California is rich in destinations that can inspire kids. One little-known gem that can anchor a weekend getaway is Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, on a much-loved Sierra Nevada byway, Highway 88. This time of year, the seasonal changes bring to mind the acorn harvests of the first people to make a home in this land. There are few places that can make this history as vivid as this charming little mountain park does.

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is tucked into the great west slope of the massive California mountain range. The State of California created this park because of a mind-boggling outcrop of marbleized limestone that is riddled with over a thousand human-made mortar holes. These curious holes were created over the centuries as Native American women ground acorns into a cornmeal-like product that they could store, save and later cook with during the snowy winter months. The largest collection of bedrock mortar holes anywhere in North America and a re-created Miwok village make this place magical for adults and children. Everything is immediate and intimate. You and your family can touch the mortar holes and see the magnificent oak trees that provided sustenance to California’s first people.

The 135-acre park is a peaceful, quiet destination at 2,400 feet (732 meters) above sea level, just 8 miles (13 km) east of the equally compelling gold rush town of Jackson.

During your visit, stay at the rustic Pioneer Inn and Suites located on California’s scenic Highway 88 for easy access and a comfortable rustic weekend. Contact us to learn more about all of the local treasures of our relaxing mountain area.