Named for the mythical city of gold, El Dorado County epitomizes California Gold Country. Its county seat, Placerville, is named for the alluvial deposits in the American River where many a miner struck it rich. The town of Placerville also makes for an interesting visit with its dog-welcoming restaurants, shops and a historic and dog-friendly hotel, Cary House, right in the middle of the action. Read more about El Dorado County in last week’s Highway 50 Gold Country issue.
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is a fun place to visit with a dog and/or children, especially during living history days on the second Saturday of each month. The premier annual event, Gold Rush Live! takes place Oct. 12-14 this year. It encompasses a “tent town” inhabited by mountain men, tradesmen and women in period dress, along with staffed historic exhibits and lots of interactive activities for kids (sorry, but unless your dog is adept at dipping candles or panning for gold, she’ll just have to watch from the sidelines).
El Dorado County is also primo wine and ag country, and a good way to explore it, along with some gorgeous scenery, is along the El Dorado County Adventure Loop, a 45-mile driving route intended to get visitors off the beaten path and into a region anchored by a string of blink-or-you’ll-miss-‘em Gold Rush towns—Pilot Hill, Cool, Georgetown, Garden Valley—tucked between the north and south forks of the American River. Much of the loop follows Highway 49, offering opportunity to do everything from hike to explore some amazing rural art galleries, taste local wines and sample chef creations you just wouldn’t expect to find in these rather remote locations.
Photo Credit: @leave_only_pawprints