In Tuolumne County, California, spectacular scenery, outdoor recreation, and history come together, reaching from the heart of California’s Gold Country to the granite, forested peaks of Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Tuolumne County is like three year-round destinations in one, just 125 miles east of the San Francisco Bay area. Whether your group wants to sightsee and wander effortlessly or is aspiring for adventure, it will find endless activities and appealing lodging options and venues in walkable towns and expansive natural settings.
Tuolumne County’s Gold Country offers an authentic Gold Rush experience with its rich and lively historical towns, such as Jamestown, Sonora, and Columbia, where unique specialty shops, fine art galleries, and diverse dining options line the streets. Take in a superior live theater performances, or try your luck with 24-hour gaming action. Wineries, craft breweries, and a hard apple cider distillery enthusiastically share their local beverage creations in distinctive locations.
Two California state historic parks, Railtown 1897 and Columbia, export visitors to a past era when the West was bustling with those searching for gold or a new way of life.
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Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown is home to one of the few remaining working railroad roundhouses in the U.S. and an impressive collection of steam locomotives and railroad cars of the historical Sierra Railway. The highlight of this state park is an actual movie star—Sierra No. 3, known as the movie star locomotive, has been featured in hundreds of movies, television shows, and commercials.
Get immersed in California’s Gold Rush history in Columbia State Historic Park with a ride on an authentic stagecoach, gold panning, and conversations with knowledgeable and friendly townspeople dressed in period attire. Historical inns, restaurants, a working blacksmith shop, an old-fashioned bowling alley, a theater, and shops lend themselves to the town’s genuine ambiance.
Travel to new heights on a scenic drive to Tuolumne County’s High Country along Highway 108 (Sonora Pass). Magnificent vistas, peaks, lakes, and rivers create endless picturesque opportunities for every nature lover or outdoor enthusiast. The town of Twain Harte among the pines is a great place to start with quaint shops and galleries to browse.
Hiking is the number one visitor activity in Tuolumne County. The Stanislaus National Forest provides thousands of miles of trails for hikers of all skill levels. Some trailheads located along and near the highway are suitable for smaller motorcoaches to access. Or, experience the West the way the settlers first saw it: on horseback! Reputable pack stations offer trail rides May through October with knowledgeable guides leading the way.
For more information, contact Visit Tuolumne’s County’s Katie Kirkland.
Photos by Tuolumne County Tourism