fertile valley and rich dairy lands.
Just beyond Freestone the road enters the
belt of Red-woods (Sequoia Sempercirens), and as-
cends Salmon Creek toward the summit, where
the waters flow north into Russian River and
south into Bodega Bay.
On this ascent the road crosses one of the
highest bridges west of the Mississippi River.
The bridge crosses Brown Canon, has two spans
of Howe truss, each 150 feet long, and is at the
giddy height of 137 feet above the canon. The
central pier is 110 feet high, of the kind called a
cluster pier, and is a splendid piece of mechanism.
At Howard's, 70^ miles, the road is at the
summit and fairly in the red-wood country. To
reach this timber was the first great aim of the
road, and more than 200,000 feet of lumber are
now shipped daily from the mills at the Russian
River and along the line of the road.
The stations Streeten's Mills, Tyrone Mills,
Russian River, Moscow Mills, and Duncan's Mills
alike show the business of the country.
Duncan's Mills, the terminus, is 80^ milea
from San Francisco. The timber-land is usually
held in large tracts. The Russian River Land
and Lumber Company, of which ex-Governor M.
S. Latham is president, owns 10,000 acres in a
body, and around the terminus of this road it is
estimated there are 600,000,000 feet of lumber
enough for ten years' cutting.
At the terminus of the road is Julian's Hotel,
one of the best in the State. Austin Creek
empties into Russian River near this point. It is
one of the best streams for trout near the city.
The hills abound with quail and rabbits, whilo
deer and grouse, and even bears and wild-cats,
may be occasionally found at no great distance.
In the river salmon can be caught or speared,
and at the mouth of the river, only six miles dis-
tant, a variety of sea-fishing may be had. Con-
sidering the unequaled variety of beautiful
scenery on the line of so short a road, and the
charming picturesque region in which the road
terminates, the climate, game, and amusements
to be had in the vicinity, no spot deserves to be
more favored by the tourist who has not enough
time to acquaint himself with the hunting and
fishing grounds of Northern California.
The Northern Coast stages leave daily for Fort
Ross, 16 miles ; Henry's, 16 miles ; Timber Cove,
20 miles ; Salt Point, 25 miles ; Fisk's Mills, 30
miles ; Stewart's Point, 34 miles ; Gualala, 44
miles ; Fish Rock, 50 miles ; Point Arena, 60
miles ; Manchester, 66 miles ; Cuffey's Cove, 80
miles ; Navarro Ridge, 86 miles ; and Mendocino
City, 96 miles. Fare, about 12^ cents a mile.
San Francisco and North Pacific Mailroad.
This road was built mainly by the president,
Mr. Donahue, and has rapidly developed a rich
section of country, and is the great highway for
nearly all of Sonoma County. The road extends
from Donahue to Cloverdale, and is connected
with San Francisco by a ferry of thirty - four
The first steamer, "James M. Donahue,"
leaves the Washington Street wharf, San Fran-
cisco, every day to connect with the cars at
Donahue, and in summer makes two trips daily.
An extension of the road from near Petaluma
southward is nearly completed. This will make
the southern terminus at San Rafael, San Quen-
tin, or some point on the bay near San Francisco,
and greatly shortens the time between the towns
of the interior and the metropolis.
Donahue, 34 miles from San Francisco, is
on Petaluma Creek, and is simply a place for
the transfer of passengers and freight from cars
to steamer or vice versa.
The route from San Francisco to Donahue is
north and north-east, the steamer taking the
course to Vallejo or the Sacramento River until
Red Rock is passed, then heading for the north-
east corner of San Pablo Bay.
Lakeville, 35 miles from San Francisco, is a
small station at which passengers for Sonoma
are transferred to stages. The distance is seven
miles, and the fare $1.50. Sonoma Valley is
celebrated for its wines and delightful climate.
Sonoma, an Indian word, means " Valley of
The Sonoma Valley is about 25 miles long, and
forms but a small part of the country. The mis-
sion of Sonoma was planted July 4th, 1823, near
the present Catholic church, and was destroyed
by the Indians in 1826, and rebuilt in the follow-
ing year. The present town was laid out by
General Vallejo in 1834, and the struggle against
the Russians for possession of the country was
carried on from this point for some years. Here
a company of thirty -three Americans from Sut-
ter's Fort made a prisoner of General Vallejo,
the Spanish commander of California, and raised
the Bear Flag, the standard of the pioneer soci-
eties of the State. Among those stationed at
Sonoma prior to 1851 were Lieutenant Derby, Gen-
erals Hooker, Stoneman, and Sherman. This
great historic town has only about 600 inhab-
The Sonoma Creek runs through the valley, and
a small steamer runs from its mouth to San Fran-
cisco. A Narrow Gnar/e liailtcay connects Ihe
town of Sonoma with the bay near the mouth
of the creek.
