Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, Pine Grove

4.7
#1 of 6 in Historic Sites in Amador County
State Park · Historic Site
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Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is a California State Park, preserving an outcropping of marbleized limestone with some 1,185 mortar holes—the largest collection of bedrock mortars in North America. It is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, 8 miles (13 km) east of Jackson. The park is nestled in a little valley 2,400 feet (732 m) above sea level, with open meadows and large specimens of valley oak that once provided the Miwok peoples of this area with an ample supply of acorns. The 135-acre (55 ha) park was established in 1962 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

The native name for the site is "Chaw’se", the Miwok word for "grinding rock". Upon this rock they ground acorns and other seeds into meal, slowly forming the cup-shaped depressions in the stone, which can still be seen today. Along with the mortar holes, the main grinding rock within the park features a number of petroglyphs: circles, spoked wheels, animal and human tracks, wavy lines, etc. Some of these carvings are thought to be as much as two or three thousand years old and are now becoming difficult to discern. This association of rock art and bedrock mortar pits is unique in California. Except for one other small site, Chaw'se has the only known occurrence of mortars intentionally decorated with petroglyphs.
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Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
73 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We had visited this park many years ago with our kids and the roundhouse was open for the public. We were told by a ranger it is by invite only now. The ranger had never even been inside. The... 
    We had visited this park many years ago with our kids and the roundhouse was open for the public. We were told by a ranger it is by invite only now. The ranger had never even been inside. The...  more »
  • Nat exactly what I expected but interesting. It rained the day we visited so we didn't do the full trail. There is a small museum on sight. The grounds are really the attraction here though... 
    Nat exactly what I expected but interesting. It rained the day we visited so we didn't do the full trail. There is a small museum on sight. The grounds are really the attraction here though...  more »
Google
  • This spot is fantastic for a nice relaxed outing. Very kid friendly, although it might be a bit boring for over 10 years old). Easy walking trails around the area and everything was super clean and nice. Highly recommend if you are in the area and want to get outside for an hour.
  • An ancient sacred area of the local Indian people. The huge grinding rock surfaces has a viewing platform to preserve the natural state of the park. Picnic tables and walking trails. Real native "teepee" structures made of cedar and a sweat lodge are still there for viewing. Fee for day use.

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