We discovered the Sierra Circles Sculpture Garden while searching for a place to celebrate my birthday last September. We wanted to camp, and we only had time for a quick overnight. My friend Thea was scrolling through the Hipcamp website looking for a unique place within a reasonable driving distance. She quickly found Sierra Circles and read me the description. Three and half hours isn’t exactly a reasonable driving distance for one night, but there would be art! And wine! And hiking! – My favorite things!
The campground is located at Brice Station Vineyards off of Highway 4 in Murphys, California. On the property is a tasting room (open 12-6 Friday – Sunday), a pottery studio, a concert venue, the campground, and many art installations. There is also a blacksmith school, weekly yoga classes, and seasonal celebrations. There are six campsites to choose from, each with a unique piece of art.
When we arrived, we immediately went to check out the pottery studio and chatted with the artist, Michael Olson. (Michael is the creator of all the installations in the sculpture garden.) This was followed by a wine tasting at Brice Station. As we were finishing up, cars began to fill up the adjacent parking lot for the concert that evening, the last show of the season. Anxious to get away from the crowd, we purchased some wine and headed up the hill to the campground and sculpture garden to set up camp.
We had reserved three campsites for our group of seven. After setting up our tents and pouring some wine, we wandered around the sculpture garden until dusk. There is so much to see, and the art is a constantly evolving mix of found objects, wood, and iron.
The next morning, Thea and I wandered down the road to check out the other three campsites. We continued down a path marked by a sign that read “Trail,” kicking up dead leaves and enjoying the crunching noise they made under our feet. The trail had several offshoots, one of which led to an amazing view. We steered clear of the trail named “Thighmaster” and circled back to camp desperate for coffee, not realizing that our little stroll would turn into a short hike.
We spent the remainder of our morning back in the sculpture garden, hesitant to pack up and leave. But as we were setting up for our group photo, it started to rain and the intensity rapidly increased. And that made it easier to go.
We’re heading back to Sierra Circles this spring! I can’t wait to see how everything looks during this season. We’re also staying two nights… perhaps I will see about hiking that Thighmaster trail.
Here is a link to the Sierra Circles Sculpture Garden on Hipcamp.
Thank you for the tour of Sierra Circles. We were just in California (February 18th to March 1). We stayed in Cambria for a few days and went to the Justin winery for a tasting near Paso Robles. So close!
We have family in California now. Emily’s in-laws live in Claremont so I think we will be visiting more often. Thanks for sending this.
Aunt Cindy and Uncle George
Cindy, so nice to hear from you! I’d love to meet up with you guys on a future visit!
We absolutely love the pictorial episodes of your journey(s). You are a conduit to real.
Thank you Robert!