Petaluma, 42 miles from San Francisco, WP.S
long the largest and principal city in the county.
Its name is of Indian origin but doubtful sig-
nification. It is built on undulating ground,
which affords good drainage and a fine view of
the valley and mountains beyond it. Mt. St.
Helena and the Geyser Peak are visible from the
town. The climate is mild and pleasant, and the
town one of the healthiest in the State. It was
laid out in 1852, and has been the general ship-
ping-point for the produce of Sonoma and Men-
docino counties. It has a steamer running di-
rectly to the city, from a point on the creek a
short distance below the city, and stages to So-
noma via Lakeville. It has water-works, gas,
good schools, six churches, three banks, and
two weekly papers.
Leaving Petaluma, the course of the road is
northward through Petaluma Valley, which
opens into Santa Rosa, and this into Russian
River Valley. The three valleys are in fact one
Ely's, Penn's Grove, Goodwin's, Page's,
Cotate Ranch, and Oak Grove are all small
stations in a rich agricultural region.
Penn's Grove is near the low divide where the
waters flow south into Petaluma Creek, and north
into Russian River. The Cotate Ranch is four
leagues in extent.
Santa liosa, 57 miles from San Francisco,
is one of the most beautifully situated towns of
the State, and its inhabitants, whether natives of
New Jersey or not, consider it superior to every
city in the State. Its recent progress has been
more rapid. than any other interior town. It has
a population of about 7000, is the county seat of
Sonoma County, and has a street railroad, sixty
miles of streets, water- works, gas, a daily and two
weekly newspapers, two banks, eight churches,
two colleges, Prof. Jones' academy for boys,
Miss Chase's school for girls, and other private
and public schools. One of the colleges the
Pacific Methodist is under the control of the
Methodist Episcopal Church South. The build-
ings and grounds are valued at $30,000. The
other the Christian College is under the con-
trol of the Christian Church, and is valued at
Much of the prosperity of Santa Rosa is due to
these two colleges. Several hundred young of
both sexes are brought by them to study in the
town, and many parents, retiring from active
business, make Santa Rosa their home on account
of its educational advantages. Two and a half
miles west of Santa Rosa are the White Sulphur
Springs, a pleasant resort, and nine miles to the
north-east on the road to Calistoga, via the Petri-
fied Forest, are the Mark West Springs, beauti-
fully located in a bend of the Mark West
Quite a romantic history is connected with the
name of the creek, town, and valley. In brief,
Friar Amorosa, a zealous Catholic missionary,
made an excursion north-east from San Rafael in
1829 and captured an Indian maiden of the
Cainemeros tribe, and baptized her in the river
Chocoalomi, and gave her the name of Santa
Rosa, because the day of the baptism was the
day of the feast of Santa Rosa de Lima. He was
attacked by the natives and driven back, but the
name remains and is honored to-day.
The climate of Santa Rosa is mild and pleas-
ant, a grateful mean between the cold of the
coast and the heat of the interior valleys.
Santa Rosa boasts of its exuberant vegetation,
and especially its mammoth rose-bush. This is
in front of the Grand Hotel, and is of the La
Marque variety, with a pure white blossom. The
stem measures 24 inches in circumference at the
base, and grows to a height of 12 feet without
branches, and in all 27 feet high, with a width
of 22 feet. It was planted in 1858, and has had
4000 roses in full bloom at one time, with twice
as many opening buds.
Of several good hotels in Santa Rosa, the Occi-
dental is the best.
Fulton^ 61 miles from San Francisco, is the
point of divergence of the Fulton and Guerne-
ville Branch, leading to the red-wood forests on
the Russian River. The stations on this branch
are Meacham's, Laguna, Forestville, Green Val-
ley, Korbel's, and Guerneville. The length of this
branch is 16 miles.
At Korbel's some of the enormous trees are pre-
served from cutting or injury and the grounds
tastefully fitted up for picnics. Guerneville is on
the Russian River, only a few miles above Dun-
can's Mills, the terminus of the North Pacific
Coast (narrow gauge) Railroad.
A visit to the region of the red- woods will re-
pay the tourist, for these (Sequoia Sempenirem)
are peculiar to the coast mountains. None are
found in Oregon, Washington Territory, Mexico,
or the Sierra Nevadas. It is the chief material for
the lumber of the State. It was used for ties for
the Central Pacific Railroad, and lasts for many
years in the ground. No other wood splits so
true to the grain. Some of the trees are said to
grow to a diameter of twenty-five feet, the larg-
est being in Mendocino and Humboldt counties.
