Eldorado National Forest


A Mediterranean-type climate extends over most of the forest with warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters. Average annual precipitation varies from 40 to 70 inches. This precipitation falls mainly from October through April. At higher elevations, it comes mostly in the form of snow. Winter temperatures below zero and summer temperatures above 100 degrees indicate the normal seasonal spread. A snowpack from 5 to 10 feet or more is usually present from December to May at elevations above 6,500 feet.

In this part of the country, all roads lead to Placerville—a town known in its rowdier youth as "Hangtown." This was not a reference to the residents' obsession for hanging out the wash. Highway 50 is the main route through the forest, leading from Placerville to the south shore of Lake Tahoe. If you're arriving from the north or the south, you might consider reaching Placerville via Highway 49, a historic and scenic route through the Sierra foothills. Highway 88 through Amador County is less efficient, but more scenic with wineries and historic towns along the way.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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