Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, eight miles east of Jackson. The park is nestled in a small valley 2,400 feet above sea level with open meadows and large valley oaks that once provided Native Americans with an ample supply of acorns.
The 135-acre Park preserves the Grinding Rock, a massive outcropping of marbleized limestone with 1,185 mortar holes, the largest collection of bedrock mortars anywhere in North America.
The Park offers a variety of exhibits and events including the Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum designed as a traditional round house, campground, picnic areas, trails, and educational tours for school children. The day use area of the park contains the reconstructed Miwok village, which includes the Grinding Rock itself, bark houses, acorn granaries, a game field and the ceremonial round house. A picnic area with a shade ramada near the grinding rock can accommodate large groups.
The Chaw’se Regional Indian Museum features a variety of exhibits and an outstanding collection of Sierra Nevada Indian artifacts. Examples of basketry, feather regalia, jewelry, arrow points, and other tools created by Northern, Central and Southern Miwok, Maidu, Konkow, Monache, Nisenan, Tubatulabal, Washoe, and Foothill Yokuts tribes are on display .
Several times a year ceremonies are held in the hun'ge (round house) by local Native Americans. Indian families gather at the park on the weekend following the fourth Friday in September for the annual acorn gathering season ceremonies. Dancing, hand games, singing and storytelling are traditional at this event. Spectators are welcome, but there is no fixed schedule of events. Native American crafts and foods are available.