Mar 23

Take a quick tour of some of most popular Yosemite attractions, including amazing natural scenery.

Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau

This visitor information center is located in Oakhurst just 1 minute from the Yosemite Southgate lodge and 11 miles from the South entrance to the park. Here you will find information about the U. S. Forest Service, hotels, restaurants, attractions and things to do in Yosemite. The US Forest Service employees at this center can issue permits for campfires and fuel wood as well as wilderness permits. In addition to the information, the center has several historical displays depicting the surrounding area. Complimentary coffee, tea and water are available.

The knowledgeable staff happily assists both tourists and locals with tips on hikes, restaurants, activities and so much more! The Yosemite Sierra Visitor’s Bureau shares the building with the Oakhurst Chamber of Commerce and the US Forest Service so just about anything you may need can be found here.

Working Hours:

Monday- Saturday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Stop here to find out all you need to know about your visit to Yosemite.

Help you with the following:

  • FREE Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau visitors guide
  • Area brochures and restaurant menus
  • Yosemite Park Ranger (seasonal)
  • Local tips and favorite things to do
  • FREE coffee, tea and water
  • Road Conditions and weather forecasts


Fresno Chaffee Zoo

There is continuous upgrading and new exhibits are being built. Animals are well cared for and the grounds are kept up and clean. Although a zoo, Chaffee thinks it’s also an aquarium with its water exhibits, especially Sea Lion Cove. Don’t miss it.

Fresno Chaffee Zoo Attractions near Yosemite

Give yourself a few hours here if you want to see everything. Small children can quickly get tired, though, as there is lots of ground to cover and so much to see. Take time out and get a snack at the zoo cafe in the middle of the park. Everyone that works here is so kind and excited to be there and share info about the animals and the zoo. If you like ducks and geese you can feed a million of them in the grassy area across from the zoo entrance.

The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is the crown jewel of Fresno, especially due to all the improvements and additions over the last several years.  This zoo had a surprising variety of animals. A large amount of knowledgeable volunteers to talk about the different animals, and great exhibits like the reptile house and Sea Lion cove make this a terrific family outing.

Fresno’s zoo is smaller, but it’s not small. You can spend a day there without feeling like you’re missing anything, while still being entertained by a variety of animals and shows.

It already features zebras, kangaroos, Malaysian tigers, elephants, an anteater, a host of colorful birds, otters and a variety of other exhibits. There’s a “stingray bay” where you can touch stingrays for a modest extra fee, and there’s a petting zoo, too.

Roeding Regional Park

This is a beautiful park, Lush grass lawns, mature trees, winding roads with plenty of spaces and features to discover and explore. This is the park that has the zoo, Rotary Play land, and Story land. It’s a large, regional park that has been around for decades.

There are tennis courts, dance and roller skating pavilions, picnic areas, horseshoes, and even a dog park. Lots of parking and lots of area to walk.

Beautifully landscaped with cool blue lakes, huge groves of trees, rolling green lawns, and dotted by flower gardens, the park contains eight championship tennis courts, two dance pavilions, horseshoe pits, slides and playgrounds, and many picnic areas, complete with picnic tables, and barbecue pits.

The park is characterized by a sweeping lawn punctuated by informal groupings of mature specimen trees. The land is subtly contoured, shaped out of flat topography through extensive grading. A gently-curving thoroughfare bisects the park, with smaller, radiating secondary roads. Water features include a chain of lily ponds and Lake Washington, located in the southwestern corner of the park.

Roeding Park is a regional park covering 90 acres of trees, ponds and picnic areas. The park houses the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and the Japanese War Memorial.

There are lots of attractions available in the location which also offers a variety of lodging options.

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Mar 09

There’s something for adults and kids at Yosemite. Check out these two must visit places in Yosemite National Park:

Westbrook Wine Farm

At Westbrook Wine Farm we grow eight red Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon (11 clones), Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carmenere, Saint Macaire and Gros Verdot from which we co-ferment our two Estate Grown field blends, Fait Accompli and Museum. We also produce wines from grapes sourced from other growers of quality and conscience. Wines poured personally by appointment only by the winemakers.

