Mariposa County, home to Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove, is blooming for the springtime! The waterfalls are flowing, the wildflowers are blossoming and the warm sun returns for outdoor adventures. Now is the time to experience breathtaking adventure around every corner.
Wildflowers appear according to elevation, with earliest blooms starting in April at the lowest elevations and gradually emerge at the highest elevations as late as July. The first displays at low elevations are dramatic bursts of tufted poppies, spider lupines, and redbud, bursting out along the Highway 140 corridor of the Merced River. While plenty of sightseeing can be done by the roadside, plan a hike at Hite Cove to stroll through fields of wildflowers. This is also the perfect time to cycle or drive from the Gold Rush-era town of Hornitos via Highway 49N and Old Toll Road to Bear Valley, just outside the town of Mariposa. This drive in the country presents grassy, rolling foothills and lovely arrays of wildflowers. By May, Yosemite National Park has scores of delicate white dogwoods blooming all over the valley floor. Climbing out of the valley floor, fortunate visitors will find snowplants emerging from a frosty slumber and later corn lilies and monkey flowers begin to pop along the trails.
In the springtime, the snow starts melting and the waterfalls are flowing at full force. Come early in the season to see the ephemeral falls that are typically dry by the time summer arrives. Among these brief, but stunning attractions, are Horsetail Fall and Ribbon Fall. Yosemite’s most iconic waterfall, Yosemite Falls, whose multiple cascades can be seen from numerous places around the valley, leaves onlookers speechless. Don’t miss Yosemite Falls “moonbow” or lunar rainbow, visible on a clear spring night with a full moon.
Springtime is also the only time of the year when you can experience whitewater rafting in Yosemite and Mariposa County. Enjoy a guided whitewater half-day or full-day excursions down the sinuous Merced River to experience class IV whitewater rapids. Best time for whitewater rafting is typically April-June.
Family-friendly activities that kick off in the spring and continue throughout summer season in the fall. The Majestic Yosemite Hotel features fireside storytelling in the hotel’s Great Lounge. Gather the family for a different story every night and cozy accommodations. Families can also explore Yosemite under the starry sky on the Night Prowl guided adventure, taking place April through November, with permitting weather conditions.