Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

Village at Indian Grinding Rock, photo courtesy of Tripping with Kids

14881 Pine Grove-Volcano Road
Pine Grove, CA

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park makes for an excellent family road trip pit stop while you’re exploring California’s Gold Country. Located in the Sierra Nevada foothills eight miles east of Jackson, the park offers not only a great outcropping of marbleized limestone with some 1,185 mortar holes, but the Chaw’se Regional Indian Museum, which features a variety of exhibits and an outstanding collection of Sierra Nevada Indian artifacts. After visiting the museum, head over to the Miwok village complete with a ceremonial roundhouse that has been reconstructed in the middle of the small valley.

Reviewer Lora of Tripping with Kids comments on the excitement of exploring the village: “I watched the kids take off running to investigate some of the (other) teepees. Across from the hun’ge (roundhouse) was a large field, used even today as a playing field during living history events. Two trails are available to lead you around the woods, one is a half-mile and one a mile long. At the head of the trails, you can pick up a brochure that identifies particular local plants and what they were used for by the indigenous people.”

Date last visited: April 2010.

Distance off the interstate: 1 hour 15 minutes from I-5, 20 minutes from Hwy 49.

Hours and Admission Prices: Park hours are sunrise to sunset. Museum hours: Thursdays, Fridays and Mondays, 11 am to 2:30 pm. Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am to 3:30 pm. Admission: $8/car for day use.

Bathrooms: Located on premises.

Food Services: None. Picnic areas are available, or the town of Jackson offers several diners and a deli.

Directions: The park is northeast of Stockton in the lower foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains (or about 1 hour from Sacramento). 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).

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.




  1. Brianna says:

    Great article! I’m compiling a list of kid friendly historic places in California for a travel agency. I keep finding a lot of the same places, but this destination was completely unique. Thanks for the good idea!

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