WWF makes fine premium wines, many sourced from the best local vineyards.  The winemaker and owner (Ray) has a genuine love for the craft of wine making, and loves to expound on all things wine-related as he pours the fruit of his labor! His wines never fail to impress at each function.

If you want to taste excellent wine by an excellent winemaker then you must make a leisurely visit to Ray and Tammy Krause’s Westbrook Wine Farm. Of the Fresno/Madera wineries that focus on table wines, Westbrook Wine Farm is the best.  WWF flagship is their Fait Accompli, which is composed of six of the eight official Bordeaux varietals that Ray co-ferments.  Ray controls the maturation process of the different estate grown varietals by meticulously pruning some back, while letting others grow.  In this way, all six of the varietals are ready to harvest together.

All of Ray’s wines are individually crafted – none of his wines have a similar taste, as you may have experienced at some other wineries in the general vicinity.

The other reason for visiting WWF is Ray and Tammy.  They are a delight and will show you a great time. Ray will give an overview of how each wine was made and the reason why he made the decision.  Ray has a wonderful personality and has given other wine makers, in the area, the benefit of his many years in the wine industry.  He has been making wine over 46 years and has an encyclopedic knowledge of wines and their history.

The setting is beautiful, the wines are amazing and the winemaker Ray Krause is as knowledgeable as he is entertaining. Westbrook Wine Farm is a gem in the Sierra Foothills.

California State Mining and Mineral Museum

The era of Gold Rush led to extensive mining activities in California, and this museum commemorates the era with an intriguing collection of artifacts and minerals. Established in 1999, the museum’s exhibits take you through the thrilling era when people from all over the world were landing up in the state in the hope of landing a rich haul. Besides this, the museum also houses a rich collection of gems and minerals from the state.

California State Mining and Mineral Museum Two Must Visit Places in Yosemite

There are many different rocks and minerals from all over the world. The best part is the mine dug into the mountain attached to the museum. Great collection, some nice specimens.  Old and tired displays, but certainly worth a look through.

Great place to see some excellent samples of minerals from California and around the world.   Really cool replica of a Gold Rush era mineshaft.  Staff was very helpful and informative.  Low admission, $4 per adult, for a great couple of hours of learning.   Plus it is located right outside historic Mariposa main street area.  Between the two, you can spend the better part of a morning or afternoon.

They have a long tunnel you can walk through which is an example of what mining life was like. There is a warning on the door that there are mold inside and people with severe allergies should not go inside. It is like the gold mine ride at Knott’s Berry Farm, but much mustier and moldier. A very interesting place to visit, and gain some local history about minding for all kinds of minerals.

The museum is divided into three themes – with a simulated underground mining display to give you a sense of what it is like in a mine, a large area devoted to explaining what mining is; what mining has occurred and is occurring in California; how man uses minerals, and of course an equally large area with displays of specimens of minerals with an emphasis on California.

This museum houses minerals and gems of all kinds. It has a reproduction of a mine to walk through and has a 100 year old model of an ore processing plant.

While visiting Yosemite stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates and which are closer to all the above attractions.

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Feb 27

Yosemite National Park is home to some truly amazing natural landscapes, including famous spots such as the Grand Canyon and the Niagara Falls, which technically straddles the border between the US and Canada. It is also home to some stunning National Parks where the true beauty and serenity of natural country has been preserved, such as Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite National Park found in what is affectionately known as “America’s Golden West”. Yosemite Valley was formed as long ago as 10, 000 years when the Tioga glaciations initially carved up what is now known as the Sierra Nevada.

