Tourism officials are anticipating a boost in the number of visitors to the Mother Lode this weekend, largely thanks to the holiday falling on a Friday.
The local predictions are in line with the American Automobile Association's latest travel forecast that estimates roughly 41 million people will journey more than 50 miles from home this weekend, up from about 40 million people from last year when Independence Day fell on a Thursday.
"Historically, the Fourth of July landing on a Friday is really good for tourism business because it extends the long weekend," said Lisa Boulton, executive director of the Calaveras County Visitors Bureau, who added that tourism has generally been on the rise throughout California this summer.
The National Weather Service has predicted that high temperatures in the Mother Lode region throughout the weekend will be between 89 and 102, with overnight lows ranging from 56 to 72.
Despite the heat, Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau marketing director Lisa Mayo said her contacts in the hospitality industry have told her that lodging reservations are up through July 4 and into next week.
"Everything is pointing to increased tourism throughout the summer," she said. "We won't know until we see the final numbers."