Where to Pop the Question in Calaveras

Moaning Cavern Rappel
Moaning Cavern Rappel | Serena Deininger

The folks at California Caverns and Moaning Cavern Adventure Park have seen a number of interesting marriage proposals over the years. There was the rappel proposal, where one of the guides took the ring down, the man rappelled down first and was down on one knee, ready to pop the question when she was being unhooked from her rope. The woman was terrified and swore she’d never do it again, and the man looked scared too when he got down on one knee! But once she saw the ring, it was all happy tears and hugs. According to Carolee White, Event Coordinator at Moaning Cavern, “We will get calls from guys asking if we can work with them in various ways and I always tell them that we can (since it’s never anything beyond our abilities) and work with the cavern manager to let them know what we will be doing.”

Cougar Rock_Bob Chickering
Top of the World on the Arnold Rim Trail | Photo: Bob Chickering

There are plenty of easily accessible, but no less magical places you could consider if you’re up for a short hike. Natural Bridges is a natural limestone cavern and verdant swimming hole just outside Vallecito. We wouldn’t recommend a swim in February, but it’s a wonderful spot to explore any day. Calaveras Big Trees State Park provides an ancient forest backdrop, and is certainly the site of many weddings. Arnold Rim Trail, with an entrance near the Sierra Nevada Logging Museum, will take you to a spot known as Top of the World. As its name suggests, this ridgetop rock outcropping perches you atop a dramatic canyon with epic sunsets and views of Mount Diablo and the coastal mountains. In the lower elevations and western parts of the county, try a hike onto Table Mountain, part of the New Melones Recreation Area, you’ll be rewarded with views over the lake as well as the peaks of Yosemite Park.   The reservoirs of Camanche and Hogan both have great trail networks lined with majestic oaks and rolling green hills this time of year. Take a picnic!

Bear Valley Snowmobile, Calaveras County
See the forest from the seat of a Bear Valley Snowmobile | File Photo

As for the high country – how about an afternoon tour on snowmobile?  Bear Valley Snowmobile is a friendly, family run operation and if you tell them what you’re up to, they’ll be happy to suggest a special spot to stop and make your move. Bear Valley is a popular spot for outdoor weddings – we’ve even seen a wedding dress or two on the chairlift! So why not start the process here too? Whether it’s downhill or cross-country skiing, you and your sweetheart surrounded by snow-capped Sierra peaks could make for an unforgettable day.

Once the weather warms up, the high country has an endless assortment of high peaks, island dotted lakes and secluded camp spots that lend themselves to romance. A couple suggestions: hike up to Inspiration Point at Lake Alpine; or a canoe or kayak camp trip on Utica Reservoir. Good luck!

Utica reservoir kayaking
Kayaking on Utica Reservoir | File Photo