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JnR Hotel
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Surprise Valley

Chamber of Commerce

since 2005

Member Surprise Valley Rotary. Dinner meeting Wednesdays  Community Hall Bonner & Center

6:00 PM

4/3 on 7pm


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TOURING

The Cedar Pass Ski Hill has a T-bar lift and offers weekend winter recreation including alpine and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and sledding.  They are open 10 AM to 4 PM when we have enough snow.  It is a great place to hike in the summer too.


Land sailing on the dry lake beds east of Cedarville, weather permitting, is a great sport.  The lake beds allow miles of land sailing or ice-skating.


Hiking on the Cedar Creek trail begins off Highway 299 by the Cedar Pass Ski Hill Park and is 3 miles down hill with interpretive markers for the first half-mile on both the upper and lower ends.  This was originally the path used by the Paiute Indians to travel from Surprise Valley to their winter home near Cedar Pass.  John Bonner used the basic trail to build the first wagon road across the Warner Mountains between Cedarville and Alturas.


Sightseeing, rock hounding, and just enjoying the outdoors are common activities.  Cedarville has been declared a gateway (see the visitor page) community to the Black Rock Desert/High Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Great Basin and the Warners and there are many back roads to explore.  While you are out on the back roads and byways keep a sharp lookout and you will see wild horses and antelope on the hills.  They really blend into the landscape.  The wagon trail can still be seen in places.  Detailed maps are available from the BLM office (602 Cressler St.) and the Forest Service (Lincoln).


Bird watching is becoming a great pastime and viewing locations are being established.  Bald eagles can often be seen sitting on the electric wires or fences.  During squirrel hunting they eat the squirrels as fast as the hunters kill them. The Sandhill Cranes are kick to watch, I drove all the way to Nebraska to see them when they are in my own backyard. Many other birds migrate through the area every year.


Hunting

Cedarville is home to the annual squirrel roundup.  Locals say the little varmint devils will eat 25% of the crop and their hazardous holes are bad for unaware horses, people and equipment.  It seems to be great sport, the ranchers welcome the help to control them, the eagles eagerly clean up the remains and the squirrels are awful scroungy looking anyway and can carry bubonic plague.


Especially during hunting season, you will see deer (including a trophy buck walking down Main Street and cutting across the hotel rear parking lot just to taunt the hunters.  Of course, the deer know there is no hunting in town.


Guides are available for Big Horn Sheep (see the links) and rides into the wilderness.

Bird hunters have done well here.  Geese and Ducks are bountiful and fly by overhead almost daily.

Fishing is excellent in the lakes.  Our guests have brought us some tasty ones.

Elk are well established on the Fandango Pass. Watch out during the rutting season.  They can be very dangerous.

There are bears in the Warners as well as mountain lions so be careful in the woods and elsewhere.  Also, respect others property and re-close gates and leave no trace behind.


History

Historic Cedarville began about 1864 as Deep Creek, a wagon train campground.  By 1867, John Bonner and William Cressler had established a trading post here.  Bonner built the road over Cedar Pass.  Cressler introduced legislation in 22nd California Congress to succeed from Siskiyiu County and form Modoc County. Cedarville has been in Utah Territory and Nevada before it was claimed by California.  By 1880, the population had grown to 220.  Today it is about 800.  Some say Cedarville got its name from a lone Cedar tree at the edge of town prompting John Bonner to name it after his hometown of Cedarville, Ohio.


There are several historic buildings located in town

The Townsend trading post, bought by Cressler-Bonner, built in 1865 is in the park on Center Street (one block west of Main Street) and less than a block from Highway 299.  It is designated as state Historical Landmark No. 14.


The corner store on Main Street and Highway 299, Cedarville Grocery, was the Bank of Surprise Valley that went under during the depression in the 1930s.


Next to the store is the Cedarville Garage currently home to several historic horse drawn vehicles.  If anyone is around you might be able to get a tour. Continuing down Main St. you will find the Cressler-Bonner building, started in 1884 and finished in 1885.  The shop next to Surprise was a hardware store.  The first and oldest elevator in Modoc County can be found in that shop.  Stop in Floating Island Books, originally the first bank in Modoc County years ago, and browse around.  You can also visit the Surprise Internet Cafe for some coffee, excellent wine choices, wireless Internet and collectibles.  Upstairs was a Knights of Pythias lodge now becoming apartments.


