Hermitfest West – Annual Ebbetts Pass Scenic Celebration & Music Festival
The Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway Association (EPSBA) is excited to invite you to join us for our 14th annual celebration on the pass, fondly known as Hermitfest. This year we will be celebrating in the ballfield at Bear Valley with an all-day music festival on Saturday, September 10th, from noon-8 pm (but you know the music will likely continue on a bit later). Watch our website and this page for more details. We can’t wait to see everybody again! Thank you to our event sponsor, Cedar Creek Realty, as well as the US Forest Service, Alpine County, and Bear Valley for helping us make this happen this year.
We invite all live music and Ebbetts Pass 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 at the Ball Field in Bear Valley, which we’ll be referring to as “Hermitfest West,” but visitors should consider making a weekend of it and spend some time checking out the entire Scenic Byway from Arnold to Markleeville.
The musical line-up includes some long-time Hermifest favorites, Grover Anderson & the Lampoliers and Ten Dollar Pony. They’ll be joined by Jimbo Scott, Cantamos, and Alan Drown, who is new to our event. A few artisan vendors and, of course, the Byway Association will be there with event t-shirts, guidebooks, and other byway swag.
We anticipate the schedule working like this:
12 noon – Ten Dollar Pony
1:30 – Alan Drown & possible guest
2:45 – Cantamos
4:15 – Jimbo Scott Band
6:00 – Grover & The Lampoliers with Special Guests
We will have food, treats, and non-alcoholic drinks available for sale, but we encourage you to bring a reusable water bottle and stay hydrated. We will have water to refill your bottles available at no cost.
Event parking will be available just across the highway in the south parking lot at Bear Valley. Please do not park along the highway. Parking directly adjacent to the event is reserved for event organizers, staff, vendors, entertainers, and those requiring accessible parking. There will be signs on the highway, and the entrance to the Bear Valley village area is prominently signed.
Forest Service camping is available in the area with limited spaces located directly adjacent to the ballfield. You’ll want to get there early if you want to be near all the action. Additional camping is available at Lake Alpine, Bit Meadow, Silvertip, Spicer, Pacific Valley, and Hermit Valley. Glamping is available at the Bear Valley Ski Resort, and the Lodge in Bear Valley will be offering a special price to our attendees. Some vacation rentals may also be available in the area. You may also want to consider lodging and vacation rentals in the Arnold area. Please respect the guidelines of your hosts whether you are camping or taking advantage of lodging opportunities by leaving the area, and the forest, cleaner than you found it. We encourage you to skip the campfire this year, given the dry conditions.
Additional information on Forest Service campgrounds and restrictions is available here and here. They’ve asked us to remind you to camp at least 100′ from trails and high water lines of creeks.
While we welcome your well-socialized dogs, please keep them on a six-foot leash and do not leave them unattended. For those of you planning to spend the night, there will be additional activities.
On your way to the celebration in Bear Valley, stop by the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce offices in downtown Markleeville where they will have maps, cold drinks, and lots of information about things to do over the weekend. On the Arnold side, you may want to visit the Logging Museum, hike a portion of the Rim Trail, or stop in at Calaveras Big Trees State Park to admire the Giant Sequoias. It looks like the pools at Grover Hot Springs State Park, outside Markleeville, will be closed this year. 530-694-2248.
Bear Valley is located on Highway 4 in the Stanislaus National Forest at about the 7100-foot elevation, about 25 miles east of Arnold, CA, and about 36 miles west of Markleeville. If you haven’t driven the pass before, remember that we are a scenic byway for good reason. If you are approaching from the east, the higher elevation portion of Highway 4 between Silver Creek on the east and Lake Alpine on the west is narrow, twisty, and steep, with 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. If you are approaching from the west, there are no restrictions.
Ebbetts Pass was honored with National Scenic Byway status in 2005. It is one of only eight 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 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 or purchase one along with your event t-shirt during the festival.
This event is made possible by the generous support of our event partners and sponsors, so make sure to visit them and let them know you appreciate their support of this event.
Our 2022 partners and sponsors include:
The USFS, County of Alpine, & Bear Valley Community
Cedar Creek Realty & Dignity Health – Mark Twain Medical Center
The Orman Family
Bear Valley Business Association
Bear Valley Lodge
Bear Valley Real Estate
Paul & Debbie Bertini / Bertini Plumbing / PD Builders
Hibernation Stoves & Spas
Little Trees Wellness
Corcoran Global Living
Merita Callaway / Michelle Plotnik
(Calaveras County District 3 Supervisor & Planning Commissioner)
Bear Valley Adventure Company
For more information about the Ebbetts Pass area, this event, and what’s happening along the byway all year long, visit www.scenic4.org or www.facebook.com/Scenic4 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also want to thank Lilyana Bone (our poster designer), High Sierra Framing & Gallery (our poster printer), and the many other organizations who 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 more information about Bear Valley, visit:
For more information about Hermit Valley, visit:
This event takes place on National Forest Service land when in Hermit Valley, adjacent to Forest Service land when in Bear Valley, and operates under a special use permit when in the Stanislaus National Forest.