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Beautiful Scenery and Things To Do in Mariposa

Mariposa Area Guide

Settled in 1849, and situated in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains about an hour from Yosemite National Park, Mariposa is a picturesque little town with friendly people and charming shops, galleries and restaurants. The city is the southernmost in the chain of Gold Rush towns, and features a historic downtown area with buildings constructed in the 1850s, lending an Old West feel to the city.

Hiking on the Sugar Pine Railroad

Our Hotel's near Mariposa Museum & History Center and Sugar Pine Railroad

Located downtown, within walking distance of the interesting things to see and do in Mariposa, Mariposa Lodge offers affordable, spacious accommodations in a convenient location to Yosemite activities. During your stay, you can enjoy not only the natural wonders of Yosemite, but also visit Mariposa's historic and cultural attractions.

Sugar Pine Railroad

Hop aboard an antique steam-powered locomotive on the Sugar Pine Railroad—a 4-mile track near Yosemite's South Gate that winds through the Sierra Mountains. The railroad's two engines are beautifully maintained classics—steam-powered marvels built in 1913 and 1928 that pulled train cars filled with freshly felled logs. A ride on the train takes about an hour and includes narration that takes you back in time to old railroading and logging days. You can also pan for gold at Sugar Pine, visit the Thornberry Museum to learn about the turn-of-the-century logging camp, and grab a snack in the gift shop.

Horseback Riding in Mariposa

Merced River

Beginning in the high country of Yosemite National Park, the Merced River makes a headlong rush through glacially-carved canyons, rugged mountains and foothills to the San Joaquin Valley. Multiple access points allow skilled whitewater enthusiasts to challenge the rapids at your own pace. Enjoy a day of fishing before gathering around the campfire to cook up the day's catch at McCabe Flat, Willow Placer or Railroad Flat campgrounds.

Mariposa Museum & History Center

Named as one of the best small museums in America by the Smithsonian Institute, the Mariposa Museum & History Center offers a collection of historical artifacts that illustrate the history of Mariposa County. Take a guided tour, or just guide yourself through the museum and around the grounds to check out exhibits like the 5,000-pound gold-processing stamp mill, the working blacksmith shop, the gold panning area, the replica of a typical gold miner's cabin, and the Mariposa Gazette building, complete with a collection of antique printing presses.

California State Mining and Mineral Museum

Harken back to the California Gold Rush days at the California State Mining and Mineral Museum. This museum exhibits such artifacts as the official mineral collection of the state of California, rare crystalline gold specimens, mining artifacts, a working scale model of a gold-processing stamp mill, a mining tunnel, and beautiful gems, fossils and minerals from around the world.