Mountain Ranch (formerly, El Dorado and El Dorado Town) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Calaveras County, California, United States. The population was 1,557 at the 2000 census. The town is registered as California Historical Landmark #282. The town center is quite small with less than 50 people living in it, the 5 mile square area surround the town accounts for the balance of the population.
Mountain Ranch's post office was established in 1858. In 1868, it was moved to another town called El Dorado Camp 1.5 miles south, as there was already an El Dorado post office in CA, El Dorado Camp became known as Mountain Ranch. Currently, there are 3 post office buildings in the town. The present one, a small post office which was built in 1956, and a post office built in 1923 which was once billed as the worlds smallest post office. The original location of the town of Mountain Ranch also has a historical landmark. The bell on the historical marker was used in the local school from 1885 to 1953. Established as Cave City School District in 1855, this school joined with the Banner District in 1946 to become the El Dorado Union Elementary School District.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 41.3 square miles (106.9 km²), of which, 41.2 square miles (106.7 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.15%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,557 people, 656 households, and 474 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 37.8 people per square mile (14.6/km²). There were 816 housing units at an average density of 19.8/sq mi (7.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 90.30% White, 1.41% Black or African American, 1.73% Native American, 0.83% Asian, 0.58% from other races, and 5.14% from two or more races. 5.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 656 households out of which 19.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.6% were married couples living together, 5.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.7% were non-families. 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.76.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 18.7% under the age of 18, 3.8% from 18 to 24, 18.9% from 25 to 44, 38.3% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females there were 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.3 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $38,311, and the median income for a family was $39,324. Males had a median income of $33,864 versus $33,289 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $19,594. About 10.0% of families and 13.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.7% of those under age 18 and 2.1% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Mountain Ranch is located in the 1st Senate District, represented by Republican Dave Cox, and in the 25th Assembly District, represented by Republican Tom Berryhill. Federally, Mountain Ranch is located in California's 3rd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +7 and is represented by Republican Dan Lungren.