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< Saturday, September 8, 2018 >

All Day The 12th Annual Ebbetts Scenic Celebration or Hermitfest is September 8th
Hermit Valley, CA...The Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway Association (EPSBA) will be hosting their 12th Annual Scenic Celebration on Saturday, September 8th, 2018 from 11am until 8pm. We invite you to “Come Play on the Pass” with us and enjoy one of the last free, outdoor, live music events of the year. Our annual celebration takes place in Hermit Valley and is affectionately referred to as “Hermitfest” by locals and past attendees.

This year we’ll be enjoying the music of long time Hermitfest favorites Bill Welles and Grover Anderson who have been with us from the very beginning. Ten Dollar Pony will be back again this year too. We’ll also be welcoming Jimbo Scott, Nathan Ignacia & Sambossa to the valley.

The music begins around 11am this year and will officially end at 8 pm but those of you who have attended before know that the music may continue around the campfires long into the evening. There will be food and beverages available for purchase. Tonja and Jana will be back with their locally roasted coffee, specialty teas, cold drinks and who knows what else! The work of a few local artisans will also be available for purchase. Weather permitting; we will have opportunities for stargazing with telescopes & experts available at around 9pm to help us enjoy the stars, constellations, and stories of the night sky.

Hermit Valley has plenty of opportunity for hiking and playing in the river. Fall weather is generally warm and sunny but a quick afternoon rain shower is always a possibility in the mountains and you’ll want to make sure you bring warm clothing as the mornings and evenings can be quite chilly. Primitive campsites are available on a first come basis for those wishing to spend the night. There are sites in the immediate vicinity of the event as well as a few more on the river side of the road. Additional camping is available nearby in the beautiful Pacific Valley campgrounds. While we welcome your well-socialized dogs, please keep them on a six-foot leash and do not leave them unattended. For those of you planning to spend the night, there will be late night treats and coffee and goodies on Sunday morning.

Bring your fat tire ride and join the Bear Valley Trails Stewardship for the best Fat Tire Festival on Highway 4. Experience some of the best mountain bike riding in the area. The weekend festivities will include guided MTB rides, shuttles to the high points of some of our best trails, bike demos and gear sales, food and beverages (beer by Snowshoe Brewery), camping, games, raffles with plenty of swag. Contact BVTS to register at

On your way to the celebration in Hermit Valley, stop by the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce offices in downtown Markleeville where they will have maps, cold drinks and lots of information about things to do over the weekend. On the Arnold side, you may want to visit the Logging Museum, hike a portion of the Rim Trail or stop in at Calaveras Big Trees State Park to admire the Giant Sequoias. It looks like the pools at Grover Hot Springs State Park, outside Markleeville, will be open this year but it never hurts to double check at 530-694-2248.

Hermit Valley is located on Highway 4 in the Stanislaus National Forest about 38 miles east of Arnold and 23 miles west of Markleeville on the North Fork of the Mokelumne River at about the 7000-foot elevation. If you haven’t driven the pass before, remember that we are a scenic byway for good reason. The higher elevation portion of Highway 4 between Lake Alpine on the west and Silver Creek on the east is narrow, twisty, steep and so worth the drive beautiful mountain views and many opportunities to get out of your car and take a closer look. The route over the top is not recommended for large RVs or trailers.

Ebbetts Pass was honored with National Scenic Byway status in 2005. It is one of only seven nationally-designated byways in California. The Ebbetts Pass Byway Association is the non-profit organization tasked with preserving, enhancing and promoting the unique resources of the byway. The EPSBA had developed a guidebook for the area which is available on our website for those who want to know more about the history, geology, wildlife and recreation available in the area.

This event is made possible by the generous support of our event partners and sponsors so make sure to visit them and let them know you appreciate their support of this event. Our 2018 event sponsors are the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce & Cal Waste. We also receive financial support from many other individuals and organizations. Please visit our website to see the complete list. This event is presented under permit with the US Forest Service.

We also want to thank our local media and the many other organizations who all help to promote this event. We especially want to thank Ron Schaner who coordinates and schedules the musicians every year and is a tireless supporter of live music in the Ebbetts Pass area.

For more information about the Ebbetts Pass area, this event and what’s happening along the byway all year long, visit or or e-mail us at

For other events in the area and lodging information, contact the Calaveras Visitors Bureau at 209-736-0049 ( or the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce at 530-694-2475 ( On the west side you can also visit,, and
All Day Bear Valley Fat Tire Festival September 8th-9th in Bear Valley
Bear Valley, CA....Bring your fat tire ride and join us for the best Fat Tire Festival on Highway 4.  Experience some of the best mountain bike riding in the area and get in on the festivities.   The weekend festivities will include guided MTB rides, shuttles to the high points of some of our best trails, bike demos and gear sales, food and beverages (beer by Snowshoe Brewery), camping, games, raffles with plenty of swag, BVTS T-Shirts available and live music at HermitFest.

