Experience Four Seasons of Adventure in Yosemite and Mariposa County.
(209) 742-4567 or yosemiteexperience.com
En route to and from Yosemite, stop through Mariposa County, which lies west of Yosemite National Park’s Arch Rock Entrance. Tucked into rolling golden hills, towns like Mariposa and Coulterville still retain their historic charm with century-old buildings lining downtown streets in bright colors and locally owned shops. Take time to stroll the streets and chat with local business owners.
“The people who live here love where they live and the business owners are not corporate entities,” says Terry Selk, executive director of the Yosemite/Mariposa County Tourism Bureau. “Often, when you walk into a business, you are talking to the owners who live here.”
In Mariposa, you can find gold- a 13.8-pound nugget of it- in the California State Mining and Mineral Museum, a California state parks property just on the outskirts of town. The Fricot nugget is crystalized gold that was found in the American River in 1864. It’s the largest remaining intact nugget of crystalized gold from the 1800s since gold nuggets were melted after they were found.
In the heart of downtown you can stop at coffee shops, boutiques, wine tasting rooms and more. Don’t forget to visit the Mariposa Museum & History Center at 5119 Jessie St. Learn more about gold panning, the southern Miwok Indians who lived in the area long before pioneers, the Chinese immigrants who began arriving in 1858 and miners.
After the first snowfall, Yosemite transforms into the ultimate winter playground. Enjoy the skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding at Badger Pass, California’s first and most family-friendly ski area. Ice skate or enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride.
Yosemite is well known for its waterfalls and cascades, which are at their fullest this time of year. This is the perfect time to hike the more than 800 miles of trails, bicycle over 12 miles of paths, or take on the “Wild and Scenic” Merced River with a whitewater rafting adventure. Beat the summer crowds and plan your visit in spring.
Summer offers the most hiking opportunities with access to the higher elevation areas of the park. Bike, raft, zipline, and explore this beautiful area. Plan to spend a day in one of the nearby towns of Mariposa or Coulterville to experience the history of the Gold Rush at one of the many museums.
Daytime temperatures continue to be warm through October and cool nights bring beautiful red and gold fall colors to Yosemite—this is an excellent time for photography. This time of the year has fewer crowds and all your favorite activities, such as hiking, photography, and biking.
For more information:
Yosemite Mariposa Tourism Bureau
(866) HALF-DOME or (866) 425-3366
5320 State Hwy. 49 North, Mariposa, CA 95338