Visit Yosemite Mariposa County Any Time of the Year

The Yosemite area offers a lot for an adventurous traveller, as part of the Mariposa County the area has been attacking traveller since the mid-1800.  When gold was discovered, prospectors came from near and far in their thousands, hoping to strike it rich. The easy gold lasted long enough for the area to get the necessary infrastructure to developed into a striving town.  Yosemite has now become a must see are for anyone visiting California.  So, whether you want to visit Sprint, Summer, Autumn and Winter are is something here for you to do and see.

The whole county of Mariposa is bursting with things to do whatever the season – from historic buildings and world class-museums, to breweries and a variety of great restaurants.  It is also where you’ll find Yosemite Ziplines and Adventure Ranch, where guided tours will take you into the mountains where you’ll soar through the trees and gaze down over Mariposa town.  Also, if you consider yourself a prospector there are tours that allow you to do some gold panning, and learn about the area’s Gold Rush past – who knows you might strike it lucky.


In the spring Yosemite Mariposa County comes a live with a backdrop of flowers, waterfalls and incredible mountain scenery.  The bright cool bring spring weather allows you to go out and explore and enjoy a near-endless list of outdoor activities, these include rafting, hiking and mountaineering – just to get your blood pumping.

The Yosemite Mariposa County boasts some of the most desirable hiking route in the world, but in the spring, you’ll see the 3-7mile Mist Trail in a whole new light, without the summer crowds.  With a hiking time of two to five hours, the trail takes in the spectacular Vernal Falls, winding its way over bridges and up more than 600 steep granite steps, with a optional detour to check out Nevada Falls.  The views across the valley are jaw-dropping at any time of year but the shows at its gushing best in spring, when the waters are in full flow, there’s plenty of spray, so bring a waterproof jacket and watch your step on the slippery rock.  Though there are easier hikes in the park, the Mist Trail is one of the most iconic, and an essential part of any active spring trip to Yosemite Mariposa County.

Being a mountainous area, mountaineering in the Yosemite is a must do activity.  This allows you to appreciate the park’s natural beauty from a different level. So, whether you’re a cautious or care-free beginner, or an experienced climber looking to take on the world’s best walls, The Yosemite Mountaineering School is a good place to start.  You can start with a day-long, seven-hours class to learn the ropes in a safe and reassuring environment, though in-depth, multi-day courses are available too.  Even the beginners’ classes take an some of the most famous climbing sites, including the awe-inspiring El Captain.

Looking to test your mettle with a white-water rafting session? Start at the Merced River, in Yosemite National Park.  For a smooth, peaceful and look-at-the-scenery ride, take a paddle through the Yosemite Valley, with its towering pine trees and steel-coloured cliffs.  Elsewhere, you can step thing up a level on the Redbud to Briceburg route, which is packed with stage two, three and four rapids – even veteran rafters will be challenged.  But this is an activity suitable to all groups of people – excellent guides are on hand to help you make your way down the river, where you’ll get a welcome dose of clean air and natural beauty to refresh your soul, while admiring, redbuds, poppies and the rugged canyon surrounding you.  Or, if you fancy going solo, why not try a kayaking instead?

Taking an aerial tour of Yosemite Mariposa County is spectacular all year round, but in the spring, you’ll see the incredible combination of snow-capped mountains, waterfalls and meadows, all from high in the air.  The scenic flight takes in all of Yosemite’s big sites, and provides a whole new perspective and sense of scale – one that you won’t find while climbing a cliff, hiking a trail or paddling along a river.

Late spring in Mariposa offers warmer weather, which means after a day of exploring the expanse of the region and returning with weary legs there’s no better place to kick back with a cold drink, delicious food and listen to some outdoor music than the local town. Many local bars have gardens or outside space, so keep your eye out on posters and billboards in the town for free gigs and events, which take place regularly throughout spring and into summer.  The Alley, which acts as a local wine bar, pub and beer garden all at once, is one of the most popular, whatever the weather.  At this cool hangout in Historic Downtown Mariposa.  Expect a long list of rotating craft beers and boutique wines, a buzzing beer garden lit up by fairy lights, and a laid-back local vibe.


Autumn in Yosemite Mariposa County allows you the experience the area in a different way. If you love the vibrant colours of autumn, you’ll really love the look of Yosemite during the Autumn. Visit in September and October and you’ll be treated to bright oranges and red and the zingy greens of the maple trees, black oaks and other trees that dot the park and its surroundings slopes.  Not only that, this is a great time to spot the park’s wildlife – including up to 90 mammals.  If that’s not enough, there are beautiful empty trails to admire, such as the incredible Mariposa Grove.