Yosemite National Park 300x225 Why Yosemite National Park Is a Fascinating LocationYosemite National Park History:
The history and culture that surrounds Yosemite National Park is quite interesting with its oldest inhabitants the Anwahneechee Native Americans dating back centuries prior to the first American-European contact in 1833. In fact these Native Americans could have inhabited Yosemite as long ago as 7000 to 10, 000 years ago. However, it is believed that it was around 3, 500 years ago that the people began to settle in the Valley permanently. These Native Americans heritages can be found all across Yosemite National Park. Upon arrival in the mid 1800s many European travelers were challenged by Yosemite’s rugged and rough landscape, with as few as 650 travelers between 1850 and 1860 surviving the journey on horseback. By 1907 Yosemite Valley Railroad from Merced to El Portal provided an easier route and increasing visitation.

Given below are some of the special places that are must visit while on a trip to Yosemite:

Yosemite Valley:

This is where you will find most of the waterfalls. You should plan your visit during spring if you want to catch the most spectacular runoffs but if you go there during late summer or fall, you will barely find water. However, the waterfalls are not the only attractions at this Yosemite Valley. You will have the opportunity to have some of the best views at the Tunnel View. From here, you can see El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall and Half Dome in the distance. You can see the Cathedral Rocks from El Capitan Meadow.
Other places of attraction in this valley include the Valley View, the Yosemite Chapel, the Sentinel Meadow and the Sentinel Bridge.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias:

Located close to the South Entrance of the national park, Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is some 36 miles to the south of the Yosemite Valley. This is where you will find the ‘big tree’s as the giant sequoias or Sierra redwoods are called. Only skiers and hikers can access this place between November and April when the road is closed for the vehicles to pass.

Glacier Point & Badger Pass:

You have to just take a short walk to go to the viewpoint at Glacier Point from where you can have special views of the rest of the valley and half dome. The road is usually ploughed just up to Badger Pass which is a ski area between November and June.
If you have enough time in hand, you can also visit the Hetch Hetchy, Crane Flat, as well as the Tioga Road and the Tuolumne Meadows situated in this Yosemite National Park.

Wildlife and Plant Life:

When it comes to wildlife and natural landscapes Yosemite National Park is second to none, it boasts of a 195-mile escape from Urban San Francisco or a 315-mile journey from Los Angeles. The park covers a staggering 747, 956 acres or 1, 169 square miles and is home to many wildlife species and plants. It is designated as a World Heritage Site in 1984 it is also known for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, and biological diversity. There are two wild and scenic rivers that Yosemite National Park is host to, the Tuolumne and Merced rivers, they both begin in the park and flow westwards to the central valley. Yosemite supports 400 species of vertebrates, including fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles, and mammals. There has even been the recent discovery of two insect species believed not to exist anywhere else in the world. Across the park there is also a variety of plant life, with vegetation changing from oak woodlands to chaparral scrublands, to lower montane and upper montane subalpine and alpine environments.

In Additional, National park has lot to offer including rafting in Merced River, hiking, photography, biking, horseback riding, skiing and snowshoeing at Badger Pass and camping. Stay at the Yosemite Southgate Suites & Hotel in Oakhurst when you travel to Yosemite. This south entrance hotel provides free parking, breakfast, and Wi-Fi access. For more details on hotel reservations in Oakhurst. Visit:

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Feb 06

Oakhurst is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Oakhurst is a beautiful town with alpine views, golf courses, shops, dining and exciting attractions like the Fresno River. Drive 15 minutes to Yosemite National Park, a natural treasure that awakens your spirit. Explore Yosemite’s colorful meadows, breathtaking waterfalls, majestic mountains, sparkling lakes, giant sequoias, monolithic rocks and 800 miles of hiking, biking, skiing and equestrian trails. Hike through Yosemite Valley to Nevada Fall, Half Dome, and El Capitan. Here are 7 things to do in Oakhurst:

Glacier Point: Glacier Point is a sky-high viewpoint on the south wall of Yosemite Valley. At an elevation of 7,214 feet, the famous overlook in Yosemite’s high country offers commanding views of Yosemite Valley, including Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and Clouds Rest. You can reach Glacier Point by car, tour bus, x-country ski trails and hiking trails that ascend 3,214 feet above the beautiful valley floor and Curry Village. Take the 4-hour Glacier Point Tour to see Yosemite’s towering waterfalls and mesmerizing sights.

