A wonderful excursion for a day will be a venture to Volcano in Amador County. There are several ways to get there and any of those take about 1 to 1 ½ hours of beautiful back country roads. When you get to Volcano you’ll see some neat historical things from the Gold Rush era. I’m sharing four ways to get to Volcano, each with its own unique drives. Throughout your directions are some photos to excite you about you day trip. HAVE FUN !!
Once you get to Volcano be sure to find the "Volcano - Gem of the Motherlode - Walking Tour Map" at the General store or almost anywhere if you ask for one, or they will tell you where one is.
1) The longest is going up Omo Ranch Rd. to Highway 88 (Carson Pass Highway & the first scenic highway in the United States). Getting to Omo Ranch you have two choices: a) Perry Creek Rd. to Slug Gulch Rd to Omo Ranch Rd. or b) Fair Play Rd. to Omo Ranch Rd. Once on Omo Ranch from Fair Play it is about 11 miles to Hwy 88. Then turn right toward Jackson (West) and go down to Shake Ridge Rd., turn right & go to Daffodil Hill. Shake Ridge Rd. turns right, but you need to go straight onto Ram’s Horn Grade into Volcano. On the edge of Volcano the road changes names to Consolation. You drive by the Volcano Union Inn: a great spot for a lunch on their patio.
Volcano Union Inn - Great place to stay and for a summer lunch on the patio.
If you like, you can take Shake Ridge Rd past Ram’s Horn Grade down to Charleston Rd. (about 3 miles), turn left and go into Volcano from another direction.
2) The most direct way is to take Fair Play Rd. to Mt. Aukum and follow Mt. Aukum past Sobon Winery and turn left onto Ostrom Rd. and over the hill into Fiddletown. At the stop sign turn left; then veer right and go to the stop sign. Turn left onto Fiddletown Rd. to Hale Rd. (about 2 miles) and turn right onto Hale Rd. to Shake Ridge Rd and turn left. About ½ -1 mile turn right onto Charleston Rd and into Volcano.
For a different but longer drive into Fiddletown from Mt. Aukum Rd. take Cedar Creek Rd. (just past the Mt. Aukum Store & at the corner where the Post Office is – a left turn). About ¾ of a mile turn right onto Bridgeport School Rd. Turn right onto Tyler Rd. which goes into Fiddletown and turn left at the stop sign. An option is to take Lawrence Rd. which takes you to Tyler Rd. and then into Fiddletown. Then follow the directions above.
Volcano General Store
3) A little longer drive, but it takes you through Drytown, Amador City & Sutter Creek where there are antique shops and tasting rooms. Follow # 2 above past Sobon and continue to the 4 way stop sign at Highway 49 in Plymouth. Turn left and at the stop light turn left and go about five miles to Sutter Creek. (There is a bypass so be sure to follow the signs to Amador City/Sutter Creek.) Drive through Main Street at the corner with the Police station, turn left onto Church St. It changes names to Shake Ridge Rd. about ½ mile out of town. Follow the directions in # 1.
A Placer Nozzle left behind from the Gold Rush days
4) For a longer day and more shopping stay on Highway 49 and use the bypass to go to Jackson. When you’re done doing whatever it is you do in Jackson take Highway 88 east out of Jackson. About 10 miles up the hill is Pioneer. Just outside the other side of Pioneer is a small road, Pioneer Volcano Rd. takes you directly to Volcano’s Main St. at the St. George Hotel.
One of the Self Tour markers along the way through Volcano
Your day will be filled with history and lasting memories of the Gold Country back roads.