Scenic Celebration – Hermitfest

Mark you calendar now for Hermitfest 2018 – September 8th, 2018.  Vendors interested in exhibiting at the event should contact us at

The Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway Association (EPSBA) will be hosting our 11th Annual Scenic Celebration on Saturday, September 8th, 2018.  We invite all you music and mountain fans to “Come Play on the Pass” with us and enjoy one of the last free, outdoor, live music events of the year. The centerpiece of our celebration will again be our day long, live music event in Hermit Valley which we affectionately refer to as “Hermitfest” but visitors should definitely make a weekend of it and spend some time checking out the entire Scenic Byway from Arnold to Markleevile.

This year our Hermit Valley performers will include a few new faces as well as returning favorites including the Bill Welles and Friends, Grover Anderson, Ten Dollar Pony and some new faces.

The music begins around noon and will officially end at 7 pm but those of you who have attended before know that the acoustic music may continue around the campfire long into the evening with the musicians playing together in all sorts of combinations. There will be food and beverages and the work of a few local artisans will be available for admiration and purchase.

Hermit Valley is a beautiful little spot with plenty of opportunity for hiking and playing in the river as well as listening to some great music in the middle of the forest.  Fall weather is generally warm and sunny but a quick afternoon rain shower is always a possibility in the mountains and you’ll want to make sure you bring warm clothing as the mornings and evenings can be quite chilly.  Primitive campsites are available on a first come basis for those wishing to spend the night.  There are sites in the immediate vicinity of the event as well as a few more on the river side of the road nearby which should afford a bit more privacy.  While we welcome your dogs, please bring only well socialized dogs and keep them on a six foot leash.

On the Arnold side you may want to stop and have breakfast, visit the Logging Museum, hike a portion of the Rim Trail (you are on your own this year…no guided hikes will be available) or stop in at Big Trees State Park to admire the giant redwoods on your way to or from Hermit Valley. It looks like the pools at Grover Hot Springs State Park, outside Markleeville, may be closed for maintenance again this year so make sure to visit their site before heading over there.

Hermit Valley is located on Highway 4 in the Stanislaus National Forest about 38 miles east of Arnold and 23 miles west of Markleeville on the North Fork of the Mokelumne River at about the 7000 foot elevation.  If you haven’t driven the pass before, remember that we are a scenic byway for good reason.  The higher elevation portion of Highway 4 between Lake Alpine on the west and Silver Creek on the east is narrow, twisty, steep and so worth the drive with beautiful mountain views and many opportunities to get out of your car and take a closer look.  The route over the top is not recommended for large RVs or trailers.

Ebbetts Pass was honored with National Scenic Byway status in 2005.  It is one of only seven nationally-designated byways in California.  The Ebbetts Pass Byway Association is the non-profit organization tasked with preserving, enhancing and promoting the unique resources of the byway.  The EPSBA had developed a guidebook for the area which is available on our website for those who want to know more about the history, geology, wildlife and recreation available in the area.

This event is made possible by the generous support our event partners and sponsors so make sure to visit them and let them know you appreciate their support of this event.  Our 2015/2016 partners and sponsors include:

Alpine County Chamber of Commerce

Cal Waste
The Sierra Pacific Foundation


Bertini Mechanical / PD Builders
Calaveras Big Trees Association
Cedar Creek Realty
Calaveras Big Trees Association
Mark Twain Hospital / Dignity Health
Ebbetts Pass Lumber & Ebbetts Pass Ace Hardware
Little Trees Wellness
Tom’s Automotive
Fox Security
Caldwell Banker – Action Realty – Mary Trotter
Century 21 Realty of Arnold and Murphys
Merita Callaway,
John Ehret and Barry Ward of Barry Ward Realty
Murphys Hydroponics
Ebbetts Pass Forestwatch
Fine Things
Calaveras County Arts Council
Calaveras Chronicle
Calaveras Enterprise
The Pine Tree
Pioneer Electric
US Forest Service

For more information about the Ebbetts Pass area, this event and what’s happening along the byway all year long, visit or or e-mail us at

We also want to thank the Calaveras Chronicle, other local media, Travis Branco (our poster designer) and the many other organizations who all help to promote this event.  We especially want to thank Ron Schaner who coordinates and schedules the musicians for this event every year and is a tireless supporter of the byway.

For other events in the area that weekend and lodging information, contact the Calaveras Visitors Bureau at 209-736-0049 ( or the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce at 530-694-2475 (  On the west side you can also visit, and

For more information about Hermit Valley visit:

This event takes place on National Forest Service land, and will operate under a special use permit in the Stanislaus National Forest.