Guided tours through crystalline caves, fascinating treks deep into Mother Lode mines, and challenging adventure expeditions are provided daily in several local underground attractions. Three caves and two gold mines offer an incredible opportunity to see the incredible geology of the Sierra Nevada foothills from the inside.
Angels Camp is the perfect base camp to miles and miles of hiking and backpacking. Within minutes from Angels Camp is the beautiful New MelonesLake with miles and miles of year-round trails at all levels, such as Natural Bridges Trail and the Carson Creek Trail. Big Trees State Park east of Arnold offers more year-round trails. The Arnold Rim Trail offers numerous opportunities at elevations over 3,000 feet. The Calaveras Ranger District of the Stanislaus National Forest maintains 279 miles of hiking trails (143 in Wilderness, 136 non-Wilderness), offering anything from short, easy day hikes to strenuous, multi-day backpacking opportunities. Most of these trails are at high elevation (above 6,000 feet) and are accessible only during the summer and early fall months. Some of the most popular hikes are described below.
What do we do in the high country when Mother Nature hasn't yet brought the snows for us to stride on? We put on the skates! This January there's a unique opportunity to sample our frozen lakes, which are usually buried in snow this time of year. Bear Valley Cross Country has skates for rent and maintain their own skating pond in the Bear Valley meadow. Mosquito Lake, in the video above, is on Ebbetts Pass, just up the road from Bear Valley.
Cross Country Skiing
Discover the joys of cross country skiing at Bear Valley Cross Country. Explore one of the largest and most scenic groomed trail systems in the United States with over 65km of track. All the trails offer a twin track and a skate lane and there are kid specific trails for the smaller ones. The Cross Country Center houses a complete line of ski rentals along with a retail store where you can find equipment, apparel, snacks and much more. Purchase a lesson from the top rated PSIA Ski School to perfect your skills. While out gliding on the trails stop at one of the four trailside huts or grab a bite to eat at the trailside café. Visit the website for a complete calendar of fun events and pricing.
Angels Camp is located in the heart of California's Gold Country, made famous by the largest human migration in history. Inspired by the 1849 discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada foothills, people from all over the world traveled here in droves hoping to strike it rich. The first towns were established as temporary tent towns and soon schools, churches and meeting halls sprang up. When the placer gold was exhausted, hard rock mining began. Some of these mines are open for tours today:
Don't forget your evenings! Instead of lounging around in front of the fire, why don't you see a play at Black Bart Theater, or participate in Open Mike Night at the Angels Camp Merc. Silent movies at Ironstone, or Beer Appreciation Night at Alchemy. Check the Visitor's Bureau Calendar for details.