Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park


When the placer miners couldn't wash anymore surface gold out of the river silt that swirled through their pans, some decided to help the rivers along a little bit. They took up hydraulic mining, forcing water through huge hoses and nozzles and scouring soil and gravel off the mountains. The silt was then sifted through long troughs to separate the gold from the tailings. Then the tailings were released downstream. Malakoff Diggins -- and the town of North Bloomfield that sprouted nearby to support the miners -- was the largest, richest hydraulic gold operation in the world. When legislation forbidding miners to pollute downstream waters made the process highly restrictive, Malakoff Diggins was eventually abandoned. Today, the picturesque town and the mind-bogglingly huge pit are preserved as Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. Be sure to check out the 556-foot tunnel situated directly above the mine's original 7,847-foot tunnel, carved through bedrock, that drained the waste water. The longer tunnel has since been filled in, but its airshafts can still be glimpsed along forest trails.


23579 N Bloomfield Rd
Nevada City, CA


39.38788000, -120.91419000
Visit Website
(530) 265-2740

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