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Calaveras County mines for tourists in Gold Country

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www.ebar.com

Calaveras County in the Sierra Nevada foothills gets its name from the Spanish word for skulls. Early Spanish explorers reported seeing skulls of Native Americans along what is now called the Calaveras River.

But it was gold, not skulls that would put the region on the map. The area's population exploded following the 1849 California Gold Rush.Now one of Calaveras County's biggest cash cows is tourism, which was kept afloat during the COVID pandemic mostly by Bay Area residents who were looking for a getaway within easy driving distance.

At about a 2.5-hour drive from San Francisco, Calaveras County fits the bill. The Calaveras County Visitors Bureau estimates that about a million tourists a year visit the county, which has a population of only 45,000.

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