Traveling along the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway, the deep Sierra terrain opens to scenic Hermit Valley, where the Mokelumne River becomes the centerpiece of an open meadow teaming with wildlife and wildflowers. Large, open area with scattered timber and rock outcrops are adjacent to the North Fork Mokelumne River nearby. Stanislaus National Forest campsites are available in lower Hermit Valley as well as at the upper (NE) end of Hermit Valley, at Grouse Flat near Mosquito Lakes just five miles west of Ebbetts Pass summit on Highway 4. There is trout fishing in the Mokelumne River.
From here you could opt to hike the Deer Creek Trail through the Mokelumne Wilderness and view beaver ponds on Grouse Creek, and 4-wheelers can opt to take the Deer Valley 4WD cross country road to Highway 88.
During the 1850s, Hermit Valley provided an excellent resting place for travelers who had just descended the 1000 feet over to the east side and housed a toll gate for silver seekers in 1864. More history about this lovely valley is located at the historical marker located on the left when traveling east (18 miles southwest of Markleeville, at post mile 18.5).