Skip Navigation.

Our Featured Event

2016 World Gold Panning Championships

September 11 – 18, 2016

El Dorado County is proud to host the 40th Annual World Gold Panning Championships "The Olympics of Gold Panning" right here where the California Gold Rush started. More than 600 competitors from over 20 countries will participate in this unusual sporting event at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville. This promises to be an unforgettable event which has already gained worldwide attention.

A ticket graphic that says September 11-18, 2016Register TodayEnter the Competition – The competition is open to all ages and skill levels. Competitive categories include: Juniors, Men, Women, Veterans, Classical Pan, 2-Person Team, 3-Person Team, 5-Person Team and The National Team.

An image of an adult man ina red vest panning for gold at the competition

Just For Fun – Beginners and Kids categories welcome newcomers or have some fun with team events like "Anything but a gold pan" and "Oh Say Can You See"
Find Out More »

An image of two kids standing together panning for gold for fun at the competition

El Dorado Gold Week

A countywide, weeklong celebration surrounding the World Gold Panning Championships. It truly will be an unprecedented week to experience El Dorado County!

Fun at the Fairgrounds

Alongside the competition, the fairgrounds is jammed with activities, Historical reenactments, live music and performances every day. There’s a car show and a chili cook off, museum tours, competitive grape stomp and brewfest, wine tasting and wheelbarrow races and rock hounds will love the 77th Annual CFMS Mineral & Gem Show and Convention. Download complete schedule of events at the fairgrounds here or check out the calendar of events on

Explore El Dorado County

Experience rare access to historical sites like Gold Bug Park and Mine, historical reenactments, live music and performances during Coloma Gold Rush Live and the Divide Gold Rush Days. Don’t miss the newly created excursions to Apple Hill, Art exhibits and quilt show, Countryfest, an Air Show and lots of whitewater excitement. There are exclusive wine tours and tastings, wilderness hikes and star gazing, Try a train ride or the Wakamatsu Farm Tour. The "Parade of Nations" will march down Main Street in Placerville where the international competitors will proudly represent their country. Afterward you are invited to kick up your heels at the Street Dance and sample miners stew presented by Old Tow n Grill and Placerville Hardware. Check out the Oktoberfest and Wiener Dog Race downtown popular among the locals. Download the complete schedule of events around the county here or check the online calendar of events.

Free Daily Shuttle

The Stay & Play Shuttle logoThe El Dorado Stay and Play shuttles services many major hotels and motels along the highway 50 Corridor. There are daily round trip shuttles to Coloma and hourly shuttles to Gold Bug Park and Mine and Downtown Placerville. So relax and stay a while. Download shuttle schedule here.


An image of a Holiday Inn taken at nightThe general hospitality of the gold country mirrors its natural delights by providing a variety of accommodations for the visitor. Available is everything from Bed & Breakfast Inns to an historic yet modern hotel featuring two-room suites with kitchenettes, to several motels, campgrounds, tenting and RVing, and a variety of cabins.
Visit our Lodging page for more information.

The El Dorado County of California Air Quality Management District logoThe El Dorado Stay & Play Shuttles are funded by a grant from the El Dorado County Air Quality Management District. T he El Dorado County Visitors Authority (EDVA designed the program to encourage group transportation and overnight stays in El Dorado County, reduce motor vehicle emissions and introduce new visitors to the area.

Dog Trekker logo El Dorado Gold 2016 logo Experience El Doorado