Ebbetts Pass

Image of Natural History Introduction

Natural History Introduction

By David Gano, from the Guide to Ebbetts Pass, 2010

The natural-minded scenic seeker will soon notice the many different plant communities spread along Highway 4.  Plant communities, which include the fauna living year round or seasonally in the community, thrive where their particular life- promoting needs are being met:  water, food, temperature, and shelter.  Since the topography greatly determines how these needs are distributed.  It is not surprising to find that these plant communities sort themselves somewhat by the great elevation rise of the hig

Image of Geology


By David Gano, from Guide to Ebbetts Pass, 2010

As a scenic seeker venturing into this beautiful portion of the mighty Sierra Nevada, it will be important to remember that underlying all that scenic beauty is GEOLOGY!  It’s all geology. Geology, however, as a science, cannot explain why the incredible views are scenic, but rather it attempts to explain the underlying landscape and how it came to be.  If you like rocks, and you are attracted to tremendous forces and you have plenty of time, you will love the geology encountered on this 300 million year old drive.

Image of Guidebook to Points of Interest

Guidebook to Points of Interest

By Judith Marvin, 2011, for Guidebook on Ebbetts Pass

1 Arnold

During the early years after the Gold Rush, the Arnold community was composed of two large ranches.  The largest, consisting of almost 2,000 acres, was the Moran cattle ranch, where Blue Lake Springs is now located.  The Dunbar Ranch, which encompassed the present community, was deeded to lumberman Willis Dunbar in the 1880s.  In 1914 the Dunbar Ranch was sold to H.L.

Image of Settlement and Agriculture

Settlement and Agriculture

By Judith Marvin

Although mining provided the impetus for settlement on both sides of the Ebbetts Pass route, no major mining regions were located within the area.  With gold mining in Calaveras County and silver mining in Alpine County and the Nevada Comstock booming in the 1850s and 1860s, however, small agricultural settlements were established along the route of the Big Tree(s) Road.  Second to mining in importance in the gold country, agriculture was always critical as a supporting service.  With animals providing much of the labor, massive production of