Mariposa Museum


Mariposa Museum and History Center:

The museum's mission is to authentically portray the people and lifestyle of Mariposa County from the Native American and Spanish periods to the California Gold Rush and through the early 1900s. Original documents and artifacts, gold displays, artwork, photos, and Native American baskets, implements, and beadwork are just a few items to enjoy when you visit. Located off Main St, across the street from the "Happy Burger" Diner.

California State Mining and Mineral Museum:

An unusual natural history museum showcasing exhibits of gems, minerals, metals, mining artifacts and more. Located on the Mariposa County fairgrounds on the right just before you enter the town of Mariposa from the south.

Local hikes and more:

hites cove

There are numerous destinations outside the national park in the Mariposa and Oakhurst areas. These places offer a more private way to explore the beauty of the Sierra Nevada.

Hites Cove Trail:

This trail, which is not open during the summer months, follows the south branch of the Merced river up stream to an old mining site. This moderate hike is best enjoyed in spring, in February and March, because of the brilliant displays of wildflowers that happen during this time.

Lewis Creek Trail:

This trail, located on California route 49 about eleven minutes north of Oakhurst, leads to two nice waterfalls.

Nelder Grove of giant Sequoias:

This trail offers an opportunity to enjoy sequoias in a more private setting than the groves in the national park.

Sky Ranch Road/ Sierra Vista Scenic Byway:

Along the Scenic Byway, in an area northeast of Oakhurst that borders the national park's high country, you will find hiking trails and back roads that wind their way along lakes, streams, old mines and examples of the Sierra's most distinctive granite domes, meadows and glacial valleys. To explore this large area you will need to either buy your own Sierra National Forest map before you get here or you can study ours. Due to road conditions vehicles with high clearance and all wheel drive or 4X4 are recommended. This road climbs into "high country" where there is no snow removal so check conditions first and travel at your own risk!

Tioga Pass Road:

This stunningly scenic road crosses the Sierra Nevada over tioga pass and then plunges down into the high desert at beautiful Mono lake. There are innumerable places to hike and sightsee along this must-see route. This is the route for getting to Mono Lake, June lake and the Ghost town of Bodie, see below. Closed during winter months. Check conditions before traveling this road.

California scenic route 395:

If at all possible plan your trip to Yosemite so that you can travel this gorgeous road from Mount Whitney to Tioga pass road. Endless giant peaks, trails, hot springs, ancient petroglyphs, bristlecone pines and diverse landscapes. Easily ties into routes that go from Death Valley or Southern California to Yosemite.

owens valley


Mono Lake, June lake and Bodie Ghost Town:

These three destinations are located east of Yosemite and are best explored...
1. If you are leaving/arriving Yosemite along the eastern route along the Tioga pass road and plan for an extra day in the area or...
2. If you plan a trip from the Yosemite area (not during winter when the pass is closed) that allows a round trip along the Tioga Pass road.

This abandoned town, that began as a mining camp of little note following the discovery of gold in 1859 by a group of prospectors, was the real old west town as depicted in westerns, with daily shoot outs in the streets. Left in a state of "preserved deterioration" there are plenty of cool old buildings to explore. No services.

Mono lake:
A beautiful shallow saline soda lake with interesting crystalline tower formations and a habitat for millions of migratory birds!

June Lake:
Is located on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada at 7654 feet in elevation (2333 meters). This beautiful alpine lake offers plenty of recreational opportunities.