Shayan (USA)

photo: Shayan (USA)

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Overview

In-the-know snow bunnies trek to Calaveras County to battle Bear Valley's trickster slopes. Without the glam of her neighbors Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, this region promises a low key serving of snowy adventure without crowds or high costs, and with plenty of unexplored terrain. And when you've sledded, skied, snowboarded, tubed and snowshoed your hearts out, travel down the mountain to the hilly hamlet of Murphys. This foothill community offers an artful blend of galleries, family friendly eateries with farm fresh cuisine, a downtown park with a river running right through it and wineries hawking big reds with bold finishes. Just a short ...

In-the-know snow bunnies trek to Calaveras County to battle Bear Valley's trickster slopes. Without the glam of her neighbors Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, this region promises a low key serving of snowy adventure without crowds or high costs, and with plenty of unexplored terrain. And when you've sledded, skied, snowboarded, tubed and snowshoed your hearts out, travel down the mountain to the hilly hamlet of Murphys. This foothill community offers an artful blend of galleries, family friendly eateries with farm fresh cuisine, a downtown park with a river running right through it and wineries hawking big reds with bold finishes. Just a short drive from town you can travel deep into crystalline covered caverns (dress warm as it gets chilly), or explore a dramatic redwood forest. Calaveras County can also be credited with giving Mark Twain the inspiration to pen his first successful short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." And while the county may be best known today for those hopping amphibians (and some Wild West inspired kitsch), there is nothing like capping the day off with a sip of beer and a soak in the hot tub under the sea of wintertime stars.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Michele Bigley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in California's Gold Country, 82 miles from Sacramento. Calaveras is the Spanish word for skulls; the county was reportedly named for the remains of Native Americans discovered by a Spanish explorer Captain Gabriel Moraga.
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter, early spring, late fall