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Gold Country (also Mother Lode Country) is a region in the central-and-north-eastern part of Californiamarker, United Statesmarker. It is famed for the mineral deposits and gold mines which attracted waves of immigrants, known as the 49ers, during the 1849 California Gold Rush.


The Gold Country is generally considered to lie along the route of State Route 49, stretching from Mariposa Countymarker in the south, to Sierra Countymarker in the north.

It includes parts of twelve California counties: Amadormarker, Buttemarker, Calaverasmarker, El Doradomarker, Mariposamarker, Nevadamarker, Placermarker, Sacramentomarker, Sierramarker, Tuolumnemarker, Plumasmarker and Yubamarker.


The Gold Country lies on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, reaching down to the Sacramento Valley.The oldest geology can be found along the easternmost portions of this region, closer to the Sierra Nevada summits, and consists of ancient sea floor and portions of islands which were added onto the western edge of North America during the late Paleozoic, about 275 million years ago. The western sections of the Mother Lode are significantly younger, from the mid Mesozoic, about 150 million years ago and also consist of material that was accreted from the ocean floor to the continental edge. Massive intrusions of granite forced their way into these formations, and after ten miles of overlying material was eroded over the last seventy million years, these intrusions are visible throughout the Sierra Nevadas. Over the last fifty million years, rivers and volcanoes deposited materials which lay in thick layers that can be found atop many of the high ridges of the Sierra Nevada foothills.


For the most part, the climate in this part of California resembles that of much of Italymarker or Spainmarker. Winters are cool and damp, averaging around 30 inches of rainfall and occasional snowfall, especially in the higher altitudes of the eastern reaches up the slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Winter temperatures range from the upper twenties to mid fifties. Summers are dry and hot, with long streches that reach triple digits. This region has very short periods of autumn and spring.

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