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Hermitfest – Annual Ebbetts Pass Scenic Celebration & Music Festival

Mark you calendar now for Hermitfest 2019 – September 7th, 2019.  Vendors interested in exhibiting at the event should contact us at info@scenic4.org. We’ll update this page to reflect plans for 2019 as the date gets closer!  Thank you everybody for your help in making our 2018 Hermitfest better than ever.

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 Party 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 we’ll be enjoying the music of longtime Hermitfest favorites Bill Welles and Grover Anderson who have been with us from the very beginning.  Ten Dollar Pony will be back again this year too.  We’ll also be welcoming Jimbo Scott, Nathan Ignacia & Sambossa to the valley.

The music begins around 11 am this year and will officially end at 8 pm but those of you who have attended before know that the music may continue around the campfires long into the evening.  There will be food and beverages available for purchase.  Tonja and Jana will be back with their locally roasted coffee, specialty teas, cold drinks and who knows what else!  The work of a few local artisans will also be available for purchase.  Weather permitting; we will have opportunities for stargazing with telescopes & experts available at around 9 pm to help us enjoy the stars, constellations, and stories of the night sky.

Hermit Valley has plenty of opportunity for hiking and playing in the river.  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.  Additional camping is available nearby in the beautiful Pacific Valley campgrounds.  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 late night treats and coffee and goodies on Sunday morning.

Bring your fat tire ride and join the Bear Valley Trails Stewardship for the best Fat Tire Festival on Highway 4.  Experience some of the best mountain bike riding in the area. The weekend festivities will include guided MTB rides, shuttles to the high points of some of our best trails, bike demos, and gear sales, food and beverages (beer by Snowshoe Brewery), camping, games, raffles with plenty of swag.  Contact BVTS to register at www.bearvalleytrails.org.

On your way to the celebration in Hermit 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 open this year but it never hurts to double check at 530-694-2248.

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 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 of 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
cal-waste
Cedar Creek Realty
Caldwell Banker – Action Realty – Mary Trotter
Bear Valley Business Association / Trail Stewardship
Bertini Mechanical / PD Builders
Calaveras Big Trees Association
Mark Twain Hospital / Dignity Health
Little Trees Wellness
Tom’s Automotive
Fox Security
Black Bear Inn / Meadowmont Lodge
John Ehret and Barry Ward of Barry Ward Realty
Ebbetts Pass Lumber & Ebbetts Pass Ace Hardware
Pioneer Electric
Sierra Photo & Framing
Bill Senger
Calaveras Chronicle
Calaveras Enterprise
The Pine Tree
US Forest Service

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 info@scenic4.org.

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 (www.gocalaveras.com) or the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce at 530-694-2475 (www.alpinecounty.com).  On the west side you can also visit www.bearvalley.com, www.cometoarnold.com and www.visitmurphys.com.

For more information about Hermit Valley visit:

www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/stanislaus/recarea/
www.ebbettspassadventures.com/lodging/hermit_valley_camping
www.facebook.com/pages/Hermit-Valley
www.sierranevadageotourism.org/content/hermit-valley
www.californiajeeper.com/deerval/review

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