INDIAN GRINDING ROCK STATE HISTORIC PARK
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.
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.