We were redirected here to Mariposa from Oakhurst after unable to enter the park because of bad winter weather conditions. Mariposa is a mountainous town located at the edge of Yosemite National Park at the intersection of California Highways 49 and 140. This town has the looks of the old west with saloons and old, wooden buildings. There are some museums here, including a mineral and mining museum. Stop at the tourist info center in town for more information.
The California Mining and Mineral Museum located at the edge of Yosemite National Park offers a look at the California Gold Rush with exhibits of minerals, rocks, gems, and historic artifacts. This museum also presents the history of mining in California. The museum is located just south of the town of Mariposa on California Highway 49. The place is specifically located at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.
Although Bodie is one of the more popular ghost towns, it's still not very crowded. It's the best preserved ghost town in the United States and has a lot of history behind it! Don't miss the Bodie Cemetery near the parking lot either. The ghost town is a state historical park and is often not accessible in the winter due to snow. When there, don't venture off into the hills. Hidden abandoned mines are everywhere! Bodie is located off U.S. 395 on the east slopes of the Sierra Nevada, north of the entrance to Yosemite. The first part of the highway to Bodie is paved, after that it's a good gravel road to the parking lot. Where, the pavement ends, look for tire ruts heading off the north side of the road toward a rocky hill. It's a long trek, but from the top of that hill you can get your first good view of the ghost town alone in the valley below! While about 85% of the town burned to the ground in a major fire long ago, you can still tour a stamp mill, a house or two, and peak into a methodist church, fire station, gas station, and several other buildings.
I'm not sure why this area isn't as popular as it's neighbor, Sentinal Dome, but I love it! The fissures offer a great display of cliff joints which work to erode the cliff walls and widen the valley and the view is incredible! Be very careful in this area though! The fissures are deep cracks in the ground in which a person could stumble into and they are not marked. There are five of them. Also the cliff only has one area with protective railing. I recommend not bring young children into this area unless you can really keep them under control.
Rangers and workers have some old but nicely located residential homes just west of the Yosemite Visitors Center complex.
Just off Highway 120, in northern Yosemite National Park, is one of the lovliest lakes anywhere. Tenaya Lake is an alpine lake, like Cathedral Lake, but much easier to access.
This photo was taken from Glacier Point. That's Half Dome just across the way. From this vantage point, its hard to believe that thousands of hikers make it to the top every year.
This is an easy trail of about 4 or so miles roundtrip. The smooth flat surface of the dome makes for easy and efficient hiking.
Pothole Dome is located just west of Tuolumne Meadows. In the winter, this area is covered in snow. But in the heart of summer, the snow has melted, leaving lush meadows in its wake.
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