gold Mining History

Plumas County is one of the  most beautiful areas of California. It houses everything from the 100 lakes in Lakes Basin to the amazing mining history of Plumas Eureka State Park. Just the old Mohawk Stamp Mill is worth the trip to this park, as it is wonderfully preserved and a very unique piece of history. As one of the state parks slotted for closure in 2008, Plumas Eureka survived and luckily so, is still accepting visitors to its historic park.

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  • Open during the summer
  • Tours are available throughout the day and you can sign up in the museum


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Established in 1959, this park shows and protects the history of the active mid-19th century California Gold Rush mining period. The park includes: a museum in the miner’s bunk house, the Mohawk Stamp Mill, stables, a blacksmith shop, the mine office, and a miner’s home “Moriarity House.”

The Park

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Unfortunately, when I was there the museum was closed, as were the small replica shops but I was still able to walk the grounds and see many of the parks main attractions.

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Right after getting out of my car I saw the panning for gold area which I am told is a huge draw for children when visiting the park.

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I made my way up the trail and passed some intricate displays that showed how the mining was done in the stamp mill.

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There were many great opportunities for photos as I made my way up to the stamp mill, which is one of the main reasons to visit.

The Stamp Mill

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I have seen a few other stamp mills, like the Kentucky Mine Museum mill, but it paled in comparison to the vastness of this mill. It was easily 75 feet tall and was a daunting and beautiful example of the architecture of the time as well as the gold mining process.

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You can’t go in this one but I know all about how the mining worked from my time at the Kentucky Mine Museum so I could picture the way this one would look as well.

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I took the trail along the backside of the stamp mill and proceeded up the hill, under the bridge that is a staple of these mills (it is where the mine carts went across).

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The trail was a little overgrown but we continued up to the top of the bridge area where I got a great view of the mill from behind.

The Mine

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After taking some pictures I continued up the trail to see the actually mine itself. The sign that was next to it said that they pulled 2 million dollars worth of gold out of this mine, which is pretty amazing.

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There was also a pile of old tools that I couldn’t pass up a picture of.

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Lastly there was the small miner cabin that you could go inside past the pile of tools.

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This cabin was no bigger then 10′ x 10′ but it was in great condition and really added to the area.

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After this I headed back down the way I came I left the park right as the sun was setting. I was really surprised how great this park was. I am a huge fan of photography and really enjoyed being able to see and photograph the beautiful stamp mill here. I highly suggest a stop if you are in the area.

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