Mariposa, The Heart of Yosemite
Trail Ride in Mariposa County
Yosemite Mountain School
Skiing in Yosemite
Mariposa, California Courthouse
Mariposa, California Courthouse

According to Jeffrey Hentz of the Yosemite/Mariposa Tourism Bureau, in Yosemite National Park, “everyone is a photographer.” The park’s breath-taking views of over 1,100 square miles of natural scenery create the perfect backdrop for anyone with a camera. 

Yosemite was established as a national park in October 1890 and for many generations, the park has been visited by travelers young and old. Mariposa County, California is considered the “Gateway to Yosemite” because the four major highways that lead to the park all run through Mariposa.  In 1850 when California was deemed a state, Mariposa was the largest county.  It was eventually divided into 11 smaller counties, but Mariposa’s history is still celebrated today. 

Originally a center of the California gold rush, the county was also known for mining, ranching, farming, and logging.  As a result, there are many landmarks and ruins of this part of history that can still be witnessed today.  Mariposa and Yosemite together have six museums that preserve the historic value of this West Coast destination.

This area of California experiences the four seasons and is a great family destination for year-round fun. Yosemite National Park in summer is known for its wildlife population, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, hiking, horseback riding, waterskiing, jet skiing, wind surfing and fishing.  The relatively mild weather mean spring and fall are also good times to visit. For Yosemite in winter, the Badger Pass ski area offers down-hill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and ice skating.

To be enjoyed in all four seasons, the Yosemite/Mariposa region has several wineries, golf courses, spas, arts and cultural events, shopping and dining.  Mariposa County also has an Agri-Tourism division which promotes local wineries, farms, and gardens and holds guided tours, exhibits and workshops.   Visit the site for events, locations and directions.

After all the activities to be enjoyed, it is nice to have a place to stay.  Mariposa hosts tourists at several lodges including hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals and campgrounds. Rates are lower in the winter months, so it is the perfect time to plan a family trip to see the natural and historical beauty of Yosemite and Mariposa.

The Highland House (559/696-3341) sits nestled between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Sierra National Forest.  Built in the 1980s, this country cottage is situated on a 10-acre plot 11 miles outside of Mariposa town.  

The Meadow Creek Ranch B&B (209/966-3843) was established in 1858.  The historic inn has seen the growth of Mariposa and Yosemite and still offers guests a comfortable and affordable stay.  Don’t let the age of this B & B fool you because the accommodations include wireless internet and air conditioning.  

The Mariposa Hotel Inn (209/966-7500) is located in the heart of town.  A historic property just 32 miles from Yosemite, offers breakfast, heating and air conditioning, and private baths. The inn has six rooms available and most are double occupancy. 

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This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.