Glacier Point Things to Do in Oakhurst and Surrounding Area

Half Dome – Yosemite’s Rock Star: Rising 4,737 feet above the eastern wall of Yosemite Valley and 8,800 feet above sea level, this majestic granite dome is a natural icon in Yosemite National Park and a challenge to hikers and climbers. You can hike to the peak on the Mist Trail, past breathtaking waterfalls and through the wilderness, and climb to the summit using steel cables. The 14.2 roundtrip hike on Mist Trail and the ascent to the top is an unforgettable adventure with sublime views of Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra.

Tunnel View: A historic and scenic overlook in Yosemite National Park, Tunnel View offers breathtaking panoramas of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall. Located adjacent to Wawona Road and the western end of the Valley, Tunnel View has awed visitors with its dramatic vistas for over 75 years. Built in 1932 with a rustic design style, Tunnel View is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features naturalistic rockwork that blends into the rugged landscape. Bring your camera to capture amazing views of waterfalls and towering rock formations from this historic site.

Vernal fall in Yosemite: One of the most popular waterfalls in Yosemite National Park, Vernal Fall is a 317-foot waterfall that gushes from the Merced River into beautiful Yosemite Valley. You can enjoy stellar views of Vernal Fall from Glacier Point or you can hike the challenging Mist Trail to the cascading waterfall and feel the incredible mist.

Vernal fall in Yosemite1 Things to Do in Oakhurst and Surrounding Area

Yosemite Valley: Located in the Western Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite Valley is an amazingly beautiful destination to explore – from sunsets on its majestic granite walls to its sculptured domes and spires that reach into the blue sky. Hike and bike through the 2.8 mile-long Yosemite Valley to gaze at impressive waterfalls, high cliffs, unusual rock formations, sunny meadows, groves of pine and oak and sparkling rivers and lakes. Experience the thunderous sound of Yosemite Falls and Vernal Fall, hike to the majesty of Half Dome and Mirror Lake, or climb El Capitan – the largest monolith of granite in the world. For more information on Yosemite Valley, click here.

Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino: Surrounded by the majestic beauty of the Sierra foothills and Yosemite National Park, Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino is world-class California destination for gaming, dining and entertainment. Chukchansi’s exciting casino features the latest slots and fast-paced table games – from poker to blackjack. Enjoy dining in casual and chic restaurants, including Vintage Steakhouse, and enjoy the nightlife of concerts, comedy shows and live bands.

Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad: Take a fun four-mile railroad journey through the majestic woods of the Sierra National Forest. Ride into history on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, a powerful steam locomotive that once carried log and timber through the mountains and valley in the early 1900′s. Located four miles from the entrance of Yosemite National Park, the historic railroad offers adventures on the Logger Steam Trains and the Moonlight Special, a journey under the stars with dining, music and historic tales. Check out the bookstore, gift shop and Thornberry Museum at the station.

There are lots of attractions available in the location which also offers a variety of lodging options. The campgrounds are outstanding with electricity at some sites for RV or trailer campers. Like this attraction, you can visit campground. Stay at the Yosemite Southgate Suites & Hotel in Oakhurst when you travel to Madera County. Here you can get all required amenities like refrigerator / fridge, dryer, free parking lot, free breakfast, free internet, Wi-Fi access and lot more. For more details on hotel reservations in Oakhurst.  Visit:

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Jan 23

Yosemite National Park has many wonderful attractions and a beauty that cannot be compared to any other on earth. Yosemite is California’s crown gem. This natural miracle of towering stone monuments, falling waterfalls and continuous pine trees baits a large number of visitors every year. What draws that many people to Yosemite? To name a few: trekking, biking, angling, outdoors, river rafting, swimming, horseback riding, rock climbing, and unwinding and that’s only the tip of the iceberg relaxing and more.

