DUE TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS, THE MUSEUM IS CURRENTLY CLOSED - Picnic areas are open as well as hiking as permitted and restricted by the State park system/guidelines.
Chaw'se Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills eight miles east of Jackson. Picnicking, Hiking, Camping are available. The park nestles in a little valley 2,400 feet above sea level with open meadows and large valley oaks that once provided the native Americans of this area with an ample supply of acorns. The park was created in 1968 and preserves a great outcropping of marbleized limestone with some 1,185 mortar holes -- the largest collection of bedrock mortars in North America.
The museum features a variety of exhibits and an outstanding collection of Sierra Nevada Indian artifacts. A Miwok village complete with a ceremonial roundhouse has been reconstructed in the middle of the small valley. It has been designed to reflect the architecture of the traditional roundhouse. Exhibited in this two-story museum are outstanding examples of the technology and crafts of the Miwok and other Sierra Nevada native American groups.
As a regional Indian museum, the collection at Chaw'se includes Northern, Central and Southern Miwok, Maidu, Konkow, Monache, Nisenan, Tubatulabal, Washo, and Foothill Yokuts. Examples of basketry, feather regalia, jewelry, arrowpoints, and other tools are on display.