The Sierra Foothills

4 of 5
Sierra Foothills: Travel

Gold Crush

California’s Gold Rush swept throughout the Sierra Foothills, as evidenced in the colorful names that remain, from Angels Camp to Copperopolis. Today, Highway 49 meanders past historical sites as well as winery tasting rooms. 

Start at Marshall Gold Discovery Park in Coloma, where in 1848, James Marshall first noticed shiny flakes in a sawmill tailrace. Soon, nearly 100,000 would-be gold diggers descended on the area to seek their fortune—many didn’t make a cent. 

Today, visitors can try gold panning at Sutter’s Mill and other locales. Columbia State Park near Sonora preserves a Gold Rush-era town with shops and restaurants.

Delve beneath the surface at underground mines and caves. A national natural landmark, Black Chasm Cavern near Volcano was used for scenes in the movie The Matrix Reloaded. In addition to viewing stalactites and stalagmites, visitors can try geode cracking and gemstone mining.

The Statue of Liberty could fit inside Moaning Cavern Adventure Park near Murphys. Three-hour caving adventures offer options of hard-hat rope rappels and zip lines. California Cavern State Historic Landmark in Mountain Ranch holds rare beaded helictites. Spelunkers can test their inner-world mettle by trekking through the knee-deep, sticky clay.Virginie Boone


Drink Local: Hillbilly Highball

Recipe courtesy Oasis Bar, Amador City, CA

This drink, a rendezvous of French and American spirits, mirrors Golden State vintners’ mastery of French grape varieties, as well as the duality of the cocktail’s creator, bartender Pete Hertog, who’s also a minister.

1 ounce Wild Turkey Bourbon
½ ounce Domaine De Canton Ginger Liqueur
Dash of ginger ale

Fill a highball glass with ice. Combine Wild Turkey and Domaine De Canton in a shaker. Pour mixture into glass, top with ginger ale and serve. —Brandon Hernandez


And Don't Miss...

Upper Amador County hooks into Highway 50 toward Lake Tahoe. In winter, snow sports fans schuss the slopes of top resorts, including Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Sierra-at-Tahoe. In Calaveras County, 1,680-acre Bear Valley Mountain and Lodge provides family-friendly skiing and snowboarding.

Come summer, Get On Your Mark Cycling in Murphys features bicycling excursions with vineyard tours. For rugged terrain, mountain bikers and hikers head to Carson-Iceberg within the Stanislaus National Forest near Markleeville, or follow the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail. 

The American River, site of Marshall’s original gold find, roils with whitewater rafting thrills from April to September. O.A.R.S. runs the Class III rapids on the American’s South Fork, including gourmet adventures with regional wines.Virginie Boone

4 of 5
Edit Module
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

See Other Slideshows

Beer Up: 8 Life-Changing Suds-Infused Recipes

Beer's distinct flavors contribute a deliciously unexpected addition to these recipes from leading chefs.

Pinot Noir, Decoded

Everything you need to know about everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving-dinner pour.

Top Domestic Airport Wine Bars

Nothing makes holiday travel almost bearable than a gate-side glass of wine.

The Wine Lover's Guide to Hosting

Whether it’s a grand gala, a dinner party or an intimate wine tasting, here are the best tips, tricks and pro secrets to help you host envy-inducing soirées.

The Sierra Foothills

4 of 5
Edit Module
Edit Module

Subscribe

You can unsubscribe at any time. View an example of our newsletter.

Edit Module
Edit Module

Shop

Edit Module
>
Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit Module

Related Web Articles