Though the Park is open 24 hours a day for 365 days of the year the entrance station is open only during the day time and a few roads get blocked with snow during the months of November to May and sometimes June as well.

The month of January is nearing its end. All roads should now be leading to the Yosemite National Park in California’s Mariposa County. It’s fire waterfall at Yosemite time!

The fire waterfall at Yosemite is a rare natural phenomenon eagerly anticipated by the people of California and nearby States attraction. It is also the point of union of travellers from far-flung States and different nations going to amid this time. The Yosemite lollapalooza is each picture taker’s tricky dream. The fabulous sight of the sparkling waterfall at Yosemite, which imitates lava streaming out of an ejecting spring of gushing lava, can be seen for just a couple of days at the last half of February. This extraordinary event is realized by the juncture of a few occasions, to be specific;

The spectacular view of the waterfall is created by the reflection of sunlight hitting the falling water at a specific angle. This rare sight can only be seen at a 2-week period towards the end of February. To photograph this rare event, photographers would often have to wait and endure years of patience in order to capture them. The reason is because its appearance depends on a few natural phenomenons’ occurring at the same time and luck.

The formation of the waterfall

The waterfall is formed by the melting ice and snow on the top of the mountain. The melting process starts in the month of December. There should still be enough ice and snow melting by February’s end to sustain the waterfall.

The sun’s position must be exactly at a particular spot in the sky. This occurs only in the month of February and at the short hours of dusk. If it is a day full of clouds or something blocking the sun, you can only take pictures of your own sorry faces on the waterfall. It coincides with the fact that the weather in the National Park at that time of the year is often unstable and unpredictable. It compounds the difficulty of getting these pictures. Someone did and we all get to see it.

firewaterfall Fire Waterfall at Yosemite

The weather condition.

The weather at the Yosemite National Park during the month of February is often unpredictable and unstable. The fire waterfall will not materialize if clouds block the sun’s rays at the time it should be hitting the waterfall.

The factors above are very crucial for the waterfall to appear like flowing lava.

The Yosemite Fire fall was a summer time event that began in 1872 and continued for almost a century, in which burning hot embers were spilled from the top of Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park to the valley 3,000 feet below. From a distance it appeared as a glowing waterfall. It was conducted by the owners of the Glacier Point Hotel.

Yosemite is home to countless waterfalls. The best time to see waterfalls is during spring, when most of the snowmelt occurs. Peak runoff typically occurs in May or June, with some waterfalls (including Yosemite Falls) often only a trickle or completely dry by August. Storms in late fall rejuvenate some of the waterfalls and all of them accumulate frost along their edges many nights during the winter.

Yosemite Falls is undoubtedly the most famous of all of the magnificent waterfalls that you will find in Yosemite National Park. Nowhere else in the world will you find so many beautiful and varied waterfalls as you do in Yosemite Valley in the springtime.

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Dec 27

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzfergherge 1875 Discovery   Nelder Grove

John Muir discovered Nelder Grove in 1875 but John Nelder discovered it a bit before Muir. It’s safe to say that the Native Americans of the Sierra saw it hundreds of years before any of the rest of us. Muir was hiking in the Sierra Nevada a bit south of what is now Yosemite National Park and a few miles east of the future California Highway 41, seeking redwood trees. He spotted the grove from nearby Fresno Dome, and when he hiked to the trees, he found Nelder, a retired miner, living in a rough cabin. This grove was first called Fresno Grove, but the name was later changed to honor the old pioneer mr. john Nelder. Nelder is one of eight relatively small giant sequoia groves north of the Kings River there are dozens of groves, some with hundreds of trees, south of the Kings. The best known is the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park. Nelder is located about five miles south as the hawk flies, but the attraction is probably the least known. Nelder Campground is located about 10 miles off Highway 41, and the last few miles are a rough dirt forest road. The first thought that strikes the visitor arriving at Nelder Campground is “they cut down the trees!” And indeed, dozens of the huge trees were cut between 1888 and 1892, by the Madera Flume and Trading Company, which operated three mills in the area.zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzhgdmnrfm 1875 Discovery   Nelder Grove

