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Historic Mariposa

Mariposa, California, is a small town located in the western Sierra Nevada foothills. Known as the "Mother of all Counties" it has a rich history and serves as a gateway to the world-famous Yosemite National Park. With a population of around 2,200 residents, Mariposa is known for its charming, small-town atmosphere and natural beauty.


The town was established during the California Gold Rush in the mid-1800s, and its name, Mariposa, means "butterfly" in Spanish. This name was given due to the numerous butterflies that were present in the area at the time. The town's history is preserved in its well-maintained historic downtown area, which features various shops, restaurants, and historic buildings.

In addition to its proximity to Yosemite, Mariposa is surrounded by outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, fishing, and camping in the nearby Sierra National Forest. The Merced River, which runs through Yosemite Valley, also offers opportunities for water-based activities like rafting and kayaking.

Mariposa hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Mariposa Butterfly Festival and the Mariposa County Fair, celebrating the town's heritage and its connection to nature. The town also boasts a thriving arts community, with galleries, performing arts venues, and the Mariposa Museum and History Center, which showcases the region's fascinating history.

Explore historic Mariposa and its unique businesses, from museums to local vineyards. Click the links below to learn more about some of the stops we can take.


"Mariposa Visitor Center is run by the Mariposa County Chamber of Commerce. We pride ourselves in providing up to date information for events in Mariposa County and local businesses. We have The Official Yosemite Visitor Guide, Official Park Maps including Hiking Maps & Books as well as up to date information on Camping, Road Conditions, and Trail Closures. We like to help optimize your experience. Come in and say Hello. We would love to meet you!"

"The space provides the unique forum for displaying and curating historical climbing artifacts as well as photography, publications, and memorabilia"

"Founded in 1957, the Mariposa Museum & History Center houses a large array of exhibits interpreting Native American, Spanish Settlement, California Gold Rush, Yosemite and Mariposa County History. Our World Class Vault contains a large archive of photographs, special collections, and Mariposa County Records"

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"There is still gold in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, at the California State Mining and Mineral Museum, in historic Mariposa. This is where explorers John C. Fremont and Kit Carson found the rich Mariposa Vein and opened the first mill to crush ore and extract gold in California.  You are invited to discover for yourself California’s mineral wealth, colorful history and geologic diversity as you view the official mineral collection of the state of California."

Historic Sites

Some other points of interest/Landmarks include:

Mariposa County Courthouse

Mariposa County's Old Stone Jail

St. Joseph Catholic Church


Explore downtown Mariposa and its colorful collection of vintage, antique, modern and local gifts.

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