Sugar Pine Railroad
Take a trip back in time aboard the steam-powered Sugar Pine Railroad, and plough a four-mile route through the Sierra Nevada Forest, amid towering trees. The train follows part of the route formerly travelled by log trains transporting timber to the giant flumes that shot logs all the way down the mountainside to the valleys below.
This quaint little town has an aura of times past, and a stroll up the main street on wooden sidewalks takes you past interesting independent stores and historic frontages, as well as the 1854 court house (the oldest west of the Rockies still in operation) and the 1858 Old Stone Jail. There's antiques shops, boutiques and galleries to shop at, as well as good local food and wine.
Giant Sequoia Trees
The stand of giant sequoia trees at Mariposa Grove includes 500 specimens of what are among the world's largest living organisms - some of them up to 3,000 years old. You can tour the Grove by tram; wander amongst the trees looking up, up, up; or take the trail to see two of its stars - the Grizzly Giant and the California Tunnel Tree.
Founded by Mexicans, in 1870 Hornitos was a thriving gold mining town with 10,000 inhabitants, its streets lined with fandango halls, prospector stores, bars and gambling dens. Several buildings and ruins still stand, including the old Wells Fargo office, the stone Masonic hall, the jailhouse and Domenico Ghirardelli's (of chocolate fame) original store.
Half of this region belongs to Yosemite, and no Mariposo County holidays would be complete without a visit to one of its highlights - the Valley. Yosemite Falls, towering Half Dome, brooding El Capitan, spectacular Tunnel View and Bridalveil Falls are all here. It's nothing short of jaw-dropping.