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Overview

Tuolumne County's international notoriety comes from her glorious Yosemite and the small gold mining communities of Jamestown, Columbia and Sonora, which draw thousands of tourists each summer. However, this region is not to be overlooked in winter. This former stomping ground for Miwok Native Americans (and later the deluge of gold prospectors) also boasts lesser known (though no less divine) destinations sure to impress the entire clan — especially in the winter months. Those hunting for a quiet alpine getaway will find plenty to adore along Highway 108. The tiny hamlet of Twain Harte draws back the curtains inviting tourists to snake down ...

Tuolumne County's international notoriety comes from her glorious Yosemite and the small gold mining communities of Jamestown, Columbia and Sonora, which draw thousands of tourists each summer. However, this region is not to be overlooked in winter. This former stomping ground for Miwok Native Americans (and later the deluge of gold prospectors) also boasts lesser known (though no less divine) destinations sure to impress the entire clan — especially in the winter months. Those hunting for a quiet alpine getaway will find plenty to adore along Highway 108. The tiny hamlet of Twain Harte draws back the curtains inviting tourists to snake down the lesser populated slopes or sled down snowy hillsides. Or trek up towards Yosemite and Groveland to snowshoe deep into the forest in a winter wonderland. When you need a break from all that fresh air, head to Tuolumne's famed Gold Rush towns to get a glimpse of what this region looked like in the mid-1800s. These days there may be few lawless renegades roaming the streets, but you can still pan for gold when the weather permits. False-front buildings house plenty of historical sites to introduce you to the area that brought the largest migration of folks to California. Drivers, take note that in winter many of the high country roads close, including Hwy 108.

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

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter, early spring, late fall