The next point of interest built from the turn of the century (1880) is the Metzker house, currently a bed and breakfast.  This was the original Cressler house. Past the old fire bell is the old Bank of America building now the home of the Over 50 Club. Everyone in the valley over 50 is an automatic member. The building can be rented as a hall for events. The Senior Citizen lunch is served there every Tuesday and Thursday.


There are several historic residences in town to see.  The Cloud house at 203 South Main St., the Van Doren house at 405 Townsend Street (hwy 299) and the Dee house at 675 Center Street.


At the fair grounds is the town of Louieville.  This is a collection of buildings donated from neighboring towns and ranches for preservation.  There is a slaughterhouse, a schoolhouse, a water tower, a church, a two-seat outhouse, the old Fort Bidwell jail, a workshop, the old Eagleville jail and a cabin built by Christopher Sharp - one of the first settlers of Cedarville.


On your way back up Main St, you will see Warner Mountain Weavers which was the Deep Creek School House in 1874 and then after a second story addition home to the Masons. They shear local sheep, dye the wool, spin it and weave or knit with the end product. See shopping.


The hotel was built in the teens and included a pharmacy and a barbershop in the front that extended out to the sidewalk.  Gordon Ash stopped by with some pictures.  The explosion eliminated that portion of the building.  In the 20's, the hotel had awnings over the windows and no decks.  It looked like the 20's in Chicago.  The hotel was owned by Golden's for several years and had oil heat with a big tank in the basement.  Bill Drew bought the hotel from the Arache’s and refurbished it after it had been unused as a hotel for several years.  As more about the building and Cedarville is discovered, this section will be expanded. See Blog link on Home Page for some more history.


Shopping

Gift Shop next to Country Hearth

Surprise Internet Cafe across the street. Besides coffee and eats there are many old items for sale on the shelves.

Klay Cottage Plus (Kim & Cruz Salazar) down 2 blocks. (Video rental, ceramic supplies & classes)

Warner Mountain Weavers 459 S Main St. (Tues-Sat 10-5) has gifts, Books, Supplies and Yarns

Surprise Valley Parts - a NAPA auto parts store on the corner

Groceries are available at the Cedarville Market (Main & Townsend (hwy 299) and Page's Market Main and Bonner.

Good Things  - A collection of little stores in a mall like setting.


Maps

The local BLM (Bureau of Land Management) on Cressler St between Townsend St (299) and Washington St has information and maps of the area.  Another resource is the USFS (United States Forest Service) on Wallace St. between Main St. and High St. Both have web sites. See link below for printable map from USFS.


Modoc County is mostly public lands and provides many varied activities.

Let us know if you find any dead links so they can be fixed. Forest Service Links


The following are links to the US Forest Service Recreational Information and Activities.

USFS Modoc Country Map. Click East or West and then area of interest. Map sections print on 8 ½” x 11” paper

USFS Area map showing USFS Offices

USFS Points of Interest

USFS Main Recreational page

USFS Medicine Lake Depth Map

USFS Links to Recreational Activities

USFS Auto Tours

USFS Bird Watching

USFS Boating Rules and Suggestions

USFS Camping

USFS Emigrant Trails Senic Byway

USFS Fishing

USFS Hang Gliding

USFS Hiking

USFS Horseback Riding

USFS Hunting

USFS Modoc Back Country

USFS Modoc Volcanic Senic Byway

USFS Off Highway Vechicles

USFS Mountain Biking

USFS Picnicing and Day Use

USFS River Center

USFS Rock Collecting

USFS Trails

USFS Watchable Wildlife

USFS Wild Horse Viewing

USFS South Warner Wilderness

USFS Winter Sports


BLM Links

The following are links to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recreational and information pages. BLM encompasses a large area.

BLM Brochures

BLM Recreation Main Page

BLM Bird Watching

BLM Camping

BLM Fishing

BLM Hunting

BLM Off Highway Vehicle Areas

BLM Pit River

BLM Surprise Valley Barrel Springs By Way

BLM Recreational Trails

BLM Watchable Wildlife

BLM Wilderness Areas