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Alpine County

California

"The California Alps"

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The Cities and communities of Alpine County, California *


Alpine Village

Bear Valley

Kirkwood

Lake Alpine

Mesa Vista

Markleeville (county seat)

Paynesville

Sorensens

Woodfords


*This list of cities may not be complete. The list may contain towns, cities, villages, boroughs, neighborhoods, townships, ghost towns and other populated places.

If you have information about any of these unlinked communities, please send it to us and we will add a page for that community. Some of these places above may only be neighborhoods or local area names and are not listed with the census at all or just included in a larger surrounding designated census area..

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Information & Facts about Alpine County, California


Attractions & other Information - Climate - Economy - Genealogy - Geography -
Government - History - Libraries - Location - Organizations & Groups -
Other Facts & Figures - Population - Schools


Government

Alpine County Government Website
P.O. Box 158
Markleeville, CA 96120
Board of Supervisors Phone: 530-694-2281

The county is governed by the Board of Supervisors consisting of five board members each representing an area of the county. The members are elected to four year terms. The county has no incorporated cities and all services are provided by the county.

Alpine County Superior Court

The Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California
Headquarters
919 Highway 395 South
Gardnerville, NV 89410
Phone: 530-694-2339
Toll-free: 800-76WASHO
and
96 Washoe Blvd.
Markleeville, CA 96120
Phone: 530-694-2170

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Population:

1864 - 11,000+
1868 - 1,200
1920 - 200
1930 - 300
1990 - 1,113
2000 - 1,208
2003 - 1,209
2004 - 1,190

Density:
2000 - 2 persons per square mile

Housing Units:
2000 - 1,514

Most of the population of centered around a few mountain communities, including the county seat of Markleeville. There is generally a rural lifestyle with residents traveling to nearby cities in neighboring counties or in Nevada for most services.

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Location:

Alpine County is a remote area along the crest of the central Sierra Nevada. It is south of Lake Tahoe and north of Yosemite National Park.

Neighboring counties:

West - Amador County
Southwest - Calaveras County
North-Northeast - Douglas County, Nevada
West-Northwest - El Dorado County
South-Southeast - Mono County
South - Tuolumne County

Try this page for road conditions in the area.

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Climate:

Record High: 98 degrees F
Record low: -10 degrees F
Annual mean rainfall: 20.88"
Annual mean snowfall: 89.6"
Winter mean maximum temperature: 43.5 degrees F
Winter mean minimum temperature: 23 degrees F
Summer mean maximum temperature: 85.1 degrees F
Summer mean minimum temperature: 53.3 degrees F

Nearby Tamarack as the distinction of having recorded the following:
State's heaviest month's snowfall - 390 inches
State's highest seasonal total - 884 inches
State's greatest depth on the ground at one time - 454 inches (almost 38 feet!)

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Other Facts and Figures:

Average housing price:
2000 - $162,500

Per Capita Income:
2002 - $27,538

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History:

Early inhabitants of the county area were the Washo who located in both western Nevada and eastern California. They lived mainly around the shores of Lake Tahoe. One branch of the tribe was the Hung Lei Ti. This band settled in the Diamond Valley area of the county. Later, other explorers, including Jedediah Smith and Joseph Walker, came through the area., But the two that brought interest to Alpine County were John Fremont and Kit Carson who made their famous trip in the winter of 1844 attempting to find other routes around and through the Sierra Nevada. In 1848, some of the Mormon Battalion arrived followed by the settlers of the 1849 Gold Rush era. During this time, the California Emigrant Road was the most popular route in the area. it is now known as Highway 88.

Though the discovery of gold near Virginia City, Nevada brought many gold-seekers to the area, it wasn't until the discovery of silver near what is now Silver Mountain City that the area began to grow. The area grew some, but there were never any rich discoveries such as many hoped to find. A few small mining towns, such as Monitor and Mt. Bullion, cropped up in the hills while the mining was good. Jacob Marklee registered a 160 acre land claim and also built a toll bridge across a stream near Genoa, Nevada. The current county seat of Markleeville and a local creek were both named for Jacob. He died in 1863 from mortal wounds in a gunfight.

