Angels Camp Journals

Captivating Calaveras County

A July 2001 trip to Angels Camp by Jsewell

Big Trees State Park Photo, Angels Camp, California More Photos
Quote: Calaveras County offers a goldmine of activities and attractions. During our week there we hiked through giant sequoia groves, explored a cave, visited Yosemite National park, saw a Shakespearean play, tasted wines, and still had lots of time to relax.

Captivating Calaveras County

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
The highlights for my husband and me were hiking through Big Trees State Park, gawking at the thousand year old monster redwood trees, and taking a tour through California Caverns.

Quick Tips:

It's hot in California in the summer - even in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains - bring a water bottle with you wherever you go.

Best Way To Get Around:

A car is a must. There was no public transportation and the towns are small and spread out through the foothills.

WorldMark Angels Camp Resort

Hotel | "WorldMark Resort at Angel camp"

Quote:
Very spacious - we had a two bedroom condo with a full kitchen, two baths, washer and dryer, lovely dining/living room. The units were clean and tastefully decorated. Little extras like salt and pepper, coffee filters, laundry detergent etc. made us feel right at home. The resort also had several hottubs, a nice pool and workout room, tennis courts and a playground.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 14, 2001

WorldMark Angels Camp Resort
123 Selkirk Ranch Rd
Angels Camp, California 95222
(209) 736-9549

WorldMark Angels Camp Resort

Hotel | "World Mark Resort at Angel's Camp"

Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Big Trees State Park, Vineyards, Caverns - we toured the California Caverns and really enjoyed them: Lake Melones, Yosemite National Park.Best Things About the Resort:Its location is ideal for seeing a lot of interesting sites in Central California. Located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Angel's Camp has a rich history that includes gold mining and Mark Twain (remember his famous jumping frogs of Calavera County?). We absolutely loved the Big Trees State park (see travel journal to find out why). There's so much to see you could do something different every day and not see it all in a week!Resort Experience:Very spacious - we had a two...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 2, 2002

WorldMark Angels Camp Resort
123 Selkirk Ranch Rd
Angels Camp, California 95222
(209) 736-9549

Yosemite National Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Yosemite National Park Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
Yosemite is an incredible place - well worth the 2 hour drive on winding mountain roads from Angel's Camp. I would recommend visiting in the off-season, though. Summer brings a horde of visitors and high heat. Even so, we were awed by the immense vistas. El Capitan, a towering wall of granite, greets you as you enter the park. Half Dome, equally massive, dominates the horizon from many places in the park. Rivers and lakes and alpine valleys create numerous places to explore or relax. The Yosemite Museum has interesting displays of Native American life. The bus system is handy for the sites in the valley. But to see the best of Yosemite you will have to hike. We hiked up the Mist Trail to the Vernal Fa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 2, 2002

Yosemite National Park
Sierra Nevada
Yosemite National Park, California 95389
(209) 372-0200

Angel's Camp

Attraction

Quote:
The main street of Angel's Camp is a haven for antique/second hand stores. They made for fun browsing but we didn't see anything exceptional - but then we probably wouldn't recognize it if we did.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 14, 2001

Angel's Camp
Main Street
Angels Camp, California

The Gallery

Attraction | "The Gallery??"

The Gallery Photo, Angels Camp, California
Quote:
I'm not sure of the name of this shop but you can't miss it - it has the giant wooden grizzly and the goldminer outfront. It is well worth a visit - if you can find it open. Weekends are your best bet. Local artisans who work with redwood and chainsaws display and sell their creations here. A lot of bears - big bears, small bears, whimsical bears - it was hard to go home without one. Most are priced between 100 and 200 dollars although some of the very small pieces were less. There were also some interesting rock etchings of native Americans. They looked like photographs.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 14, 2001

The Gallery
Intersection of Hwy 4 and Hwy 49
Angels Camp, California

Kautz Ironstone Vineyards

Attraction | "Ironstone Vineyards"

Quote:
We arrived too late for the tour of the vineyard and winery but it sounded very interesting. The grounds and buildings were very lovely and made for a pleasant afternoon's outing. We did taste the wines and I finally found one, an apple wine, that I could say I almost liked, but the "wine-guy" (is he the somalier??) was very patient and we had fun sampling the different varieties. Ironstone also has a gift boutique and an interesting Heritage Museum with photos and artifacts from the goldrush days. Inside a vault in the museum is a 44 pound crytalline leaf gold specimen - it was amazing. Lots of beautiful jewelry and of course, gold, for sale in the museum gift shop. The winery was a bit hard to find ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 14, 2001

Kautz Ironstone Vineyards
1894 Six Mile Road
Murphys, California 95247
(209) 728-1251

California Caverns

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Attraction

Quote:
We took the 80 minute family walking tour. It cost about $11.00 each. If you're interested in the wild cavern tours where you crawl on your belly and explore the wilder parts of the cave you need to make reservations. The walking tour was physical enough for us - most of the time we were able to stand up but a few of the passages were narrow and low. It's damp in the cave and our clothes got a bit muddy. We wore hiking boots and were thankful - the damp floor got slippery in spot. The cave was magnificent! It had all the usual interesting formations: cave bacon, stalactites, stalagmites, etc and several large chambers - some of which had been used in the mid-1800's for town meetings and functions, ev...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 13, 2001

California Caverns
Michel Road
Angels Camp, California

Big Trees State Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Big Trees State Park Photo, Angels Camp, California
Quote:
Big Trees State Park offers camping, picnicking, hiking, biking and an interpretive center. The trails go through the North Grove and the South Grove, both of which are home to some of the most magnificent trees you'll ever see: the giant sequoias. We hiked the North Grove - it was an easy walk through the woods on a well marked, graded trail. The 25 cent trail guide was a good investment. It explained the history and the wonder of these incredible trees, first "discovered" by white men in 1851. These trees are truly awe-inspiring, reaching a circumference of 24-30 feet and living to be over 1000 years old. They also bear witness to the incredible greed and stupidity of man - the "Discovery Tree" (fir...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 13, 2001

Big Trees State Park
Highway 4
Angels Camp, California
(800) 777-0369

Still more to do

Story/Tip

Quote:
We spent a week in Angel's Camp, Calaveras County - home of the famous frog jumping contest Mark Twain was so smitten with. We had a great time but there were still many things to do which we didn't take time for. In addition to the activities I've described in my journal, the area also offered biking, river rafting on the Stanislaus River, tons more places to hike, and boating on Lake Melones. It really is a great vacation spot and the only place we encountered crowds was at Yosemite.

Oh yeah - there were lots of beautiful golf courses in the area - one adjoined our timeshare resort.

About the Writer

Jsewell

Jsewell
Mason, Michigan