Registration is $50 and includes any or all of the following: guided rides, trail map, Saturday lunch, Saturday BBQ dinner, beer and wine, shuttles to high trail points on Cape Horn and Rings trails on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, plus Poker Ride with prizes.


Below are more details about the Bear Valley Fat Tire Festival, coming  up on September 8-9th in Bear Valley, CA, along with FAQs

For more questions, contact   -OR- (president of BVTS)

Is there a schedule for the event?
YES.  The event final schedule is available HERE

How do I get to Bear Valley?

Bear Valley is located on Hyway 4 about 2 hours west of Stockton, CA.  It is located on Ebbetts Pass which is a National Scenic Byway.  From Stockton, CA, take State Route 4 toward Angels Camp and continue on Highway 4 another hour to Bear Valley.    GOOGLE MAP DIRECTIONS HERE

Is there camping close by?

The closest camping is 2-3 miles away near Lake Alpine.  There are "camping" accomodations from tent camping to motorhomes as well as "glamping" at the Bear Valley Ski Area.  Here is a GOOGLE MAP link to CAMPGROUNDS near Bear Valley


Here is the link to use for booking camp sites in the nearby National Forest campgrounds   The interesting thing is that if you go the the Stanislaus NF site and look at the campgrounds they say they are all first come first serve and no reservations.  This is not true. Most have about half the sites that can be reserved ahead of time.  Among them is a link for SILVERTIP CAMPGROUND which has sights than can be reserved.  LAKE ALPINE is all first-come-first-served camp sights.

What other accommodations are nearby?

Lake Alpine also has small cabins and tent cabins for rent - LAKE ALPINE ACCOMMODATIONS

Bear Valley has cabin rentals available.  Check Bear Valley Real Estate for VACATION RENTALS

Bear Valley Lodge has hotel rooms available along with bars and restaurants.  BEAR VALLEY LODGE 

There are rooms available down the road 3 miles at TAMARACK LODGE 

What kind of riding is there in Bear Valley?

Bear Valley has a variety of multi-use single-track trails for mountain bikers and hikers.  There are also many miles of double-track available for exploration.  The LOCAL TRAILS tab above lists the most popular trails nearby with descriptions and ratings for riders.  Bear Valley Trail Stewards organization is working to keep these trails in top shape for riders and hikers alike.

Is there a bike shop in Bear Valley?

Yes, the Bear Valley Adventure Company has a bike shop with repairs as well as many other items below:

The store is stocked with clothing, cool bear t-shirts and sweatshirts, footwear, equipment and supplies from the following great companies: Specialized, Perception, Surftech, Patagonia, Camelbak, Columbia, GoPro, Reef Brazil, Salomon, Smith, Yakima,  & more. Attached to the store is a mini-mart with high energy drinks, snacks, etc. for your outing.

Are there other food options (grocery, restaurants, etc.)?

There are several options for food in Bear Valley - Bear Valley FOOD OPTIONS

There is also a restaurant at Lake Alpine and a camp supply General Store - LAKE ALPINE RESORT

What other events are going on around Bear Valley that same weekend?

Hermit Fest Music Festival - Hermit Valley

Endeavor Challenge - Bear Valley Lodge

Winemakers Dinner at Lake Alpine Lodge on Sunday 9/9 from 5-9pm.  More Info Here

All Day Columbia Gold Rush Days
Columbia, CA...Reserve the second Saturday of every month for Gold Rush Days at Columbia State Historic Park. You’ll get to see inside special exhibits, stores and residences not regularly open to the public.  Docents in period attire will provide lots of information on the structure of their featured building, nature of its business and equipment, contents of store merchandise, or interior décor of family homes, along with history of the times for visitors. If you’re lucky, the gambling table will be set up on the boardwalk for everyone to try their hand at betting against a mining camp gambler. This event is free.

Sponsored by The Friends Of Columbia SHP. Visit their website here for more information.
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Old Timers Museum Walking Tours Are Every Saturday at 10am.
Murphys, CA...Each Saturday morning the Old Timers Museum in Murphys offers a historical walking tour of Murphys. No reservation necessary. Meet at the Museum, 470 Main St, Murphys, across from the Hotel 10 am. Walk is 1-1/12 hours.

A stroll down tree-lined Main Street transports visitors back to the mid-1800s with buildings bearing thick stone walls, iron shutters and pastoral gardens with white picket fences. Once you experience the charm and hospitality of Murphys, the historic “Queen of the Sierra”, you’ll want to come back again and again!

Rich in Gold Rush History, Murphys today is a vibrant, thriving community of over 2,000 residents. Many of the surrounding hillsides are rich with the fine wine grapes grown in our area. Murphys offers wineries, art galleries, live theater, eclectic shops, fine restaurants, charming hotels and B&B’s as well as a multitude of outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities.

