Calaveras County

Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains - 133 miles east of San Francisco - 135 miles west of Lake Tahoe. Midway along State Highway 49, which links the towns of the Gold Country, Calaveras County is filled with natural and historic diversity.

Discover unique, year-round adventures in Calaveras County, including historic and picturesque gold rush towns, award-winning foothill vineyards and tasting rooms, micro-breweries and pubs, eclectic art galleries, antique shops, and gold rush museums. Learn the art of Calaveras gold panning, or caving in the variety of natural limestone and crystalline-filled caverns open to the public. Enjoy a round of golf on professional courses laid out along canyon ridges in the pines or among 200-year-old oaks in rolling terrain. Shopping is at its most fun and innovative in the tiny, fascinating towns of the Calaveras landscape.

Every season of the year holds its share of fun activities in Calaveras. In the spring, summer, and fall, enjoy biking and hiking trails that crisscross through the giant Sequoias at Calaveras Big Trees State Park and the Stanislaus National Forest. Off-highway adventures and whitewater rafting tours of the famous Stanislaus River beckon the adventuresome, while fishing, water skiing, houseboat weekends, camping, bicycling, horseback riding and much more will keep the entire family busy.

The uncountable attractions of winter include first-class downhill skiing at Bear Valley Ski Area. There you will enjoy many excellent cross-country trails offering silent, pristine scenes of winter wonder and miles of snowmobiling from two-hour to all-day tours around the village or through the woods.

Those of you looking to momentarily escape the tension of metropolitan life will find yourselves captivated, entertained, and rejuvenated by this part of California's Gold Country.

Drive the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Highway

Ebbetts Pass Scenic BywayThe Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Highway is considered one of the most scenic drives across California's Sierra Nevada mountains. Surrounded by national forests and wilderness areas along most of the route, visitors have the opportunity to witness and explore this rugged landscape that was home to the native peoples of the area and to pioneer emigrants alike.

The physical setting of this byway ranges in elevation from approximately 3000' to 8500'. The vegetation is primarily dense mixed conifer forests and high elevation lakes on the western side of the pass, while the eastern side of the pass is noticeably drier, offering open vistas and grasslands with trees in the lower elevations concentrating in riparian (river, meadow, and wetland) areas and north exposed slopes.

Expansive views of granite outcrops, basalt columns, ancient volcanic peaks, deep river canyons, glacially carved valleys, majestic stands of conifers including giant sequoias, open meadows, clear mountain lakes, and swiftly flowing streams and rivers can all be experienced within this amazing byway. One can find historic relics of people who lived here before as well as present day resorts and recreation facilities.

Whether you're choosing an alternate route over the Sierra, planning to hike or camp in the High Country, or searching out a new great fishing spot, the Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway offers plenty of adventure and solitude.