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Two days in Angels Camp

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7 reviews
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Two days in Angels Camp

We will be staying in Angels Camp for four days, but two of those are for Yosemite. It will be my husband and I plus our two young 20's children. So, I was thinking of driving north in 49 one day and over to Murphys and Big Tree State Park the second. How far north should we drive to get the best it has to offer. Do we need to go all the way to Marshall Gold Duscovery, or are there suitable substitutes closer? We'd love to see a little old west gold mining history and do some wine tasting. Maybe a good recommendation for lunch.

6 replies to this topic
Santa Clara...
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1. Re: Two days in Angels Camp

Angels Camp is a far base for Yosemite but I suppose your plans are set already.

Definitely go to Calevaras Big Trees. Not very crowded and a great place t see the giant sequoias.

Angels Camp is a very cute town.

No need to go to Marshalls. Visit the Columbia Staye Historic Park.


Search the forums as there are a few trip reports for visiting the Mother Lode area. Have fun!

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: Two days in Angels Camp

I agree. Angels Camp is a really far lodging choice for Yosemite National Park.

It's about 3 hours from Angels Camp to Glacier Point where I assume you'll be spending some of your Yosemite tourism. It's "only" 2 1/4 hours to Yosemite Valley. Both of those times are assuming no traffic. So leave your Angels Camp lodgings early early early.

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2,031 posts
3. Re: Two days in Angels Camp

There really is not a substitute for Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=484 because that is where gold was first discovered in California in 1848 which then led to the gold rush of 1849.

A preserved historic gold rush village which is a state park closer to Angels Camp would be Columbia State Historic Park http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=552 which is south of Angels Camp about 14 miles. See map link here --- https://goo.gl/maps/9g3dsBsEg562 or you can go this way, too --- https://goo.gl/maps/aiJ7SjVmojq The first map link takes you a much prettier way to Columbia.

Giving a day to Murphys combined with Calaveras Big Trees State Park is very good http://visitmurphys.com/ and http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=551 BRING MOSQUITO REPELLENT FOR BIG TREES STATE PARK. In Murphys, plan to visit Ironstone Winery which is centered around a gold rush theme --- http://www.ironstonevineyards.com/ I do not know your dates but be advised (or forewarned) that Ironstone Winery is a 7,000 attendee concert venue and there are several concerts scheduled there this summer --- ironstonevineyards.com/Events-Weddings/2015-…

Further north on Highway 49 is Jackson, Sutter Creek and Amador City which is my northern *turn around* place in the central Mother Lode. This also includes Plymouth, California and the Shenandoah Valley which is jam-packed full of wineries. Jam-packed! Helwig Winery in the Shenandoah Valley is one we are trying to keep a secret --- http://www.helwigwinery.com/SummerConcerts so we try not to mention it very often.

I should also mention that there are about 20 to 25 wineries in the Murphys area, not only Ironstone. Here is a link for the winery map in Calavers County -- it might take a few seconds to load --- calaveraswines.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/0…

Lots of good places to eat in this area --- Crusco's in downtown Angels Camp, then there is CAMPS (not your typical golf grub) at Greenhorn Creek Golf Resort in Angels Camp, and we like the Mexican place (La Hacienda) and the Chinese place both of which are in the Starbucks and the McDonalds shopping area on the north side of town. El Jardin in Murphys and also in Columbia are also our favorites for Mexican food. There is also an El Jardin in downtown historic Sonora (which you might as well drive through because you will be visiting Columbia). Sonora is just 3 miles farther south of Columbia. In downtown Sonora you also have Legends and The Diamondback for wonderful lunch places. The museum in Sonora (on West Bradford Street 3 blocks west off of the main drag through town which is Washington Street -- there is nothing named Main Street in Sonora) is the original *inside* jail. It's quite the place. Then, 4 miles south on Highway 49 after leaving Sonora you will come to Jamestown, California which is also a gold rush village.

An idea for luch on the day that you visit Calaveras Big Trees Stte Park is to stop in downtown Murphys at the beginning (west end0 on Main Street and get yourself some sandwiches and deli items to go from ALCHEMY'S MARKET. Then, plan to have a picnic in the *day use area* inside Calaveras Big Trees. So beautiful there!


As a side note, I can tell you that you will receive comments from other posters advising you that Angels Camp is too far away from Yosemite Valley to travel back and forth. What I know for sure having lived in Sonora for about 15 years is that travel time from Sonora is 1 hour to the northwest gate of Yosemite and then add 45 minutes for the additional 24 miles from the park gate to Yosemite Valley where the famous iconic rock cliffs are located. Then, consider that Angels Camp is about 30 minutes north of Sonora, so factor that additional 30 minutes in your commute time to and from Yosemite for a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes, and see if that amount of time in your vehicle one-way is what you had in mind.

Have fun!

(When is it that you will be here?)


Edited: 4:11 pm, June 25, 2016
Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
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4. Re: Two days in Angels Camp

I agree with Copper Jack Rabbit and he has given you very valuable advise. Many take day trips from San Francisco to Yosemite (yes its a very long day trip) so being even closer puts Yosemite National Park as quite doable from Angel's Camp.

In regards to some other things to see

1) There is also Railtown to go to. Its interesting if you like trains and nostaligic old time Hollywood.


2) I second going to Ironstone Winery. (even if you do not like wine). The gold nugget there is impressive.

3) If you drive an hour east of Sonora there is a very nice lake area called Pinecrest Lake. Nice hikes, fishing, swimming, outdoor movies at night, cafe, and so on.


For some more on highway 49 which is a super fun area to explore once you know what's there,

also see


Carmel, California
Level Contributor
4,912 posts
11 reviews
45 helpful votes
5. Re: Two days in Angels Camp

We had a nice dinner at Grounds recently if you find yourself in Murphys. Also enjoyed lunch at Flip'd Out (it's an order at the counter place next to a gas station and has no real atmosphere but does have a small patio). There are several tasting rooms right in town in Murphys if want to walk from one to the next.

Level Contributor
307 posts
191 reviews
70 helpful votes
6. Re: Two days in Angels Camp

We stayed at Angels Camp when we went to Yosemite as well. Enjoyed the drive and it wasn't a big deal to us. Our first destination was San Francisco. No suggestions for eating out but we did spend some time at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, not sure if it would of interest but we enjoyed it.

Enjoy your time whatever you decide to do.

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