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Manzanita Ranch

Main House and front garden in early summer – CK Martin

Manzanita Ranch is a Sierra foothills estate located on 102 acres of undeveloped land in Amador County wine country. This peaceful estate is located just 5 miles up Fiddletown Road from historic Fiddletown, where the Fiddletown Fiddlejam has been bringing fiddlers from all over the nation each year on the third weekend of July since 1951.

In Fiddletown there are several historic buildings including the "Chew Kee" general store which was owned by a Chinese business man that sold supplies to the early miners. On Manzanita Ranch there are several hiking trails that take you by historic ruins. There is an old mining flume where hydraulic mining took place, rock walls and spring boxes, all left from the gold rush days. The trails begins at the main house and can take you 3/4 to 1.5 miles. Each trail is marked and maps along with points of interest are available at the main house. From the estate there is a 2 mile walk that will lead you to a trail to the Consumnes River where you can try your hand at panning for gold. Maps and pans for this hike are also available at the main house. Since the property is mostly undeveloped the wildlife is abundant.

There are herds of deer, coveys of quail, fox and coyotes that roam the property along with a resident bobcat. From the large decks you can enjoy a large variety of birds that come to the many bird feeders on the property. The estate sits on the migration path of the Sand Hill Cranes as they make their way from Canada to their winter grounds in the central valley. Twice a year the cranes circle over the canyon making their noisy way.

Daffodil Hill is just 6 miles away up Fiddletown Road where you can enjoy over 200,000 daffodils during the season and learn how the family planted the bulbs over generations. The main meadow can be seen from the upper deck of the main house. Since the estate sits at 2,800 feet, we are above the valley fog and heat but still below snow line. This gives our guests fantastic views of beautiful sunsets over Mt. Diablo, over 80 miles to the west. For those flower lovers, the estate is in bloom with lupine and many varieties of wildflowers from late April though August. There are rock roses, daffodils and several types of fruit trees that all bloom in the spring.

The dark night sky offers fantastic views of the moon, stars and the Milky Way and from the rear deck it is a perfect place to bring your telescope. We post a monthly timetable so our guest can watch the International Space Station fly over.

While the main house is fairly new it was built in the old western tradition of large log construction. The unique structure is made of 13 inch Lodgepole pine logs in the Swedish cope tradition. It also incorporates active solar electric panels to help supply electricity and be as eco friendly as possible.

Driving Directions

From the west: Manzanita Ranch is 12 miles east of Plymouth California off Fiddletown Road. From Plymouth drive east on Fiddletown Road and go right at the "Y" and up the hill. Follow Fiddletown Road through the village of Fiddletown. Continue up Fiddletown Road 6 miles to Camino Del Aparicio and turn right. Manzanita Ranch is 1/4 mile on the left at 19860 Camino Del Aparicio.

From the east: Follow CA highway 88 west past Kirkwood Ski Resort. Continue on 88 about 34 miles to Shake Ridge Road (about 2 mile after Cook Station), and turn right. Follow Shake Ridge Road about 6 mile to the "Y' of Shake Ridge and Fiddletown roads. Turn right on Fiddletown road and follow 4.8 miles to Camino Del Aparicio, and turn left. Manzanita Ranch is 1/4 mile on the left.

Eco-Friendly Notes

Manzanita Ranch was designed as an eco-friendly estate. We supply our electric power through a 6.8 kw grid tied solar electric system. The Main House is situated so that it is solar heated during the winter months, requiring only the use of a small wood stove to maintain comfortable temperatures. During the summer months the large log structure requires very little cooling to keep it pleasant. We have tank less hot water systems in both houses to conserve on propane.

The gardens and landscaping designs include natural, drought tolerant plants that minimize the need for water. The many peach, plum, cherry and pear trees supply fruit while being totally natural. The gardens have regular bird feeders, hummingbird feeders and a fountain to attract a very large variety of birds. The land of 102 acres is left mostly in a natural state, manzanita, buck brush, Ponderosa Pine and several varieties of Oak. This natural landscape offers a perfect habitat for many species of wild animals.

Locally or Family Owned Business Notes

The family that owns Manzanita Ranch lives on the estate and has owned the property since 1999. We built the estate so that we could enjoy the peace and beauty of this incredible property. We wanted to build a home that would be in the old tradition of western log homes while being very eco friendly with a very low carbon footprint.

We feel that we have achieved a balance in life at Manzanita Ranch. We can ride our bikes on many beautiful roads one day and ski in the deep powder snow of Kirkwood resort the next. All of this while enjoying the quiet and peace of the land. The wild flowers on the estate and on the trails of the Sierras offer some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country and we love hiking in the area.

Lodging Style and Amenities

There are two types of lodges at Manzanita Ranch.

The first is the Main House which is a 3,700 square foot log home with 100 mile views. There are three bedrooms with full attached baths, two great rooms, a gourmet kitchen, and 1,500 square feet of decks. The Main House can be rented as a complete house of three bedrooms or just the main floor and one bedroom. There is a large spa where guests can relax and watch the sunset or view the Milky Way. The peace and serenity of this house is perfect for reading a good book or singing songs with the family around the grand piano. The Main House is suitable for parties of 2 to 8 people.

The Carriage House is 850 square feet and has some basic cooking facilities including a small gas grill on the attached deck. This quaint cottage is perfect for the couple looking for an escape. The Carriage House is suitable for parties of 2. Upon arrival all of our guests receive a gift basket with seasonal fruit, a bottle of Amador County wine, and fresh muffins. We also supply coffee and a variety of teas along with all spices and condiments to make any type of gourmet meal.

Ranch Activities Available

Located in Amador County wine county, Manzanita Ranch is only 12 miles down Fiddletown Road to over 45 wineries in the Shenandoah valley. The Amador wine country offers many Italian varietals. There are over 40 wineries making some of the best Zinfandel wine in the world. The ranch offers hiking, bicycling, and kayaking in the summer, and convenient access to skiing and snowshoeing in the upper elevations. Skiing at Kirkwood Resort is just 45 minutes up Highway 88. The beautiful lakes of Bear Creek and Silver Lake offer wonderful views and a get place to canoe or kayak. These are also only 25 to 35 minutes from the estate up highway 88.

The ranch offers customized guided tours for all levels of ability for all of the listed activities. There are several old mining sites on the ranch, including rock walls, a flume, and water boxes. All can be accessed by trails that will lead you by each of the ruins. Maps are available and the trails are well marked. All trails start and finish at the main house.

Manzanita Ranch is a short distance(6 miles up Fiddletown Road) to Daffodil Hill where the spring flowers are beautiful. We are also close to Indian Grinding Rock State Park, where everyone can enjoy the sights of a bygone era in a place where the native Indians would winter. This is about 10 miles away in Volcano. Brochures are available at the main house.

There is also Black Chasm in Volcano. This is 18 minutes from the main house down Shake Ridge Road. The chasm has wonderful tours explaining the wonders of the rare helictite crystal formations. Brochures and map are available at the main house.

The Sutter Gold mine about 15 minutes south on Highway 49 in Sutter Creek offers tours of this underground hard rock gold mine. You can discover what the 49er's did and how the lived in the gold rush boom. Brochures and direction maps are available at the main house.


Season Open

Year Round


Rate Range

$95/night....$650/week to $275/night....$1800/week


  • Eco-Friendly
  • Locally or Family-Owned Business


Breakfast Style Served

Breakfast Not Included

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