An acre of these trees near Guerneville, on the
"Big Bottom," yields 800,000 feet of lumber.
The largest tree cut there was 18 feet in diame-
ter, and made 180,000 feet of lumber. The tall-
est tree was 344| feet in height, taller than any
one of the '* Big Trees" (Sequoia Gigantea) now
There are three large saw-mills near Guerne-
villo, and others on the line of the road. In the
red-wood forests there is also found an abundance
of the chestnut oak (Quercus Densiflora), the bark
of which is used for tanning, and brings from
$15 to $17 a cord in San Francisco.
Mark West, Winds w, and Grant'*
are small stations ; and
Healitsbury, 72 miles from San Francisco,
is beautifully located on the west bank of the
Russian River, with Dry Creek and its valley
west of the town. Near the town is Sotoyome
or Fitch Mountain, a butte around which Rus-
sian River winds its course. The town was laid
out in 1856, and has a population of nearly 3000.
It has a bank, seven churches, two weekly
papers, and two academies the Alexander Acad-
e ny and the Butler Institute. The former is
under the supervision of Rev. S. II. Thomas,
D.D., LL.D., a Presbyterian minister, and for
many years a professor in Hanover College,
Healdsburg has a delightful climate, and is
convenient to the range of mountains on either the
east or west side of the valley, where trout,
quail, rabbits, and deer may be found in abund-
Near Healdsburg are several places of resort,
among them "Magnolia Farm," and Mrs. Mil-
ler's, and the celebrated Litton Seltzer Springs.
The station of
Litton Springs is near the hotel and spring.
The buildings were erected at a cost of $80,-
000, and are not equaled by those connected
with any mineral spring in the State.
The situation is charming, in a broad plateau
overlooking Alexander Valley and the course of
the Russian River for miles, and flanked on three
sides by mountain peaks. The water is bottled
and sold In San Francisco in large quantities, and
has been carefully analyzed.
Geyserville, 80 miles from San Francisco, is
the station for Skagg's Springs. The valley has
become quite narrow at this point. The springs
are eight miles west of Geyserville, at the head
of Dry Creek Valley. There are hot sulphur
springs, a soda spring, iron spring, and luxurious
baths. The situation is beautiful one of the
most charming of all the mineral springs in the
Truett's is a small station ; and
Cloverdale, the terminus, is 90 miles from
San Francisco. It is at the head of the valley, and
on Russian River, with romantic and picturesque
scenery on every hand. It has about a dozen
stores, two hotels, two churches, and one news-
paper, the Weekly Cloverdale News. The pop-
ulation is about 700.
From Cloverdale there is an excellent road to
I the Geysers, with no grade exceeding four feet
! to the hundred, and the stages of Van Arnam
& Kennedy are of the most approved pattern,
and the distance, 16 miles, has been made in an
hour and a half. The fare for the round trip is
Stages run from Cloverdale every day t^
Ukiah, the county town of Mendocino County,
31 miles (fare from San Francisco, $7.75), and
to Mendocino on the sea-coast, 75 miles (fare,
Cloverdale has daily stages also to the many
places of resort in Lake County to Kelseyville,
Soda Bay, Highland Springs, Witter Springs (via
Ukiah or via Upper Lake), Lakeport, Pierson's
Springs, and connections for Glenbrook or Bas-
sett's, Adams, Sulphur Banks, Howard Springs,
Blue Lakes, and Bartlett's Springs.
There are four all-wagon roads into the valley.
One leaves the railroad at Milton, two at Merced,
and one at Madera. The Big Tree groves, acces-
sible en route to the valley, are the Calaveras,
(north and south groves), the Tuolumne, the
Merced, the Mariposa, and the Fresno. The
first element to be taken into consideration is
1. Distance. This is as follows :
BIG OAK FLAT AND CALAVERAS ROUTE Stages.
San Francisco to Milton, by rail 133 miles.
Milton to Murphy's, by stage 30
Murphy's to North Calaveras Grove, and
return to Murphy's 30 '
Murphy's to Chinese Camp via Sonoma.. 27
Chinese Camp to Black's Hotel 60 "
Total staging 147 "
Milton to Black's via Chinese Camp di-
rect 88 miles.
San Francisco to Merced, by rail 151 miles.
