Life in Calaveras County is good. It is a privilege residents regard with heartfelt pride and commitment.
With a land area of 1,036 square miles (652,920 acres) and a population of 40,554 (2000 Census), there are approximately 16 acres of land for every resident. From near sea level with rolling foothills dotted with century old oaks to the spectacular Sierra crest in the west topping 8,000 feet, Mother Nature’s beauty abounds.
With that comes a wide range of recreational opportunities and a thriving tourism industry, alongside a burgeoning business community. Excellent Schools and Health Care. Quality of life. Community. History. This is Calaveras County.
Calaveras County is situated in the heart of California’s Gold Country, nestled between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains – approximately one hour from the Central Valley, two hours from Sacramento and three hours from the Bay Area. Calaveras is bordered by Amador, Tuolumne and Alpine counties and by the Mokelumne River to the north and the Stanislaus River to the south.
The average low ranges from 40 degrees in the lowlands to 20 degrees in the high country in the winter months. Average highs range from 80 to 90 degrees. Annual rainfall can range from 40-50 inches with average snowfall in the High Sierra up to 300 inches.
The county features numerous attractions including Calaveras Big Trees State Park, 250,000 acres of national forest land in the Stanislaus National Forest, nearby Bear Valley Ski Area and an abundance of recreational venues including three public caverns, a myriad of museums depicting local and Gold Rush history, over 15 wineries, six public or semi-private golf courses and nine public lakes.
Activities range from mountain biking, camping, hiking, fishing, cave exploration and golfing to river rafting, kayaking, boating and water skiing in the warmer months and world-class downhill and cross country skiing in the winter.
The natural beauty of Calaveras County also attracts artists of every passion, supporting a bevy of art galleries, live music, craft fairs and theatrical events.
A yearly calendar of special events include Calaveras’ signature “Jumping Frog Jubilee,” inspired by Mark Twain’s first published classic, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. Over the years, many events have gained popular momentum, becoming premier regional attractions in their own right.
Created in 1850, Calaveras County is one of California’s original 27 counties. Calaveras was awakened in 1848 by the California Gold Rush. The county’s heritage centers around the multitude of fortune seekers who came from around the world. Over 9 million ounces of gold were mined from its land.
The county became world-famous in 1865 with Mark Twain’s short story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. That history lives on in the many Gold Rush towns and in the people who settled here after the Gold Rush and started ranches, planted vineyards and remained for the exceptional quality of life.
Calaveras County is one of California’s fastest growing counties. The county’s population in 1990 was 31,998 and in 2000 was recorded at 40,554, a rate increase of 26.7%, about twice the average state growth rate during this period of 13.8%.
Countywide population projections from the California State Dept. of Finance:
39% of the population is 25-54 years of age, 32% are 55 and older, 18% are age 0-14, and 10% from ages 15-24.
Conveniently located on Highway 4 in the heart of the county on Main Street in downtown Angels Camp, the Calaveras Visitors Bureau is open daily for tourist and resident information. Newly built in 2000, the Visitors Bureau office has a landscaped rest area with picnic tables, clean public restrooms and a large porch with oak rocking chairs.
The Calaveras Visitors Bureau is a proactive non-profit organization devoted to providing comprehensive visitor services and marketing the county through the CVB’s Visitor Guide, press releases, media contacts, trade shows, web site and working together with the community, members, neighboring organizations and trade associations for the betterments of the tourism industry in Calaveras County.
Calaveras Visitors Bureau
1192 S. Main Street, P.O. Box 637
Angels Camp, CA 95222
(209) 736-0049 or (800) 225-3764
Satellite Visitor Center Locations:
Arnold – Century 21 – Sierra Properties, 2037 Highway 4
Bear Valley – Bear Valley Lodge, commercial center and Bear Valley Mountain Resort
Copperopolis – Century 21 Lake Tulloch Real Estate, 14 O’Byrnes Ferry Road
Mokelumne Hill – Hotel Leger, 8304 Main Street
Murphys – Realty World/Murphys Realty, Highway 4 at 230 Big Trees Road
San Andreas – Calaveras County Museum, 30 N. Main Street
West Point – Maynard Management, 22399 Highway 26
Housing and Real Estate
After experiencing life in Calaveras County, many a visitor has turned homeowner. Calaveras land and homes remain affordable, and recent upscale housing developments and planned communities are gearing up to handle its growing population in style.
A host of knowledgeable real estate agencies throughout the county can provide up-to-date statistics and information on current listings, as well as provide personal tours.
Land Use in Acres (1998)
Farm Land: 245,116
Public Land: 154,216
Land in Agricultural Preserve: 126,348
Land in Timber Preserve: 75,930
Number of Farms: 457
Miles of streets, roads and highways: 867.5