The Pardee Section of the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail

Valley Springs, California

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The most ambitious day hike of the Southern Gold Country, this remote section of the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail (MCCT) explores a historic swath of foothill woodlands, chaparral, and canyon. The Campo Seco Staging Area (about 740 feet elevation) lies near the head of Salt Gulch, down which our road descends on a mild gradient, between grassy hills dotted with oaks. After hitting bottom at 0. 5 mile, we barely begin to rise up the other side when we arrive at Wildermuth House, one of the best-preserved way stations of the Gold Country. A stone granary and other structures cluster about the grounds, at the heart of which stands the handsome house itself, built in 1861 of sandstone blocks quarried from a nearby hillside and shaped by hand with stone adze. A stone wall encloses the house and garden, with some fruit trees, a grape arbor, and a large cactus.
Hiking The Sierra Nevada

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking The Sierra Nevada

by Barry Parr (Falcon Guides)

The most ambitious day hike of the Southern Gold Country, this remote section of the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail (MCCT) explores a historic swath of foothill woodlands, chaparral, and canyon. The Campo Seco Staging Area (about 740 feet elevation) lies near the head of Salt Gulch, down which our road descends on a mild gradient, between grassy hills dotted with oaks. After hitting bottom at 0. 5 mile, we barely begin to rise up the other side when we arrive at Wildermuth House, one of the best-preserved way stations of the Gold Country. A stone granary and other structures cluster about the grounds, at the heart of which stands the handsome house itself, built in 1861 of sandstone blocks quarried from a nearby hillside and shaped by hand with stone adze. A stone wall encloses the house and garden, with some fruit trees, a grape arbor, and a large cactus.

©  Barry Parr/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking, Horseback Riding
Nearby City: Valley Springs
Length: 21.2
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 12 hours. Trail closes at sunset, so this must be done as a day hike.
Season: Early spring or fall are best. Summer is hot. From midautumn through early spring, shorter daylight times may prevent most people from completing this as a day hike; but shorter sections make delightful winter hikes.Winter is also the season to see bald eagles above Pardee Reservoir.
Local Contacts: Pardee Recreation Area, Camanche South Shore Recreation Area
Local Maps: USGS Valley Springs, Jackson.
Topo Map: The Pardee Section of the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail Topographic Map
Guide Book: Hiking The Sierra Nevada Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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