Gold Rush Discovery Day Trip
Sutter Creek, CA

From the historic towns of Jackson and Sutter Creek, follow winding State 26 to grinding rocks, Volcano, and mysterious mines.

Length of trip: 1 day
Total mileage: 29.9mi/48.1km

SUTTER CREEK. Morning means a jolt and cinnamon French toast at Thomi’s Coffee & Eatery , tucked into the lower level of a big white house on Main Street (40 C Hanford St.; 209-267-1108). Now go for the gold at Sutter Gold Mine , where you don a hard-hat to head deep underground for a real taste of a miner’s life. INFO (209) 267-1344; Sutter Creek Visitor’s Center

JACKSON (4.3mi/6.9km; 11 min). Follow State 49 to this history-rich (and shop-rich) town. Take a self-guided walking tour see 150-year-old cemeteries, gold and gem jewelers, former saloons, and the remarkable St. Sava’s Serbian Orthodox Church (724 Main St). INFO (209) 267-9249; Amador Council of Tourism

VOLCANO (12.4mi/20km; 20min). Follow State 26 through dense oak forests and head north on Pioneer Volcano Rd to Black Chasm Cavern National Natural Landmark . Go underground again, this time to look for stalactites, stalagmites, curtains, flows, and bizarre, straw-like formations called helectites. In spring, swing by Daffodil Hill on Gopher Flat/Shaker Ridge Road to see some 300,000 bulbs in bloom.

INDIAN GRINDING ROCK (1.8mi/2.8km; 4min). Follow trails to this state park’s signature stones, used by native Miwok to grind acorns. The Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum, a beautiful recreation of a traditional Indian roundhouse, displays baskets, Native American tools, and other items.?INFO (209) 296-7488; Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

SUTTER CREEK (11.5mi/18.4km; 22 min). Finish your loop tour with a cool drink at upstairs deck of Bellotti’s , in the American Exchange Hotel. The hotel first opened in 1854 as a lodging, post office, and one of the area’s first exchange. Or try Susan’s Place , where you can sample a rotating list of Sierra Foothills wines by the glass or bottle. INFO (209) 267-1344; Sutter Creek Visitor’s Center

Thomi's Cafe
40 Hanford Street
Sutter Creek, CA   95685
(209) 267-1108

33 Broadway
Jackson, CA   95642-2301
(209) 223-1646

Black Chasm Cavern National Natural Landmark
15701 Pioneer Rd
Volcano, CA   95689

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park
14881 Pine Grove Volcano Rd
Pine Grove, CA   95665-9779
(209) 296-7488

Bellotti Inn & Restaurant