Merced to Dudley's, by stage 46 '
Dudley's to Merced 42 "
Total staging 88 "
Merced to Mariposa via Indian Gulch. ... 47 miles.
Mariposa to Clark's 27 "
Clark's to Black's 23| "
Total staging 92 "
San Francisco to Madera, by rail 173.5 miles.
Madera to Fresno Flat, by stage 35 "
Fresno Flat to Clark's 20 "
Clark's to Black's 2Sf "
Total staging 79 "
2. Elevations, Grades, and Hood -Beds. The
bottom of the Yosemite Valley ij 4000 feet above
sea-level, and the roads enter it by descending
the wall on either side. Therefore, the road
which rises least above the bottom of the valley is
most desirable, other things being equal.
The greatest elevation of the Bijr Oak
Flat route is the summit near Tama-
rack Flat 7040 feet.
Coultwrville route, near Hazel Green. . .. 6085 "
Mariposa route, on Chowchilla Mountains 5750 "
Madera route, on Chowchilla Mountains. 4750 "
The low elevation of the Madera route, as well
as the fact of its southern exposure nearly all the
way to the Valley, will make it freer from snow in
both spring and fall, and less tiresome to the
weary. It may be possible to keep this route
open nearly all the winter.
The grades vary on the different roads, the
steepest being on the Big Oak Flat route, equal-
ing 20 feet to the 100 feet, and the steep grades
being unbroken for miles at a time.
On the Coulterville route, the steepest grade is
near Coulterville, 4 miles in length, rising in places
18 feet to the 100 feet. Another grade of five
miles in length rises on an average 10 feet to the
100 feet. On this route there are 30 miles of up
grade between Coulterville and the Valley, and
20 miles of down grade.
On the Mariposa route there are numerous hills
to be ascended and descended, as on the preced-
ing routes. The steepest grade is across the
Chowchilla Mountains, where the rise is 17.5 feet
to the 100 feet.
Between Clark's and the Valley, the Mariposa
and the Madera routes are the same, and the
maximum grade is 10.5 feet to the 100 feet. On
the Madera route the maximum grade between
Madera and Clark's is 4 feet to the 100 feet.
These grades, taken in connection with the great-
est elevation, are an important element in refer-
ence to time, for on steep grades the time must
The road-bed will be thought bad enough
whichever route one takes, if he is not accustomed
to mountain roads ; but they are all good, con-
sidering the country through which they pass.
In general, the greater the elevations the more
rocky and rough the road-bed.
3. Coaches and Teams. On these, and in some
coaches on a particular seat, may depend much
of the comfort of the passenger. It is well,
therefore, to see a photograph of the coach, and
know beforehand whether it is to be a "mud-
wagon," or a ' Concord coach," or an open
" Kimball wagon." As there is no danger of
rain, the open Kimball wagons are to be greatly
preferred. They are the most comfortable
coaches ever made, and obstruct no fine view for
any passenger. In these every passenger has a
The teams, so far as the writer has observed,
are all good ; it does not pay to have any others,
and they who understand their business look well
to this point.
4. Hotels. These are all good. Some are ex-
cellent as good as any in the State. Among
these are the El Capitan at Merced, Dudley's,
Clark's, Murphy's, and the Calaveras Big Trees.
The Madera route has an unrivaled advantage
in this, that a tourist can take a palace sleeping-car
at 4 P.M. in San Francisco, and be undisturbed
during the night, the car being placed on a side
track on arrival at Madera, to remain until morn-
ing. Or, returning from the Valley, one may
take the palace sleeping-car on arrival at Madera,
and find himself undisturbed until he nears
Lathrop for breakfast the next morning.
5. Scenery en. route. On every route it is beauti-
ful. There is a general sameness in looking over
the hills and taking in the great San Joaquin
Valley, but there can be no two views precisely
On the Big Oak Flat route, the crossing of the
Tuolumne, after ascending and descending a
steep mountain, is quite picturesque. On the
Coulterville route there are many fine views of
the mountains, and there is also Bower Cave, an
interesting opening in limestone rock, into which
one can descend by ladder and then pass into the
main opening. It is unique and interesting, but
seems not to win permanent and general interest
in the midst of greater wonders. The Coulter-
ville route descends to the canon of the Merced
bsfore reaching the Valley proper, and passes up
along the rapids, where the river roars and rushes
out toward the plain. This is especially in-
teresting, grand, and mighty in the early spring,
when rains and melting snows have swollen the
river to a tremendous torrent.
The Mariposa and Madera routes unite at
Clark's. From Merced and Madera to Clark's
the scenery is erood on either route. Concerning
the route from Merced via Mariposa, Prof.
