Now that Folsom Lake is at its lowest level in decades, the visible remnants of Mormon Island, a gold rush era town on the lake bed, have become a big tourist attraction.
On New Year’s Day, thousands of people visited the site. It is accessible from the Browns Ravine parking lot at Folsom Lake. From there, visitors can walk to the foundations of buildings that were abandoned and flooded when Folsom Dam was built in the 1950s.
Artifacts such as bricks, broken glass and rusted tools are easy to find. Visitors are allowed to touch them, but not remove them from the site.
The Browns Ravine access is open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The parking fee is $11 per car.