Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park

North Bloomfield Malakoff Diggins

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park is the site of California’s largest hydraulic mine. Visitors can see huge cliffs carved by mighty streams of water, results of the gold mining technique of washing away entire mountains to find the precious metal. Legal battles between mine owners and downstream farmers ended this method. The park also contains a 7,847-foot bedrock tunnel that served as a drain.

Recreationists will find more than 20 miles of scenic foothill trails with degrees of difficulty varying from easy to strenuous. The renowned South Yuba Trail connects to this park’s trail network.

For a lovely fall outing, walk the streets of the restored ghost town of North Bloomfield. Stop by the visitor center for brochures or take a guided tour on weekends, visit the old church, schoolhouse, cemetery or the Chinese Gardens.

Trees of liquid amber in deep blood red and gold-hued maple are now in full display.

“They can be just beautiful. It’s a progression of changes,” said Senior Park Aide Debora Pfanner.

Trails in and around Malakoff Diggins

Rim Trail

Trailhead: North Bloomfield Road or Malakoff Campground. Parking.
Directions: From Nevada City, Highway 49 north to Tyler-Foote Crossing Road, then right (east) to Malakoff Diggins.
Distance of hike: 3 miles
Degree of difficulty: 6
Seasons: Year-around. Some snow in winter.
Historical significance: Views of the Malakoff hydraulic diggings
Special features: Pine and cedar forests. No Dogs. Bicycles Okay.

Diggins Loop Trail

Trailhead: Diggins Overlook, North Bloomfield Road. Parking.
Distance of hike: 3-mile loop
Degree of difficulty: 3
Seasons: Year-around. Some snow in winter.
Historical significance: Trail loops through what was once the largest hydraulic mining operation in the U.S.

Blair Trail

Trailhead: North Bloomfield Road near North Bloomfield
Where to park: Parking at trailhead
Distance of hike: half-mile loop
Degree of difficulty: 2
Seasons: Year-around. Some snow in winter
Historical significance: The Blair pond dates to the mining era.
Special features: Spur goes to campground, 3/4 miles. Pine and cedar forests. No dogs, bicycles or horses.

North Bloomfield Trail

Trailhead: North Bloomfield Road, village of North Bloomfield
Where to park: Near the trailhead, in town.
Distance of hike: 3/4 mile
Degree of difficulty: 6
Seasons: Year-around. Some snow in winter.
Special features: Pine and cedar forests.

Missouri Bar Trail

Tahoe National Forest
Trailhead: Located off Forest Road No. 729-3
Where to park: At the trailhead
Directions: From Nevada City, Highway 49 north to Tyler-Foote Crossing Road, then right (east) to Malakoff Diggins and Relief Hill Road. Follow signs.
Distance: 1.6 miles one-way
Degree of difficulty: 6
Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
Historical significance: Was probably used by miners in North Bloomfield’s mining heyday
Special features: Planned trail extension will provide connection to the South Yuba River Trail. Watch for poison oak.

Humbug Creek Trail

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park
Trailhead: North Bloomfield Road in the state park.
Where to park: Trailhead parking lot.
Distance: 3 miles each way
Degree of difficulty: 6. Includes a 1,000-foot return climb out of the river canyon
Season: Year-around
Historical significance: Malakoff was once the largest hydraulic mine in the world and its almost 8,000-foot North Bloomfield drain tunnel emptied into Humbug Creek, carrying mine tailings into the South Yuba River.
Special features: Trail connects with the South Yuba Trail at the river. Waterfalls, swimming in the Yuba. Historic relics include ditches, mine shafts, rock walls. No pets, no mountain bikes.

Learn more here: http://malakoffdigginsstatepark.org/