Alpine County was created in 1864, taken from parts of Amador, El Dorado, Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties. The hopes were high that the area would continue to grow and prosper. But the silver was difficult to mine for a profit and by 1868, the county population had dropped to just 1,200 people, down from 11,000+ in 1864. By 1873, nearly all the silver mines had closed. Markleeville became the county seat in 1875. The town had rebounded from the loss of the mines due to its location as a trade center for the many ranching and lumber businesses in the area. A bad fire in 1885 but the town rebuilt and continued on as county seat. The county hit a new low in population during the 1920's when the entire population counted only about 200 persons. The 1930's brought a small increase to about 300 persons in the county. It wasn't until the growth of ski resorts in the area, namedly Bear Valley and Kirkwood, that the population began to stabilize. In the 1990 census, the numbers had increased to approximately 1,200 persons in the county. Alpine County is still the least populated county in the state and will probably keep that distinction since 96% of the county land is in public ownership.

A page for Alpine County history. Here is another history page for the county
The Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California

California Historical Landmark #240 is the site of Markle's cabin he built on what would later become the town of Markleville and the county seat of Alpine County.

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Geography:

Latitude: 38.35
Longitude: 119.48

Total area: 743 square miles
Total land area: 739 square miles
Total water area: 5 square miles

The county is 0.61% water

Alpine County is the 8th smallest in the state
96% of land is public; with only 4% under private ownership

Elevation: 4,800 to over 11,400 feet above sea level

Major mountain peaks in the area are Sonora Peak at 11,429 feet above sea level and Stanislaus Peak at 11,202 feet. The county is drained by the North Fork of the Mokelumne River, the Middle and Clark forks of the Stanislaus, and the east and west forks of the Carson River. All of these rivers have their source in the county area. The southern boundary of the county is the Clark Fork of the Stanislaus River.

Geographic information from the state of California for the area

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Genealogy:

US GenWeb page for Alpine County

Cemeteries in Alpine County

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Libraries:

Markleeville Library
P.O. Box 187
Markleeville, CA 96120
Phone: 530-694-2120
Email

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Schools:

Alpine County Unified School District
Board of Education
43 Hawkside Drive
Markleeville, CA 96120
Phone: (530) 694-2230

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Economy:

As the least populated county in the state, Alpine has much to offer in the recreation and tourism industries. Outdoor recreation abounds in the county as well as related sectors of the economy. The county has a little agricultural activity, mostly hay. There are some cattle and sheep grazing area also. Much of the economy is based in outdoor recreation such as hunting, fishing, camping, skiing, etc. The ghost towns ruins from the gold and silver era may still be found here in Silver Mountain, Silver King and Monitor.

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Organizations & Groups

Alpine County Chamber of Commerce

Friends of Hope Valley
Friends of Hope Valley is nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of Hope Valley's wild and pristine beauty. Hope Valley is located on Highway 88 in Alpine County of the California Sierra Nevada Mountains

Bear Valley Residents, Incorporated
P.O. Box 5145
Bear Valley, California 95223
A non-profit organization formed for the benefit of Bear Valley property owners and to administer the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions of the New Subdivision

Alpine County Friends of the Library
P.O. Box 187
Markleeville, CA 96120

Alpine County Search and Rescue
C/O Sheriff Office
P.O. Box 278
Markleeville, CA 96120
Phone: 530-694-2231

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Attractions & Other Information

The Death Ride - Cycling tour of the California Alps
Held in July of each year, the course begins and ends near Markleville and goes through Monitor Pass, Ebbetts Pass and a portion of Carson Pass - 129 miles and 15,000+ feet of climbing!

The Bear Valley Music Festival
Post Office Box 5068
Bear Valley, CA 95223
Phone: 209.753.2574
Toll Free: 800.458.1618

The Alpine Museum
In Markleeville
For more information, call 530-694-2317
The Old Webster Schoolhouse was built on this site in 1882 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Other buildings on the site are the original Markleeville Log Jail, the main museum building, a Carriage Shed, and historic four Stamp Mill used in early Alpine County.

Grover Hot Springs State Park
P.O. Box 188
Markleeville, CA 96120
Phone: 530-694-2248

Bear Valley Mountain Resort
Highway 4 @ Highway 207
PO Box 5038
Bear Valley, California 95223
Phone 209-753-2301
Ski and Snowboard California's Central Sierra Nevada

Kirkwood Mountain Resort
P.O. Box 1
Kirkwood, CA 95646
1501 Kirkwood Meadows Drive
Kirkwood, CA 95646

Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway
The byway ranges in elevation from approximately 3000' to 8500. The byway is anchored at either end by two State Parks Calaveras Big Trees and Grover Hot Springs. It also passes through the Stanislaus and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests

The area abounds in recreational opportunities. This page lists many of them!
Eldorado National Forest
Stanislaus National Forest
Carson Iceberg Wilderness - part of the Stanislaus National Forest
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
Mokelumne Wilderness

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This page was created on 2 February 2007 and last updated on 27 March 2009 at 10:08 pm