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.
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