Murphys’ colorful past came alive in 1848 when John and Daniel Murphy established a trading post and gold mining operation in the area that is now their namesake. True entrepreneurs with the luck of the Irish, they were a part of the very first immigrant party – the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy families – to successfully bring wagons over the Sierra in 1844, paving the way for westward migration. John and Daniel’s cries of “Gold!” were among the first heard in California. It is reported that the brothers took two million dollars in gold ore from the Murphys Diggins in one year’s time, making them millionaires before the age of 25. The sizzling Gold Rush camp of Murphys also played host to President Grant, Mark Twain and Black Bart. And in some circles, to an even more famous chap – a young, inquisitive lad who literally changed the scientific world, Dr. Albert Michelson.

Our friendly residents invite you to revisit the past while exploring the “new” upscale Murphys. Guided walking tours of the town’s many historic buildings including the home of Albert Michelson, the first American Nobel Prize winner, are conducted every Saturday at 10:00 a.m., starting in front of the Old Timers Museum on Main Street.
11:00 AM - 05:00 PM Guided Tours of Ironstone Vineyards
Murphys, CA...Take a complimentary guided tour beginning in the tasting room (offered Wednesday – Sunday only) at 1:30 pm. Or take the self-guided tour. Print out the self-guided map here.   Ironstone is open Daily from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day

11:00 AM Town Tours of Columbia State Historic Park
Columbia, CA...Enjoy an hour-long walking tour of town led by a park staff member or docent. See the actual gold discovery site, learn about the buildings and early merchants of Columbia. Sponsored by The Friends Of Columbia SHP. Visit their website for more information. Town Tours are every Saturday & Sunday starting at 11 am. Meet at the office on Main Street & State St Columbia, CA 95310

12:00 PM Karen Hagen Fund Raiser
This is a fund raising event to help the Hagens with medical expenses incurred after Karen suffered a fall from her horse. There is a Live DJ, a Taco a Truck on site, art by Kelso and lots of very nice raffle prizes. Tickets are only $5.00 each. Do not have to be present to win. Tickets available at Spenses in Angels Camp and at Buchannan's Country Feed and More in San Andreas
12:00 PM - 04:00 PM Sierra Nevada Logging Museum Open Thurs - Sun
Sierra Nevada Logging Museum is open Thurs – Sun, 12pm – 4pm Learn More About Logging History in Sierra Nevada
04:00 PM Rare Opportunity to Tour the Historic Utica Mansion
Angels Camp, CA – June 4, 2018 – The Angels Camp Museum Foundation will be hosting a special dinner event September 8, 2018 to benefit the Angels Camp Museum Foundation Lecture Series. Thanks to the current owner and resident, Tad Folendorf, the Utica Mansion will once again be open to the public for tours, complete with a history of the home followed by a delicious dinner catered by Pickle Patch on the Utica Mansion grounds.

“For many years, the mansion was a focal point for major social events of the Angels Camp community, “said Karen Strand, Angels Camp Museum Foundation President. “With the exception of minor alterations to the lower floor in the 1950s, the house today is as it was in the 1890s.”

The mansion began as a modest 2-story stone Federal house built by Utica Mine owner Robert Leeper in 1882. Leeper sold the mine and his home to Charles D. Lane. Early in the 1890s, Lane undertook an elaborate remodel that doubled the home’s size and transformed it into the mansion as it exists today.

“A lot of people don’t know that the house was also used as an office,” said Tad Folendorf, current Utica Mansion owner. “At one time the street in front of the houses adjacent to Utica park were offices of the various mines. In fact, the street adjacent to Utica Park was originally called ‘Office Street’ until it was changed to Utica Park Lane in the 1980s.”

Utica Mansion Event Tickets are $40 each for Museum members, $50 for non-members. For tickets contact Foundation President Karen Strand at (209) 795-1408 or

About the Angels Camp Museum Foundation

The mission of the Angels Camp Museum Foundation is to raise the necessary funds to support the development and expansion of the exhibits, collections, and programs of the Angels Camp Museum.
06:00 PM A Catered Affair Patio Party with Milliaire Winery
The second of two in our Patio Party series, enjoy an evening of live music by Nicholas Leflar and delicious food catered by the Murphys Historic Hotel. Tickets are $50. Limited to 30 people.
07:30 PM Brian Jirka & The Cabby Band at Sequoia Woods
Arnold, CA...Saturday September 8 - we have live music on the deck. Bar food will be served. Restaurant open too (only one more month of fresh halibut on the menu!) Cheers!

Mark Twain Medical Center
Meadowmont Pharmacy
Bank of Stockton
Bear Valley Real Estate
Bear Valley Cross Country
Cedar Creek Realty
Cave, Mine & Zip Lines
Fox Security
Bistro Espresso
Pinnacle Physical Therapy
Chatom Winery
Middleton's Furniture
Bear Valley Mountain Resort
Paul D. Bertini
Premier Properties
High Country Spa & Stove
Calaveras Mentoriing

Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway
Sierra Logging Museum
Jenny's Kitchen

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