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Known as the "Queen of the Southern Mines" and nestled into the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Sonora is an excellent place to search for an RV in Tuolumne County. Not only is this small city the cultural heart of the region, but it’s also a thriving commercial center and a launchpad for several recreational activities.
When you rent an RV in Sonora, you’ll be just a short drive from some of the county’s most impressive national parks, including the world-famous Yosemite National Park, Stanislaus National Forest, and El Dorado National Forest. Plus, Tuolumne County is home to several superb state parks and recreational areas where you can view wildlife and enjoy a picnic.
Sonora is conveniently located at a junction between Highway 108 and Highway 49 to Sacramento. It’s also just a just off Highway 120 which connects to Modesto. The city makes a fantastic base camp for exploring Tuolumne County and the Sierra Nevada, as well as nearby historic towns like Columbia, with your RV rental in Sonora, CA.
One of the highlights of Tuolumne County is Stanislaus National Forest and, with an RV rental near Sonora, you’ll be just a stone's throw away. Highway 108 leads from the suburban landscape into the densely packed forests of this natural area. Plus, with nearly 900,000 acres to its name, the Stanislaus National Forest is a hotspot for several recreational activities. It’s home to hundreds of miles of hiking and biking routes, as well as equestrian trails and designated campsites. To get away from the busy visitor’s center, hikers can follow primitive trails through the Emigrants Wilderness Area which borders Yosemite National Park. The area is made up of a fascinating combination of landscapes including glacial lakes, volcanic ridges, and lush meadows.
During the summertime, Stanislaus National Forest is a popular spot for water sports due to the abundance of freshwater lakes and two major waterways; the Tuolumne and Stanislaus Rivers. Pinecrest Lake and Cherry Lake are excellent locations for swimming, windsurfing, and boating. Throughout the winter season, Highway 108 provides access to two cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails; Gooseberry and Crabtree Cross-Country Ski Trailheads. Stanislaus National Forest also hosts four designated Sno-Parks for sledding, tubing, snowboarding, and downhill skiing. There’s something for every outdoor lover to enjoy when you take a Sonora travel trailer rental into Stanislaus National Forest.
Before returning to Sonora you might want to detour to Red Hills Recreational Management Area in Chinese Camp. Slotted into a green landscape between Highway 102 and Highway 49, the 7,000-acre area hosts approximately 88 species of birds including western kingbirds, great horned owls, and barn swallows. Using the wildlife viewing areas and multi-purpose trails, visitors can observe bobcats and coyotes in their natural environment or identify a variety of plant types. During late spring, the recreational area is alive with wildflowers and throughout the year, Red Hills is a charming location for a family picnic.
When it’s time to go to sleep, take your luxury RV rental in Sonora to the neighboring town of Columbia which hosts a couple of RV parks; 49er RV Ranch and Marble Quarry RV Park. Both are within a short walk of Columbia’s historic town center and provide RV sites with full hookups and Wi-Fi, plus an on-site store and entertainment facilities. At Marble Quarry RV Park, guests also have access to a swimming pool, playground, an area for outdoor games.
There are also several rustic campgrounds suitable for RV camping within Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park. Most of these sites are open from mid-April through to mid-October, depending on weather conditions, and many provide drinking water and flush or vault toilets. You can stock up on supplies of food, water, and gas in Sonora and rest your head in the tranquil Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Don’t forget to schedule a day of your vacation with the Sonora RV rental to visit the city itself. Downtown Sonora was founded as a mining town in 1848 and nowadays the area is a charming combination of new and old. Strolling the streets, you’re sure to find a variety of unique galleries and boutique stores where you can shop for souvenirs. Soak in the mixture of traditional saloons and wooden storefronts or stop by one of Sonora’s trendy bars.
To learn more about the history of Sonora and Tuolumne County you can visit the Tuolumne County Museum and History Center. Constructed in 1866, the building which hosts the museum was originally the county jail. It was converted to a museum in the 1960s. Inside, visitors can find collections of period costumes, photographs, and firearms belonging to pioneers as well as displays of the county's six geographical regions and trails through the Sierra Nevada.
Sonora is also home to St James Episcopal Church, also known as "The Red Church", which dates back to 1859. The church is famous for its unique appearance as its outer walls are built with painted Californian redwood. The entire church is constructed in a Carpenter Gothic style.
When you’re ready for some fresh air, you can head to Mother Lode’s oak woodlands on the edge of the city and hike the Dragoon Gulch Trail. There are 3.1 miles of trails to follow through the woodlands which vary from easy strolls along natural creeks to strenuous hikes to scenic viewpoints. You’re sure to experience some of nature’s magic when you rent an RV in Sonora, California.