Explore the California Gold Country and Beyond
Gold Country Campground Resort is ideally located to discover the many highlights of California Gold Country.
Just have a look at all the region has to offer!
Gold Mining Tours
Andrew Kennedy first discovered gold in Amador County in the 1850's. The deep shafts (5,912 feet) of the Kennedy Mine, located in Jackson, California, proved to be one of the richest gold producers in the California Mother Lode during its 50 years of operation. Marvel at the 125-foot high metal head frame, tour several mining buildings, and learn the history of the Kennedy Mine.
Historic & Gold Rush Towns of the California Gold Country
Amador City is the smallest of the California Gold Country's incorporated cities, but is big on fun. Shop the antique stores & boutiques. Enjoy an exciting mix of dining options. Discover the charm of the Little Amador Railroad, an early 20th century "G" scale narrow-gauge railroad, located on Pig Turd Alley.
Ione differs from other famous Amador County historic towns in that it was founded as a supply center, stage and rail stop and agricultural hub, rather than a mining town. Home to the famous Preston Castle, located at the Preston School of Industry, one of the oldest and best-known reform schools in the United States. Enjoy the lovely rolling hills of the surrounding cattle ranches and farms, fishing lakes and much more.
Jackson is the largest town in the Amador County California Gold Country. It was founded as a Gold Rush camp in 1848. Many of the Main Street structures date from the 1862-era, when the town was rebuilt after a fire destroyed the town in its founding year. Explore a wide variety of engaging attractions, including historic sites, dining choices, arts, culture and the Kennedy Mine, Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre & Kennedy Mine Tailing Wheels Park.
Sutter Creek was named for Captain John Sutter, who discovered gold in California in the 1840's when it was founded just south of Sutter's shipsawing pits and Pine Woods outdoor factory. The community became a major supplier of quartz in the 1850's. Today, the historic Main Street is proud to show off its original mining-era architecture while offering premier antiques shopping.
The unincorporated towns of Amador County offer their own unique charms. Drytown is a town of "firsts" for the county. Drytown is believed to be the first gold camp, that its Dry Creek was the first to be panned, and that it houses the first adobe dwelling and the first school house. Fiddletown has a colorful history. During the Gold Rush, Fiddletown had had the largest Chinese settlement outside of San Francisco. Pine Grove is the home of our Gold Country Campground Resort, the more-than-a-century-old Pine Grove Hotel, a variety of events and much more. Volcano is one of the most picturesque of California's Gold Rush "Ghost Towns." Volcano is also known as "Crater City."
Native American Sites
Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is located 8 miles east of Jackson at 2400 feet elevation in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The sprawling meadows and soaring oaks once provided the Native Americans a bountiful acorn harvest. Today, the park preserves the largest collection of bedrock mortars in North America at its large outcropping of marbleized limestone with 1185 mortar holes. Enjoy exploring the Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum and the wildlife and birdwatching opportunities on two hiking trails.
Jackson Rancheria is home to the members of a band Miwuk Indians that belong to the Sierra Miwok (aka Miwuk, Me-Wuk, Mi-Wuck and Mewuk) of north-central California who lived on this beautiful land, sustaining themselves on king salmon, acorns and wild game. Today, this area is also home to the tribe's Jackson Rancheria Casino.
California Gold Country Events
The Amador County Fair, held the last weekend in July, is one of the last true county fairs in California. Enjoy a demolition derby, animal judging, horse show, rodeo, antique farming equipment displays, a full schedule of music and arts entertainment, a carnival and loads of food vendors.
Amador County Rodeos
Amador County is a prime destination for youth rodeos in the California Gold Country. From the California High School Rodeo Association (CHSRA) to the Jr. Wrangler events of the National High School Rodeo Association, there's plenty of rodeo fun to be had at the Amador County Fairgrounds.
Gold Country Caves
Black Chasm Cavern is a jewel among the National Natural Landmark caves. It takes you deep into the earth to marvel at the stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone and rare helictite crystals. Learn about the cavern's connection to the Matrix Trilogy of films as you view huge cavern props from the movies in the Visitors Center.
Gold Country Wineries
Amador is renowned for producing California's finest zinfandels, some of them crafted from 19th-century vines. In recent years, Amador vintners have also begun producing delicious wines from Rhone Valley and Italian varietals, including syrah, viognier, barbera, and sangiovese. Along with Amador's prized zinfandels, these bottlings have earned enthusiastic praise from critics and wine lovers worldwide.
The Amador County Museum started as a classic Greek Revival-style home built in 1859 by one of Jackson's first settlers: Armstead C. Brown, whom it is believed planted the towering cedars on each side of the front walk. Other outdoor sights include the rose & herb garden. Step inside and you'll step back in time, from the county's pre-history as a "province" of Calaveras County, through its fortmation as Amador County in 1854, right up to the present day with a variety of artifacts, displays and exhibits.
The Amador County Whitney Museum is housed in the historic Fleehart Building which is believed to have been built in 1861 and named for miner and merchant William Fleehart. Today, it houses the furnishings & equipment of the Amador City Post Office as well as many other 19th and 20th century artifacts.
