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Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park
Valley Quail ©
Valley Quail
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14881 Pine Grove-Volcano Road
Pine Grove, California   95665

Phone: 209-296-7488
Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills eight miles east of Jackson. The park nestles in a little valley 2,400 feet above sea level with open meadows and large valley oaks that once provided the native Americans of this area with an ample supply of acorns. The park was created in 1968 and preserves a great outcropping of marbleized limestone with some 1,185 mortar holes -- the largest collection of bedrock mortars in North America.

Nature of the Area
The park is small, but offers many opportunities to observe wildlife. The mixture of oak woodlands and mixed pine forest provides a wide variety of habitats, just as it did in previous centuries when the Miwok lived here in the old way.

Birdlife varies depending on the season, but many species are seen year round, including turkey vultures, scrub and Steller?s jays, California quail, acorn and hairy woodpeckers, northern flickers, hermit thrushes, wild turkeys (non-native), and California thrashers. In summer, the bright colors of the western tanager, northern oriole, calliope and Anna?s hummingbirds can be seen in the woods around the meadow. A bird list is available at the museum.

Animal life in and around the park includes deer, fox, gray and California ground squirrels, black-tailed jackrabbits, bobcats, bats, and occasionally a mountain lion or black bear. The legendary coyote ? the trickster of Miwok legend ? can be heard singing on quiet summer nights.

The parks has 23 campsites with paved parking (trailers and motor homes up to 27 feet), tables, food lockers, fire rings, piped water, restrooms with showers and flush toilets. Wood gathering is not allowed but firewood may be brought in or purchased at the park. Campsites are available on a first-come, first served basis. The park is open for camping all year but is subject to closure during Special Events or times of heavy snowfall.

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is located near Ione, Carmichael and Elk Grove

Day Use Area
The day use area of the park contains the reconstructed Miwok village, which includes the Grinding Rock itself, bark houses, acorn granaries, a game field and the Ceremonial Round House. A picnic area with a shade ramada near the grinding rock can accommodate large groups (up to 150 persons). Reservations for the area are not accepted. There is also a small picnic area next to the museum. Please do not use campsites for picnicking. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all areas of the park except the 23 developed family campsites at all times.

There are two developed trails within the park. The North Trail, a one-mile round-trip, starts near the museum. It traverses the ridge surrounding the meadow, passes by the old farm site, crosses the creek and continues to the reconstructed Miwok village site before returning to the museum by way of the roundhouse and grinding rock.

The half-mile long South Trail is a self guided nature trail and starts near the roundhouse. The trail guide describes the ethnobotany of the area and identifies some of the plants that were used by the Miwok.

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Area Campgrounds
Jellystone Park at Pine Grove
13026 Tabeau Road
Pine Grove, CA
Far Horizons 49er Village RV Resort
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Nearby Hotels

The park is northeast of Stockton in the lower foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Take State Highway 88 East through Jackson to the town of Pine Grove. Take a left turn on the Pine-Grove-Volcano Road, and about a mile and a half later you will enter the Park. The SECOND turnoff is the main entrance (the first is to the small campground).

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California State Parks