Coloma and the events that happened in Coloma were some of the most important events in the state of California and even in the entire United States. Coloma is where gold was first discovered. The discovery of gold allowed California to become a state much sooner then it would have otherwise, and it also helped to make California the state with the largest population. People from all over the United States and even the world flocked to California because of the gold that was discovered.
You can still go to Coloma and learn all about the discovery of gold, the gold miners, and California’s early history. You can even still mine for gold in the same river that gold was first discovered at. Coloma is now a state park. If Coloma was closer to a major city such as Los Angeles, San Fransisco, or even Sacramento it is likely it would would be more heavily visited because of its importance. While it is less then an hour from Sacramento there are no major highways or easy ways to get to Coloma or it would be more popular. Coloma can be very crowded in the summer months which are probably the worst times to visit because of the heat, ticks, and crowds.
I think if Coloma was more popular year round then it would be better taken care of. Coloma the State Park encompass a large area. There is a museum which is small and looks like it is from the 70’s. The museum is where you pay to park. The parking is $5 but if you park just outside of the park you can park for free, or if you park on a Monday you can also park free. However it appears that because of budget cuts Coloma may soon be closing I do not really think that is a big problem personally because you could still go there without using any of the facilities but I do think it sad that something so historically important would close.
Besides the museum there are some small old buildings kept up such an an assay office. There are a few bigger buildings including a store. These buildings would be closed for good if the park is closed. There is also a reproduction of the mill located in the same spot as the original mill. You can also get taught how to gold pan and then go gold panning on your own. The only problem with gold panning is that you can only use your hand and a pan not even a shovel to get the dirt. If you really want to gold pan I suggest learning here then going outside of the park to gold pan.
I have been to Coloma when it is open and when it is closed and while it is busier and has workers and more people to tell you about stuff and more to see and do when it is closed parking is easier and free, fewer people, and I do not think you really lose much if anything it is more enjoyable when closed. If you go somewhere else similar like Columbia you find that Columbia which does have a state park but lots of private business too the whole place is much nicer. I think of Columbia as a Disneyfied version of Coloma. Columbia may not be as historic but the only real difference is they did not find gold at Columbia but the rest of their histories are the same.
I would say that going to Coloma is something you should do once if you are a Californian but do not expect to much from the trip.