The Chew Kee Store preserves the past of the Chinese immigrants of the California Gold Rush with many artifacts and furnishings. The rammed earth structure was originally the office of Dr. Yee Fong Cheung, an herb doctor who serviced the burgeoning Chinese immigrant population in Fiddletown during the California Gold Rush. The building was purchased by a Chinese immigrant known only by his store name, "Chew Kee" in the 1880's and was dedicated to providing groceries and supplies to the Chinese community.
The Monteverde emporium was in operation as general store from 1898 to 1971. Today it is a time capsule of its early days with authentic turn-of-the-century hardware, groceries, clothing, pharmaceuticals, candy and miner supplies that include boots, flashlights, lunchboxes and tools, plus the original ledgers written in a flourishing script. Soak in the early 20th century charm of the J. Monteverde General Store Museum.
Housed in one of California's oldest wineries, the Shenandoah Valley Museum pays tribute to the past - just as the settler from Virginia likely did when they named this area after the Shenandoah Valley "back east. " View the equipment of farming, barrel coopering, cooking, wine-making and more.
Located in the Miner's Pick Antiques store, the Hardrock Mining Museum maintains one of the most comprehensive collections of mining and California Gold Rush artifacts on display in the world. The lighting, blasting, ore removal, milling and assaying tools of miners are enhanced with photos and manufacturer advertising pieces.
The Main Street Theatre Works is the professional rural theatre company of Amador County and is dedicated to providing theatre artists the opportunity to produce classical and contemporary stage plays. The theatre runs in two unique venues: dinner theatre at the Playhouse at Sutter Creek Days Inn and summer open-air theatre at the Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre.
The Sutter Creek Theatre is a year-round multipurpose center of entertainment and events! Enjoy a full calendar of theatre productions, plus concerts, films and other events. The theatre supports local non-profit fundraising for the Amador County Arts Council, Amador High School Drama Club, Sutter Creek Elementary School, Operation CARE, and many others.
The Volcano Theatre Company performs at the charming Cobblestone Theatre and the outdoor amphitheatre just across the street. Enjoy the intimacy and immediacy of our local productions of favorite plays here in the heart of Volcano, California.
Set in the oak-forested hills of Ione, California, Castle Oaks offers a premier 18 hole, par 71 championship golf course. Each hole has five sets of tees to accommodate all skill levels.
Enjoy prime golfing in the Sierra Nevada foothills at Mace Meadow Golf Club near Jackson. The 18 hole, par 72 public golf course with an outstanding mountain setting amongst towering oak, Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir and cedar trees above the valley's morning fog and afternoon heat. Enjoy breakfast and lunch at the Meadows Restaurant.
Gold Country Fishing
The fishing holes of Amador County include:
Enjoy great bass and trout fishing at Lake Camanche. The lake is stocked with both trout and a unique strain of largemouth bass from Florida each year. Additional species include rainbow trout, large and small mouth bass, spotted bass, catfish, sturgeon, Kokanee salmon, crappie, bluegill and sunfish.
Fishing on Pardee Lake is famous for its trout, but also provides the angler with a wide variety of species, including Kokanee salmon, black bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill and sunfish.
The Jackson Rancheria Casino offers acres of 24-hour gaming fun at 15 Poker tables featuring Texas Hold 'Em, 48 gaming tables offering Blackjack, Let it Ride, Pai Gow Plus and more, and over 1500 slot and video poker machines. You'll also enjoy world-class entertainment from regional, national and international headlining acts, a huge variety of delicious dining options and plenty of opportunities for shopping.
North & Central California Day Trips
Gold Country Campground Resort is ideally located to make a great camping "home base" for exploring North & Central California, including:
40 Miles East
Kirkwood Ski Area is set at the highest base elevation in Northern California and offers some of the deepest, driest snow to be found in North America. Enjoy 2,300 acres of freestyle terrain, snowboard half-pipe, cross-country skiing and horse-drawn sleigh rides. In summer, Kirkwood offers excellent mountain biking, horseback riding, a wall for rock climbing practice and scenic hiking opportunities.
50 Miles Northwest
Sacramento is the State Capital of California and offers a world of discovery, entertainment and enjoyment at hundreds of world-class attractions that include: amusement parks, art galleries, casinos, cruises, dining, golf, kayaking/rafting, museums, nightlife, shopping, wineries, the professional sports of the Sacramento Kings NBA Basketball Team, the Sacramento Monarchs WNBA Basketball Team & the Sacramento River Cats AAA Baseball Team, and much more!
80 Miles Northeast
The southern shore of Lake Tahoe, which runs between California and Nevada, is known as "Blue World." The largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe is home to a wide variety of outdoor recreation in some of the most beautiful country in the state, including hiking, biking, boating, fishing, golf, horseback riding, kayaking and other water sports in summer and dog sledding, ice skating, skiing, and snowmobiling in winter. Other attractions include 24-hour gaming at casinos, prime entertainment, excellent shopping and dining opportunities and much more!