We are located in the central Sierra Nevada, with major rivers to the north and south. The Sierra Nevada forms the border on the east, with our county flowing into the great central valley in the west. Our diverse terrain includes the Columbia and Railtown 1897 State Historic Parks, and much of the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park.
The county is also home to the two highest mountain passes through the Sierra Nevada: Tioga Pass (9,945 feet) and Sonora Pass (9,628 feet). Plant and animal life abound, and Tuolumne County’s wildflowers begin their show in February, continuing in the high country until the first snows. Calaveras Big Trees State Park, with its world-renowned giant sequoia, is found partially within Tuolumne County borders.
How large is the county?
The county encompasses an area of more than 2,200 square miles, ranging from 300 feet to more than 12,000 feet in elevation. Most of the land (78.5%) in Tuolumne County is publicly owned by the federal, state, and local governments. That leaves less than one quarter (21.5%) of the land for private ownership. When viewing the> county as a whole, we have a population density of 22.4 people per square mile. However, it is probably more accurate to state the density on the private land, which is 104 people per square mile.