To quote the Mariposa County website itself: Mariposa County, Home of Yosemite, is known for its amazing scenery, outdoor attractions, and historic towns.
When you are not visiting Yosemite Park or just relaxing in the grounds of Frontier Hill, here are some things to do and see:
No visit would be complete without a visit to historic downtown Mariposa – where Hiway 140 and 49 come together as they pass through downtown. When you have visited the old shops and saloons, go up the hill to the Mariposa History Museum to learn all about mining during the 1849’s gold rush era. Long before it was known as a stop to Yosemite, Mariposa was a mining town. The old big equipment ended where the Catholic Church now stands at the south end of town.
If you read the logo on the side of county vehicles, you will see it says Mariposa – the Mother County. In its early days it was one of the biggest counties in the state, stretching all the way to Riverside. Now it is one of the least populated. But it still has the longest continuing operation state courthouses up on Bullion Street. It is being gently restored while being used as it is over 100 years old.
Then just south of town, in the County Fairgrounds itself, visit the California State Mineral and Mining Museum for an incredible display of rocks, gems, minerals and more mining details. See the Fricot nugget, the biggest gold nugget in the USA.
- Please www.madeinmariposa.com/shop-and-dine/
- Make sure you don’t miss Yosemite Gifts next to The Gold Coin. The shop and it’s owner Su are lovely local treasures.
My pond dries up quickly in Summer because it has a big leak. But you can drive 30min or so to Bass Lake, McClure Lake or Don Pedro reservoir for great (even competitive) lake fishing. Also, the Merced river is stocked annually just west of the 140 main gate. See Caltrout.org. Note: Fishing licenses required by all except little kids.
Not much room around here for a golf course. But if you really must, Yosemite’s Big Trees Golf Course (formerly Wawona) has been challenging golfers ever since it opened in 1918. Designed to blend into the gorgeous surroundings, this nine-hole, par-35 course measures 3,050 yards and includes two par-five holes and three par-three holes. Different tee positions per side provide a par-70, 18-hole format. Walk across the street from teh Big Trees Hotel (formerly Wawona Hotel). In and out of the trees, do expect to see some deer or other wildlife. Grab brunch or lunch at the grand old hotel while you are there for a special treat.
Your only other choice for golf is River Creek Golf Course just before you get to Oakhurst (from Mariposa side). Designed by John Hilborn in 1991, the 9-hole championship golf course measures 3,152 yards from the back tees and provides a challenging par 36 experience. The close proximity to Yosemite National Park allows for breathtaking views and truly makes River Creek a hidden gem of the Sierras. Full driving range, lessons and carts available.
- Zip lining
- White water rafting
- Rock climbing
- Panning for gold
Seems like there is something going on every other week in Mariposa. If it isn’t the Butterfly Festival (did you know Mariposa is Spanish for butterfly) it is an Art Show or Gem and Mineral show or Historic War Day or County Fair or many others, not to mention the Christmas and Fourth of July days.
See the current calendar at www.yosemite.com.
PS And in between bring your telescope and view the stars, from both our deck or from up in Yosemite.