Cutting one of these forest giants was a week’s work. Because of the brittleness of the wood, it was necessary first to build a bed of branches to soften the fall. Then, standing on springboards notched into the thick bark 15 to 30 feet above the ground, the logger would chop out the undercut and cut through a thousand year’s growth with saws 25 feet or more in length. Once the tree was down, it was stripped of its bark, and logs of workable size were bucked out. Much of the wood above the first hundred feet or so was left on the ground, where it can still be found, as solid as the day it fell. The Madera Flume & Trading Company fell on hard times, and was taken over by the Madera Sugar Pine Company., which became the most successful and longest lived logging operation in the southern Sierra. Although this outfit lived up to its name and cut mostly sugar pine, it did produce a small amount of redwood lumber from some of the logs left on the ground by its predecessor.

Despite the logging operations, which were unfortunately careless and wasteful, many giant trees, too large to cut and work with, still stand; and Nelder Grove is also notable for the many young Sequoias which flourish in the area. Today most of the signs of this pre-conservation era logging have been erased by nature and the careful management of the United States Forest Service. But the huge stumps still stand as a monument to the determination and ingenuity of man, and as a reminder that nature’s resources are not given to us in endless supply.

There are lots of attractions available in the location which also offers a variety of lodging options. The campgrounds are outstanding with electricity at some sites for RV or trailer campers. Like this attraction, you can visit campground. Stay at the Yosemite Southgate Suites & Hotel in Oakhurst when you travel to Madera County. Here you can get all required amenities like refrigerator / fridge, dryer, free parking lot, free breakfast, free internet, WiFi access and lot more. For more details visit:

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Nov 07

maderafrontpic Voyage near Madera CountyOakhurst is the largest community in the foothills of Madera County which was previously known as Fresno Flats. Oakhurst is home to numerous museums such as the Consortium of Southern Yosemite Museums which explore the areas past, dating back to 1873. If you want to shop then there are ample shopping opportunities and numerous grocery stores, a variety of restaurants and lodging and more.

This is the home to more artists than anywhere else after seeing the beauty of Yosemite and Madera County and you’ll know where they draw inspiration from. Just visit the Timberline Art Gallery which is famously know as Gallery Yosemite, just two of several galleries on Gallery Row and meet the artists in person on the Sierra Art Trails which is an annual open house. Get the finest place for photography with Photo Safari in Yosemite.

There is a Theatre called Golden Chain Theatre which has been running from last 40 years, Just visit and create the fun evening of melodrama. You will definitely enjoy the entertaining evening while hoot the villain and cheer for the hero with a cocktail from their new saloon.

If you are coming with your lovable pet then come freely there are many of the hotels and attractions throughout Madera County are pet friendly. Grab any supplies you’ll need for your dog or cat at Oakhurst Feed and Pet Supply. They have everything which will help you out to keep your pet happy during your travels.

You are in favor for Golf then hit the links at Sierra Meadows Country Club also know as River Creek Golf Course which is located in a beautiful valley surrounded by mature oaks and towering pines, both courses are a treat to play.

There is Zip Yosemite which is an exciting zip lining experience amid the tall pines and beautiful scenery of the Sierra National Forest. The tour consists of 1 suspension bridge, 1 lower and 4 zip lines which takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete the tour. Zip Yosemite is 20 minutes out of Oakhurst off Highway 41.

Outside Yosemite

If you’re looking for adventure, then head out on a Merced River rafting trip with O.A.R.S. or Zephyr Whitewater Rafting. With trips that can be tailored for skill level and time, you’re guaranteed an amazing experience that is the definition of unforgettable.

Oars White water rafting near Yosemite The Merced River is one of the defining landmarks of Yosemite National Park and the surrounding region. Rafting the river will give you a whole new appreciation for the beauty of this river, and the power of it as it shapes the landscape and feeds diverse ecosystems.


