Vernal Fall and the Mist Trail
poppies at hite cove

The rockstars of spring, waterfalls and wildflowers, are set for a stunning return to Yosemite Mariposa County and the views are simply not to be missed. If you haven’t been in the past, the region’s waterfalls which are synonymous with Yosemite, fill with melting snow left behind by winter storms. In low-elevation areas such as the Sierra Nevada foothills, bold, bright wildflowers such as the California Poppy are in bloom as early as March. Higher in elevations such as Yosemite Valley or Glacier Point Road should see wildflowers around April or May as spring marches uphill with the rising temperatures.

For all of this Spring’s glory, make Yosemite Mariposa County your basecamp with great lodging options both in and out of Yosemite National Park.

Explore Lodging

Find Yosemite Spring Lodging

In Mariposa County, the home of Yosemite, there’s really no lodging option that will feel second best. Perhaps the best part of Yosemite Mariposa County is not its unique range of scenery or outdoor attractions of grandeur, but its 150+ years of California history bursting from the various locales of this breathtaking area. In Yosemite, you can tailor your experience – from budget travel to luxury glamping options like Autocamp Yosemite, cozy to roughing it, and everywhere in between.

The Stars of spring

iconic waterfalls in yosemite
Yosemite’s Iconic Waterfalls

Yosemite’s largest waterfalls peak in April, May and into June, with some falls (including the park’s signature Yosemite Falls) running dry by late summer. On the Mist Trail, one of the most popular hikes in Yosemite, Nevada and Vernal Falls run through summer, giving hikers a shower or mist, hence the trail’s name! These are the waterfalls that come to mind immediately, the stars of the show, here’s our guide to the most popular waterfalls in Yosemite.

Iconic Waterfalls
Hillside full of orange flowers at Hite Cove
Spring in Full Bloom

In Mariposa County, wildflowers bloom with such abundance that it could be easy to think that you’ve stepped out of your vehicle into a Bob Ross painting. And you’re not far off, but those wildflowers that add big swatches of color to the region’s meadows, foothills and canyons aren’t Bob Ross’s trademark “happy little accidents”, they’re examples of thousands of years of resilience blooming year in and year out in the Sierra Nevada area.

Beautiful Flowers

What to do this Spring in Yosemite Mariposa County

Spring in Yosemite Mariposa County brings with it some of the best activities of the whole year. The melting snow of the spring brings whitewater rafting to the Merced River in Yosemite Mariposa County. Spring and early summer is the best time to raft the Merced for adventure seekers. With Skydive Yosemite, fly over Yosemite before floating back down to earth for a one-of-a-kind skydiving experience (trust us, the views are worth it), or gold pan on the Merced River. No matter if you’re an experienced adventurer or kicking back and taking in the sights is more your speed, there’s bound to be something for you to do in Yosemite Mariposa County. Outside of the park, small towns like Mariposa, a nominee for USA Today 10Best’s Best Small Town Culture two years in a row, and Coulterville, named the 2022 Friendliest Town in America by Readers Digest, are great opportunities to slow down and experience authentic mountain towns.

Plan Your Spring Trip

Whether it’s sunlit peaks, rejuvenating waterfalls and sweet-smelling wildflowers you’re after, or you’re looking to explore the fascinating history and expansive land that Mariposa County encompasses, you’ll find plenty of stories to help you plan out a vacation to remember. Here are some great options.