You might miss the aptly named “little valley” or Vallecito as you drive through it. The population is 427. Very few residents are located directly off of highway 4 or Parrots Ferry, they are hidden away from the main roads. Travelers may not know that they are in Vallecito when they visit the amazing Moaning Caverns. Tours of the caverns are suitable for the whole family. You can venture down the 234 steps in the spiral staircase built in 1922 into the largest single cave on the west coast. The cave is big enough to fit the entire statue of liberty! For adventurous adults there is a 165-foot rope rappel into the cave or the recently added above ground 1500-foot twin zip line. For more information visit our Caverns and Spelunking in the Mother Lode page in the destination guide.
Also in Vallecito is the Twisted Oak Winery. With a wry sense of humor and a great tasting wine it is worth a stop by. For other wineries check out the destination guide.
Just over the Parrots Ferry Bridge bridge from Columbia and Sonora as you turn onto Highway 4 going Northeast to Murphys or Southwest to Angels Camp. Set your altimeter for 1,762 feet above sea level and then you are sure to not miss the “little valley.” Our Map of Vallecito
History of Vallecito
Vallecito was first called “Murphys Diggings” by the Murphys brothers who found gold there but then moved on, to what is now Murphys. Mexican miners renamed the camp and built up Vallecito. In 1852 a lot more gold was found and the town boomed. The post office was established on August 17 of 1854, and is still in service today.
In 1853 Vallecito needed a bell to sound an alarm in case of fire, to summon people to church and children to school. The Vallecito Bell, cast at Troy, New York in 1853, was brought around Cape Horn and purchased in San Francisco with funds contributed by early-day residents. It hung from a large oak tree from 1854 until February 16, 1939, when severe wind blew the old tree down. In October of that year, the Native Sons of the Golden West mounted the old bell on the stone monument where it remains today.
Vallecito Zip Code: 95251
US Post Office –
Vallecito 3511 Main Street