MALAKOFF DIGGINS STATE PARK LOOP #2
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2011


DIFFICULTY:  Moderate

ELEVATION GAIN:  Starting elevation - 3400 ft. ---- Slaughter House Trail,  gain is 314 ft. -----  Rim Trail, gain is 382 ft. ----- Diggins Loop Trail, gain is 75 ft.

HIKE DISTANCE:   Approximately 8 miles

GENERAL LOCATION:  Malakoff Diggins State Park is 26 miles north of Nevada City.

DESCRIPTION:  Hiking at Malakoff Diggins is an experience to remember --- for several reasons.  Sadly, the Park is on the California State Park closure list, but luckily hiking is still open to the public.  Gold was discovered in the area in 1851 and hydraulic mining began in 1853.  Hydraulic mining was the process of washing away entire mountains to find gold and at Malakoff a visitor can see the devastating results of such mining. An open pit is the heart of the park and is over a mile in length and up to 600 feet deep. In its day Malakoff Diggins had become the largest and richest hydraulic gold mine in the world.  Millions of gold were recovered from the main pit as well as smaller pits.  Today one can see how the nature is recovering from the devastation.  There is so much to see and appreciate by visiting and hiking at Malakoff!

At the beginning of our hike we will stop at the historic cemetery, and then hike 6/10th of a mile up the Slaughter House Trail to the now closed campground and view the open pit from an overlook.  From there we will hike the Rim Trail (3.29 miles), enjoying the forested environment, until we reach the highest overlook in the Park.  Finishing the Rim Trail, we hike a short distance on a road to reach the beginning of the Diggins Loop Trail.  This loop trail traverses the interior of the pit so that a hiker can see the sculpted mountainsides up close. This hike will allow you to enjoy the many diverse sights and environments at Malakoff.  Bring your camera to capture some memorable pictures!

TRAVEL TIME/DISTANCE:   1 hour & 45 minutes driving time and 75 miles one way.   Return time to Lincoln ---- approximately 5:00 pm.  A donation of $9 is suggested for riders.  There is an $8 parking fee per car,  payable at the Park office, or a California State Park pass can be used in lieu of money.   If you have such a pass and plan to either drive or ride, please consider bringing it --- thank you!

HIKE LEADER:  Sue Geisler     SWEEP:  Penny Williams

SPECIAL NOTES:
    FACILITIES:  Bathroom at the Park, near the office.
    PREPARATION FOR HIKE:  1) IF YOU HAVE ANY HEALTH ISSUES, PLEASE CONSIDER YOUR CONDITION BEFORE PREPARATION FOR HIKING.
        2) Bring a copy of your ID (driver's license), health card, and an emergency contact name and phone number with you on the hike.
        3) Always bring 2 pairs of shoes, along with a plastic bag to store your muddy/dusty hiking boots after the hike.  DO NOT get your driver's car dirty by wearing your dirty boots on the drive home.
        4) Bring lunch, water, hiking boots (not tennis shoes),  warm clothing, if cold, and trekking poles for traversing some small streams in the open pit.  Wear LONG PANTS and a long sleeved shirt or jacket as we hike through some bushy areas in the pit. 
        5) Lunch --- there is no great place to sit for lunch, so bring a large plastic bag which you can use to sit on the ground.
RISKS:  Poison oak, but easy to avoid.  Depending on the amount of rain, the pit may have several wet areas and/or small streams.  As the Park trails are no longer maintained, the trail in the pit has some bushy areas --- but they are easy to walk through. 

RAIN CANCELS HIKE ---- and the hike will be rescheduled at a later date.

QUESTIONS:  Call Sue Geisler at 408-1010.

MEETING TIME:  7:15 AM   LEAVING TIME:    7:30 AM



DRIVING DIRECTIONS:  Drive Hwy. 80 east to Auburn.  Take the Grass Valley/Placerville -- Hwy. 49 exit --- and turn left toward Grass Valley.  Remain on Hwy. 49 to Nevada City ---- and at the split of Hwy. 49 and Hwy. 20 (at the north end of Nevada City),  turn left onto Hwy. 49 --- sign will say "Toward Downeville"!   DO NOT GO STRAIGHT AHEAD ---- as you will be on Hwy. 20!!  Continue driving Hwy. 49 for 11 miles.  Watch CAREFULLY! for the sign to Malakoff Diggins and Tyler-Foote Crossing Road ----- which is a turn to the right.  Follow the  pavement for 17 miles ---- the road name will change to Cruzon Grade, then to Backbone, and finally a right turn onto Derbec Road and into the Park

Sue's cell phone is (916) 212-1818 --- but there is no cell coverage in the Park!

See attached photos.