Eureka Diggins

The Eureka Diggins was once the site of a town that supported a school, a post office, and at least two hotels (the Eureka and the What Cheer). However, all that remains today is the evidence of the ravages of hydraulic mining in the area. With a beauty in its own right with the passing of 150 years since the water cannons ceased, the scars in the surrounding hillsides explain the fight to end this type of mining by the 1880s. 

Settled as early as 1850, Eureka City was a boom and bust town with the lure being gold.  Surrounded by forested hillsides of what is now the Tahoe National Forest, the historic town polled 800 votes in the elections of 1860, but was soon abandoned as word spread of the discovery of silver in the Comstock, some 100 miles to the east.  

In addition to viewing the signs of historic mining operations, the surrounding areas are a beautiful and tranquil part of the Sierra County.  While other abandoned mining camps in the area are accessible via dirt and gravel roads, and in some cases require high clearance or four wheel drive vehicles, National Forest Road 25 is paved the entire route to Eureka.


Latitude: 39.6121023 Longitude: -120.8935976 Elevation: 5088 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Lee Adams

Time Period Represented

1850s to 1870s

Visitor Fees

Free access on national forest system lands.

Seasons Open

Year round, however, snow can make the site inaccessable.


Great description but wrong mine. Eureka Diggins is miles off Hwy 49 up a fire road and a great many side "roads" that one can easily get stuck on. However once you do find it it is beautiful. The top photo is not this mine. It’s a mostly flat area off the mountain road. Covered in quartz rock. Stunning. This trip is not for the faint at heart. I'd advise a car or truck with good clearance and great tires.

Pam Meadows, 5/29/2016

Pam Meadows, you must be referring to Eureka Diggins South. The photos and location are correct for Eureka Diggins North where Eureka City used to be.

Michael Turner, 11/22/2017

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