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Old May 29th, 2003, 01:31 PM
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I'm spending 3-4 days in the gold rush country of the central California foothills (hwy 41/49)next week. Do any of you have any suggestions for off-the-road or out-of-the-way things to see or do? My big interests are sight-seeing, history, photography, walks (but not hikes).
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Old May 29th, 2003, 03:58 PM
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We toured this area when I was young and it still stands out as a place I enjoyed. Lots of history and very pretty scenery.

Unfortunately since it was several years and I didn't plan it I have little advice to offer. I remember Sutter's Mine/Fort. There was also a town that had been 're-done' to look as it did at the time and some very nice campgrounds. Of course that helps you little - I just wanted to wish you fun and say I enjoyed it.
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Old May 29th, 2003, 06:31 PM
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Well - Hwy 49/41 is a long way with a lot to see. On the northern end (on or near hwy 49) there is the Sutter's Mill gold discovery site in Coloma (definitely not Sutters Fort - that is in downtown Sacramento), Columbia State Park, some wonderful tiny villages (Amador city, Sutter Creek, Mokelumne Hill and others)

there is less on hwy 41 but the scenery is nice. Some places to stop include Coarsegold, Oakhurst and of course you could take a detour into Yosemite Valley.
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Old May 29th, 2003, 07:07 PM
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East of Jackson and off Highway 88, the little town of Volcano is interesting. Murphys on Highway 4 is a good place to visit along with Big Trees State Park. In the Plymouth, Murphys and Placerville areas wineries abound. Walk the main drag of Angels Camp and Sonora, Columbia State Historic Park near Sonora is a good place to send a few hours.Lots of history all along Highway 49.
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Old May 31st, 2003, 09:31 AM
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Thanks to you all for the suggestions. I'm leaving tomorrow in case anyone has any last minute suggestions.
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Old Nov 17th, 2003, 09:40 AM
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Could someone suggest a gold rush "ghost town" along the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas? Something within a day-trip distance of the San Francisco area would fit the bill. We'd especially love to find some spring flowere in bloom along the hills and valleys of our drive (in mid-late April). Would Mariposa fit the bill? Thanks in advance for any tips!
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Old Nov 17th, 2003, 11:13 AM
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Dreamer2: Depends on your definition of "ghost town" (Do I sound like Clinton, or what?).

Mariposa is a neat little foothills town with a rich history of mining and with a state mining museum at the fairgrounds. However, it has become more modernized with time but still has a few older buildings.

There are two "dedicated" mining towns of which I am aware. Columbia State Historic District just north of Sonora, Calif, is a period town with docents in period costumes and a variety of businesses that either operate as period businesses or replicate them.

North of there, north of Placerville, Coloma is the site of Sutter's Mill where gold was discovered that set off the California gold rush. It is also a state park and you (or at least I) could easily spend a day or two touring it and seeing the various exhibits.

Having said that, almost all of the towns along CA-49 have some gold rush heritage. I also enjoy side trips on all of the hiways running east from CA-49.

For more information, you can take a look at an article I wrote a few months ago that has a variety of links where you can get more information. It is at

Have a great trip.
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Old Nov 17th, 2003, 01:10 PM
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Dreamer2, have a look at Volcano, off SR 88 a little east of SR 49. Not a ghost town per se (anything that was really deserted 100 yrs ago has become one with nature long since) but very picturesque and surrounded by gorgeous country. The Columbia historic park is well worth a stop too.
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