Experience the welcoming community spirit and Gold Rush history in this town at the edge of Yosemite National Park and all its natural wonders.
Visit the easygoing town of Mariposa, a popular layover for travelers on the way to Yosemite Valley’s spectacular wilderness. Mariposa got its start in 1849 as a gold mining settlement. At the heart of Mariposa County, it is the southernmost town on California’s historic Gold Rush Trail.
Wander along the streets of the Historic Old Town, which retains some appearances of the bygone Gold Rush era. Find hotels, restaurants and shops housed in 19th-century wooden buildings characterized by their colorful façades and shuttered windows. Spot architectural landmarks such as Mariposa County’s Old Stone Jail and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Inaugurated in 1854, Mariposa County Courthouse is California’s oldest courthouse still in operation.
Browse collections of mining artifacts and examples of indigenous dwellings at Mariposa Museum and History Center. The California State Mining and Mineral Museum delves deeper into the town’s mining history, offering an impressive display of gold, gems and minerals. See works of local artists at the Sierra Artists Gallery.
Enjoy a gentle stroll along Mariposa Creek Pathway, a scenic trail bordered by native California plants. It cuts through Mariposa Arts Park, which hosts free concerts during the summer. Spend an afternoon at Mariposa County Park, a wooded area with barbecue grills, picnic tables, tennis courts and a skate park. Ride amusement attractions, attend a rodeo and watch a demolition derby at September’s Mariposa County Fair.
Come to Yosemite Ziplines and Adventure Ranch for some family fun. Travel above the treetops on a zip line, challenge your agility on an aerial rope course, pan for gold and participate in a Wild West shootout. Experience California’s acclaimed viniculture with a tour and tasting session at Butterfly Creek Winery.
Reach Mariposa by flying to San Francisco International Airport, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) to the west, and renting a car. Mariposa County incorporates Yosemite Valley, the majestic heart of Yosemite National Park. Extend your trip to discover hiking trails, imposing granite cliffs and waterfalls, forming some of the most spectacular U.S. scenery.