Columbia State Historic Park is a California state park unit and National Historic Landmark District. With beginnings in the early California gold rush, Columbia was once known as the “Gem of the Southern Mines.” It was declared a state historic park in 1945.
A variety of operating retail businesses stretch along its main street boardwalks including hotels, restaurants, ice cream parlors, saloons, a candy store, leather shop, bookstore, photography studio, a tea house and bakery, children’s crafts, grocery store, clothing shops, live theater, soap and candle shop, a bank, and more. All proprietors and employees are dressed in period wear so visitors can truly experience a mining community of the 1850s.
In addition, there are two firehouses, stagecoach rides, a working blacksmith shop, gold panning, a restored schoolhouse, cemetery, and numerous exhibits displaying artifacts from the area’s rich past when over a billion dollars in gold by today’s dollars were mined here.
Don’t forget your camera when visiting Columbia and relive one of the most colorful periods in our state’s history!
Management: California Department of Parks and Recreation
Address: 11255 Jackson Street Columbia, CA 95310
Park Information: 209.588.9128
Museum and Information Center: 209.532.3184. Open daily spr/sum 10 a.m-5 p.m. through Labor Day and fall/winter 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Location: 3 miles north of Sonora, off Highway 49
Area: 273 acres
Elevation: 2,100 feet in the Sierra Nevada
Average Daily High Temperatures: summer 89ºF and winter 59ºF
Park Hours: Open 24/7 – Park never closes!
Park Entrance Fee:No charge
Parking: Free parking available in lower lot, Columbia and Jackson Streets, Fulton off Broadway, three lots along Broadway Street, at the schoolhouse, and across from the ranger district office.
Free Daily Town Tours: Tours last about one hour and are led by park staff and docents. Meet in front of museum and check with museum desk upon arrival. For groups of ten or more, arrangements must be made in advance by calling 209.588.9128.
Restrooms: Public restrooms located at the lower parking lot, behind the museum, adjacent to the firehouse on Main Street, and behind the Jack Douglass Saloon.
Business Hours: Generally daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Restaurants, hotels, saloons and other establishments may have longer hours. With exception of the City Hotel, almost all businesses are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Accessibility: Walkways throughout the historic downtown have been raised and leveled to create accessible boardwalks and building entrances, however, some uneven surfaces remain where routes cross roadways. Doorways have been modified for accessibility including push button door openers where necessary to open heavy double doors. Assistance is available inside shops to help reach merchandise.
Picnic Areas: Visitors are invited to use picnic at tables located near the lower parking lot. Accessible picnic sites are also on Jackson Street, near the corner of Columbia Street.