Thanks to a warm climate and location in the Sierra foothills, Yosemite Mariposa County is home to a range of wineries, where you can wander through peaceful vineyards and enjoy chilled-out tasting sessions.

The Butterfly Creek Winery is a must visit, they are specialist in Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot.  The family-run winery is set on 200 acres of the Sierra foothills, and after a tour and tasting session, you can settle down for a picnic at the vineyard’s peaceful creek.  The Mount Bullion Vineyard/Casto Oaks is a tasting room and art gallery in one – a great place to appreciate paintings, photography and hand-blown glass with a glass of wine in your hand.   Elsewhere, the Ciera Wine Cellars, located in downtown Mariposa, focuses on wine produced with sustainable farming methods.  If wine’s not your thing, there’s plenty of local beer to try.

A visit to the Mariposa Grove, home to the largest and most impressive of the Yosemite area’s giant sequoia trees – is a must. There are trees here that are 1800 years old, Grizzly Giant sequoia, which, with a staggering volume, claims the title of the 25th largest giant sequoia living today.  Meanwhile, the nearby Wawona Point also offers the best views of Wawona Valley anywhere in the western United States.

To get those iconic shots of beautiful granite-rimmed lakes, you can take a drive down the Tioga Pass Road – though the road to the high country tends to close towards early November.  Here you’ll find Tenaya Lake, May Lake and Elizabeth Lake, which are surrounded by mountains and lined with trees.  In the autumn you’re also more likely to catch a glimpse of Yosemite’s wildlife, which includes mountain lions, black bears and deer.  Around 260 species of bird have been documented in Yosemite, including the great grey owl, American robin and many more.

Autumn is also a great time to try new activities in the county, when crowds ar smaller and temperatures a little lower.  Try seeing the region on horseback, or from above, taking a zipline crossing through the deep-green forests.  As mentioned before, this is the time of year you can try your hand at gold panning.  The process of looking for gold, using a pan to sift soil to expose the gold; it goes back to the Gold Rush years.  Finding gold it not guarantee, but it’s a fun activity to try – one that you can have a go at yourself, or visit various sites for a lesson on the technique and success.


Winter in Yosemite Mariposa County brings a different prospective to the area.  The season creates a spectacular scenery in the park with a dusting of the snow, allow you to enjoy some of your favourite winter activities.  You have a host of new things to see and do, from snow shoeing past frozen waterfalls to fun and affordable skiing.

The Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area is an established ski resort – in fact, its California’s oldest downhill ski runs.  It has been attracting visitor since the 1930s, as an accessible and affordable location for the whole family each winter season.  There are chairlifts to take you to the top of the pistes, plus a freestyle park for snowboarders and skiers.  There are shops that rent equipment that allows you to enjoy your time in the mountains.  There is a shuttle bus that takes visitors to and from the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area to other location within the valley.

Like in the spring, the best way to enjoy the Yosemite Park is to by taking to the trails on foot, and the winter is now different. Winter offers cross-country skis, snowshoes or even mountain biking.  There are 90 miles of trails, 25 of which are groomed, including the beautiful track leading from Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area to the iconic Glacier Point, a 21-mile round trip.  If you are going big, there are several lodges or hut where you can stay overnight.  For a shorter, though but magical trip into the heart of the park. You can join the Yosemite Mountaineering School and Guides Service for a day of snowshoeing, taking in pine forests, meadows, and incredible views across the snow-covered valley.

You don’t need superhuman fitness to snowshoe, it is easy to master and you can go at your own pace.  It’s a tranquil and rewarding way to take in the remarkable surroundings.  You can hike the trails or ski the slopes.  The Tenaya Lodge is a great starting point for family activities, such as sledding, skating, tubing and more.  If you choose to take it easy or just want to kick back and rejuvenate those tired muscles after a day exploring the trails - there is an indulgent spa.  Elsewhere, take a family fun trip with breath-taking views, try a horse-drawn sledge ride into Mariposa Grove.  You will glide over fresh snow through historic Jackson Road to Skidders Camp, where you’ll be greeted by a crackling fire, hot apple cider, and marshmallows to toast over the flames.

If , after all that, you’re pining for another taste of the outdoors, the main fork of the Merced River in Briceburg is a brilliant place to set out on a winter hike, thanks to its low elevation, fascinating history and stunning natural scenery.