Type of Activity
Amador County may be best known as the Heart of the Mother Lode, but its true riches lie in the abundance of unexpected activities that make it the ideal getaway for any vacationer. We at Harrah’s Northern California have put together an assortment of our favorite activities, so that when you’re not playing on the casino floor, you are able to experience the wealth of unique experiences Gold Country has to offer.
Strike gold at the Roaring Camp Mining Company, a fully-operational mine, where visitors can pan, sluice, detect metal and dry wash, just like the Forty Niners. Then, hike to the Mokelumne Canyon, where three forks of the Mokelumne River come together, and the water is crystal clear. Bring a swimsuit to enjoy a quiet and secluded swimming hole, where sportsmen and women can also fish.
Learn about California history at the Kennedy Gold Mine, one of the deepest gold mines in the world at 5,912 feet, where guided surface tours tell the tale of how gold changed the region’s entire course of history. Prospected in 1860 and run through 1942, the Kennedy Gold Mine produced approximately $34,280,000 worth of gold in its more than 80-year history.
For more history, visit Preston Castle, one of the oldest and most well-known reform schools in the United States. Opened in 1894, the regal building, with its stunning Romanesque Revival architecture, was a place where “youthful offenders,” as they were referred to by the school, went to reform and reintegrate into society.
Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Amador County has no shortage of outdoor activities for those looking to explore nature. Go spelunking through the Black Chasm Cavern on a 50-minute guided walking tour in which visitors can see the remarkable abundance of a rare cave-formed mineral called a helictite. The crystal formation, which seems to defy gravity as it twists and turns in every direction, can only be found in approximately 5 percent of caves worldwide.
Play outdoors at Kirkwood Mountain Resort, best known during winter among skiers and snowboarders for its above-average snowpack, as well as its wide variety of terrain. In the summer, enjoy climbing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and fishing, all while admiring the mountain’s fields of wildflowers and breathtaking views.
Trek across vast expanses of limestone at Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, where open meadows and an abundance of oak trees once provided the native Miwok people with not only acorns, but also hard surfaces on which to grind them. Included on the National Register of Historic Places since 1971, the state park is also home to a variety of petroglyphs, which are thought to date back as many as 2,000 or 3,000 years.
Stop and smell the flowers at the Amador Flower Farm, where more than 1,200 daylily varieties are potted all year, and 14 acres of gardens include growing grounds, a potted plant area, landscaped demonstration gardens and a nursery.
No visit to Amador County is complete without shopping at the Amador Farmers Market, which features locally produced fruits, vegetables, olive oil, bread, eggs, nuts, flowers, snacks and more, all while enjoying live entertainment.
For more information on what to do on your next trip to Harrah’s Northern California, visit the Amador Council of Tourism Visitor Center, or just ask one of our friendly team members.