Seven Golden Opportunities in Yosemite Mariposa County

Mariposa County weekend getaway in California

Yosemite Mariposa County this summer is more accessible than ever for Californians! Of course, Mariposa County is not only the Home of Yosemite, but also offers a treasure trove of things to do outside the park.

ca state mining and mineral museum fricot nugget
The Fricot Nugget is the main attraction at the California State Mining and Mineral Museum.

Mineral Kings

The California State Mining & Mineral Museum offers a golden glimpse into the state's mineral bounty and mining history. On display: the Fricot "Nugget," at 13.8 pounds, the largest remaining intact mass of crystalline gold from 19th century California.

Fish Stories

Reel in finned fighters at Lake McClure and Lake McSwain, Mariposa County's twin fishing holes fed by the Wild & Scenic Merced River. Trout and salmon galore, bass, catfish, and more.

The Mariposa County Courthouse is the oldest operating courthouse west of the Rocky Mountains.

Here Come da Judge

Mariposa County Courthouse is California's oldest, stately building having served continuously as the seat of county government since 1854 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tequila and Chocolate 

Hornitos is a rough-and-tumble Gold Rush ghost town with the first Wells Fargo stagecoach office in the county. Legend has it that bandit hero Joaquin Murrieta built a tunnel from a local dance hall to his private horse stable to evade lawmen. Back in 1855, Domenico Ghirardelli built his first store here, before moving to San Francisco, and everlasting chocolate fame. Today there remain stone and brick buildings, some still whole, including the Plaza Bar.

Cider House Rules

A Mariposa cidery in the heart of California gold country, Sierra Cider crushes estate-grown heritage apples into varietal ciders like Farmhouse Style (tasting notes: English Bittersweets) or Early Harvest (honey and apple blossom, extra-sparkly and great with food).

Time Travel

The "Best Little Museum of Its Size West of the Mississippi" according to the Smithsonian Institution, the Mariposa Museum & History Center has Gold Rush documents and displays, artwork, photos, and Native American crafts.

Happy Trails

Whether you take a five-hour trip through the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias or the one-hour Big Creek crossing, Yosemite Trails Horseback Adventures offers unique journeys into the woods and back in time. Just off Highway 41 near Fish Camp, the Yosemite Trails ranch is close to Yosemite National Park's south entrance and Tenaya Lodge.

Looking for more things to do in Mariposa County? Take a look at our list of 100 Things to Do.

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