The Omega Hydraulic diggings was near the Alpha Diggings. These sites were named by gold miners in the 1850s. Neither site exists today because the hydraulic diggings overwhelmed the town-sites and they both disappeared. The Omega site is visible from the Omega Rest area as visitors look down the Yuba River Canyon at the hillsides below.
Hydraulic mining was especially damaging to the hillsides, rivers and habitat. The Sawyer Decision of 1883 ended the practice of hydraulic mining, and many gold mining camps that depended on that method as the primary mining strategy were quickly abandoned for more productive camps. For more information about the Sawyer Decision, see the Alpha Diggings site.
Today, the old trails through the Alpha and Omega diggings area are considered some of the best mountain biking trails in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
The historical landmark is located at the Omega Rest Area, six miles east of Washington Road in the town of Washington.
Nevada means “snow-covered” in Spanish. During winter months, Nevada County’s eastern border is wholly engulfed in the snows of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. In the 1840s and 1850s many emigrants arrived in California via the Overland Emigrant Trail which threaded through the infamous Donner Pass.