Hermitfest 2019 News Release

Hermitfest 2019

NEWS RELEASE                                          

For Immediate Release

Contact: Michelle Plotnik, Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway Association

209-728-8471 |

Hermitfest: Free Music Festival In The High Sierra

13th Annual Ebbetts Pass Scenic Celebration

EBBETTS PASS, CA— The Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway Association (EPSBA) presents the 13th annual scenic byway celebration, known as Hermitfest, on Saturday, September 7th from 11 am – 8pm. This quintessentially Californian, early-fall music festival takes place in Hermit Valley in the Stanislaus National Forest, 38 miles east of Arnold and 23 miles west of Markleeville on the North Fork of the Mokelumne River and features outdoor performances by an array of local musicians.

Hermitfest 2019 Lineup

Band performing at Hermitfest
Hermitfest’s beautiful mountain environment | Sandi Pearce

This year’s lineup includes Bodie 601 Band, Beans Souza, Bill Welles Band, Grover Anderson and the Lampoilers, and the Hermitfest Allstar Band. Music starts at 11:00 am, and officially ends at 8:00 pm, but the joyful celebration of this gorgeous stretch of Sierra-straddling highway often continues around the campfires late into the evening.

Food, drinks and crafts for sale at Hermitfest
Food, Drinks, and Artisanal items for sale | Sandi Pearce

Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase along with locally made artisanal items. Telescopes will be set up for stargazing, and experts will be on hand to help identify planets, constellations and stories of the night sky beginning at 9:00 pm, weather permitting.

Camping at Hermitfest

Hermit Valley Campground
Hermit Valley | Sandi Pearce

Primitive campsites are available on a first-come, first-served 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.  Well-socialized dogs are welcome if kept on a six-foot leash and not left unattended.  For those planning to spend the night, there will be late night treats and coffee and goodies on Sunday morning.

Grover Anderson performing at Hermitfest
Grover Anderson returns to Hermitfest for 2019 | Sandi Pearce

Attendees are advised to dress in layers and bring warm clothing since although Fall weather in Hermit Valley (elevation: 7,000 ft) is generally warm, quick afternoon showers are possible and mornings and evenings can be chilly. The route along Highway 4 includes some narrow, twisty and steep sections at the higher elevations between Lake Alpine on the west and Silver Creek on the east side, so large RVs and trailers are not recommended. The pass from either side includes spectacular mountain scenery, so planning extra time for pulling over at designated spots for some sightseeing is highly recommended. Full details on all there is to see and do along the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway can be found at: and

More to See On the Way

San Antonio Falls, Arnold Rim Trail
San Antonio Falls – Arnold Rim Trail | Lisa Boulton

For those interested in additional activities on the way to or from the celebration, a stop at the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce offices in downtown Markleeville is a great option for obtaining maps, cold drinks and lots of information about things to do over the weekend.  On the Arnold side, the Sierra Nevada Logging Museum’s creative displays are always worth checking out. Next to the parking lot is a trailhead to the dog-friendly Arnold Rim Trail for hikers and mountain bikers. Just 5 minutes away, Calaveras Big Trees State gives easy access to trails with spectacular Giant Sequoias.  The pools at Grover Hot Springs State Park, outside Markleeville, are expected to be open but calling 530-694-2248 to double check is recommended.

Hermitfest Celebrates the Scenic Byway

Ebbetts Pass Fall Colors
Ebbetts Pass Fall Colors | Lucia Gonzalez

In 2005, Ebbetts Pass was honored with National Scenic Byway status. It is one of only seven nationally-designated byways in California.  The EPSBA is the non-profit organization tasked with preserving, enhancing and promoting the unique resources of the byway.  A guidebook for the area featuring its history, geology, wildlife and recreation is available from their website at

Hermitfest Sponsorship

Hermitfest 2018
Hermitfest 2018 | Michelle Plotnik

This event is made possible by the generous support of event partners and sponsors including the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce & Cal Waste.  Those wishing to join the family of EPSBA sponsors can find sponsorship information here: This event is presented under permit with the US Forest Service. 

The EPSBA thanks local media and the many local organizations who help to promote this event. Special thanks to Ron Schaner who coordinates and schedules the musicians every year and is a tireless supporter of live music in the Ebbetts Pass area.

Area Information

Go Calaveras calendar

For other events in the area 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, visit,, and

Cheers to Hermitfest
Cheers! | Sandi Pearce