Whitney says, " The road from Bear Valley to
Mariposa passes through a region which gives
as good an idea as any in the State of equal ex-
tent can of the peculiar foot-hill scenery of the
Sierra Nevada." Substantially this another
might say of any other of the roads into the
Valley. The road from Clark's to the Valley
passes down the South Fork of the Merced, and
at the same time ascends to the plateau between
this fork and the main Merced, where the scene
is continually changing, but everything is wildly
sublime. Before losing sight of the cafion of
the Merced, where the river flows through it
toward the San Joaquin, the view extends to the
coast mountains, and on going up and into the Yo-
semite, the rapids, where the Merced River leaves
the Yosemite Valley and rushes through the
canon, are seen far below. But the glory of this
route is the scenery, viewed from Inspiration
Point. It is the best general view of the Valley.
From this point the Valley was first seen by those
in pursuit of the Indians in 1851, and here the
most profound emotions have arisen and the most
pregnant words ever uttered concerning it were
conceived, and from this point Hill, Bierstudt,
and others have painted it. If this view is not
had by taking the route to or from Clark's, it
should be had at the expense of a day, for it is
not possible to have any thing comparable to it
on any road entering on the north side, as the
Big Oak Flat and Coulterville enter. The
latter is near the bed of the river, and too low
down for the grand scenic effect of Inspiration
Point, and both it and the Big Oak Flat route
enter below where there is a trend in the wall,
and El Capitan projects its massive form and
shuts out the major part of the Valley beyond.
Entering on the south wall from Clark's, the
tourist is directed across the lower end of the
Valley, and takes in more of it than any other
point can give. Whoever enters the Valley will
see Inspiration Point, and many who desire to
enter by one road and return by another will
retrace their steps to Clark's, preferring to get the
most of the Valley while they are en route to and
6. Time required in Traveling. To visit the Val-
ley via Milton, the tourist must remain over night
at Stockton, where he will find the " Yosemite"
and other good hotels. Leaving Stockton the
next morning, it will require two days to reach
the Valley, arriving on the second day at six
If the road be vii the Calaveras Big Trees, it
will require four days from Stockton to the Val-
By the Coulterville route, leaving San Fran-
cisco at 4 P.M. for Merced, arriving at 11 P.M., a
few hours' sleep may be had before taking the
stage early next morning. Two days are re-
quired to reach the Valley, arriving at six P.M.
By the Mariposa route, one must leave Merced at
the same time as if going via Coulterville, and
would reach the Valley the second day by con-
necting at Clark's with the stage from Madera.
On this route the time is not yet fixed.
By the Madera route the tourist can leave San
Francisco at 4 P.M., and combine the advantage
of hotel with saving of time. The rest through-
out the night in the palace sieeping-car will be
better than a few hours' sleep at Merced, but
not so good as at the hotel at Stockton. Leaving
Madera early in the morning, the Valley is
reached at noon the next day. The whole time
is about 44 hours, including an unbroken night's
Returning from the Valley, one may leave at
at 6 A.M., and reach Stockton to connect with
the overland train going east the next day.
This can be done only by the route via, Big Oak
Flat, and will require a ride the first day both
hard and late, and an early start the second day,
in order to reach the train which leaves Milton
at 10.45 A.M.
7. Big Tree Groves. These trees are Sequoia
Giganten, and belong to the same genus as the
Red- woods (Sequoia Sempervirens), found only on
the Coast Range.
The King's River Grove contains the largest liv-
ing tree, 44 feet in diameter. This grove, and
the two groves on the north and south forks of
the Tule River, are not easily accessible. In the
other groves the number of the trees is about as
follows : North Calaveras, 90 ; South Calaveras,
1380 ; Tuolumne, 30 ; Merced, 50 ; Mariposa,
600; Fresno, 1200.
The two Calaveras groves are six miles apart,
connected by a trail over a wild and picturesque
canon. The hotel is located in the north grove.
It is a first-class house, and the only hotel in the
midst of the trees. To those who desire to lin-
ger in the shade of these giants while they grow
upon him for days and weeks, this is a favorite
resort. To visit the south grove requires a day,
and a ride on horseback. The grove itself is
four miles long and one wide. In both these
groves the trees are beautiful, surpassing in sym-
metry and perfection those of the Mariposa, but
not those of the Fresno Grove.
The Mariposa Grove is of national importance.
It is the only one that has been set aside as a park
for the nation. It was ceded by Congress to the
State of California, and is cared for by the Com-
missioners of the State. Its trees are in two
groups, and these are half a mile apart. The