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A Special Place in Eldorado

By Linda Tancs

The Eldorado National Forest is located in the central Sierra Nevada, less than two hours from Sacramento, California. Its mountainous topography is broken by special places like the Mokelumne River Canyon, arguably the star attraction of the Mokelumne Wilderness. The 105,165-acre wilderness has a long history of use by both Native Americans and European settlers. Ranging in elevation from 3,960 feet to 10,380 feet, it features old growth virgin forest at all elevations and a varied plant life. Geologically, it’s prized for prominent volcanic peaks and ridges overlaying massive granite features. In fact, the granitic valleys and highlands of the Mokelumne are part of the combined masses of granitic rock that have been uplifted by tectonic action to form the 400-mile-long Sierra Nevada range. The canyon is generally free of snow this time of year, but snowcaps typically linger into June in the higher elevations.

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