Take Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway to experience glacially carved canyons, giant sequoias, hot springs, and snow-capped ridges.
Trip Time: 2 days
The Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway is one of the most scenic drives across California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. Anchored at either end by two State Parks – Calaveras Big Trees and Grover Hot Springs – and passing through the Stanislaus and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests, visitors can witness and explore this rugged landscape that was home to the native peoples of the area and to pioneer emigrants alike. Spring and fall are the best times for this drive, as the pass is closed in winter, and summer is the peak tourist season.
Continue to Bear Valley Village, taking in breathtaking landscapes of Dardenelle Range. A drive to the end of the restort brings you to the spectacular Mokelumne Peak and Canyon. You can spend the night at Bear Valley Mountain Resort , or stop at the Bear Valley General Store to grab supplies and continue to a nearby campground. Also on the byway, Lake Alpine is a a favorite summer spot for kayakers and fishermen. A trail around the lake provides an inspirational hiking experience. Grab dinner at the historic Lake Alpine Resort , then continue east along Highway 4 to Cape Horn Vista , which provides a 270-degree view of the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness Area, featuring the signature "sleeping lion" and "elephant" of the Dardenelle Range. Spend the night in a campground, RV park or cabin, or try one of Lake Alpine's rustic "fishermen's cottages."
History lovers should check out the remnents of an old jail in the town of Silver Mountain City on the way to Carson River Resort . Then, explore the historic town of Markleeville including the Wolf Creek Restaurant and Bar and the Old General Store. To finish the day, spend some time soaking in the hot mineral pools of Grover Hot Springs State Park , open year round. Continue 10 miles past Markleeville to Sorensen’s Resort for a classic dinner of beef stew.