It was over a century ago, there was a gold Coarse near area and it is a true story. Now you can find here Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino which is one of the largest casinos in central California. Visit to Coarsegold and enjoy delicious restaurants, top-flight entertainment with big name acts, spas, shops and more. There is also a Coarsegold Historic Museum to find out more on history. The museum consists of artifacts from the 1800′s, as well as buildings from the same era. After wards, you can also shop and enjoy at the Coarsegold Historic Village for unique gift items, food and more. It’s also home to great events, like the annual Coarsegold Tarantula Festival and Peddler’s Fair.


Historic Raymond The reason why everyone loves Raymond, this historic town used to be the last stop on the only way to Yosemite. Explore the Charles Miller Museum or the Raymond General Store, or take the same route that Teddy Roosevelt did on his trip to Yosemite. Or, take a side trip to Eastman Lake for some excellent fishing.


Madera is a community with a rich and diverse history. Named for the lumber that was felled in the Sierra and brought to the city, Madera is also home to fertile fields, giving ample opportunity for agro tourism exploration.

Home Grown Cellars to see firsthand the versatility of the pomegranate, then you’ll want to stop at Home Grown Cellars. You can see an actual pomegranate farm in action, take a trolley ride through the operation and shop in the country store featuring numerous pomegranate items like pomegranate honey, jelly and of course, pomegranate juice. You’ll see that Madera is the heart of pomegranate country.

Madera County also offers a variety of lodging options. The campgrounds are outstanding with electricity at some sites for RV or trailer campers. Stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites located in Oakhurst when you travel to Madera County. For more details visit:

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Sep 24

B14F35D4 155D 4519 3E8629F14286C95A large A Guide to Yosemite National Park, CaliforniaYosemite National Park is one of the most popular parks in America and visited by over 3.5 million tourists each year who experience the beautiful landscape, waterfalls and steep cliffs of this place. The park is extremely famous among mountain climbers for the 3500 foot vertical granite wall of El Capitan. The park has lot to offer including Rafting in Merced River, Hiking, Professional photography, Biking, Horseback Riding, Skiing and Snowshoeing at Badger Pass and Camping. Yosemite National Park is located about 200 miles east of San Francisco (SFO), about 3 to 4 hours’ drive by road.

The spectacular scenery is also very popular for artists and photographers. The best time to see the waterfalls is early summer. Whilst some of the falls are easily accessible; others take more time and effort in order to be able to appreciate their beauty. Those who are looking for precarious challenges can try the Wapama Falls, Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall. The Badger Pass Ski Area has downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. For the more adventurous, there are backcountry ski tours with the Yosemite Mountaineering School. Rental equipment is also available.

Glacier Point Road: The Glacier Point Road is about 30 miles drive from the visitor center. It opens in late May to closes in November. This road offers one of the most spectacular views from the elevation. People make short stops, take pictures and hiking.

Tioga Pass: The Tioga pass is about 9950 feet high and offers spectacular views of the park. It is accessible only in summers around June-July as this area is at an elevation and gest heavy snow in winters. You can also see some beautiful Wildflowers and sequoias.

Mariposa Grove: The Mariposa Grove is Yosemite’s largest grove of giant sequoias. The largest tree, Grizzly Giant, is about 1800 years old.

Half Done: Half Dome is granite dome in Yosemite National Park, located at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley possibly Yosemite’s most familiar sight. The granite crest rises more than 4,737 ft. above the valley floor.

Most importantly, when looking for guided tours make sure that activities provided by the tour operator suit your activity level. This will help to ensure that you enjoy yourself and get the most out of your Yosemite experience.

Whether planning your vacation alone or hiring a guide, here are main attractions you should consider adding to your itinerary:

1. Rock Formations

Of all the unparalleled rock formations, Half Dome is arguably the most recognized landmark in Yosemite. This 8,842-foot granite dome, which soars an amazing 4,000 feet about the valley floor, is hard to miss. It was created nearly 90 million years ago and has inspirited artists for more than 150 years. Although not quite as noticeable as the Half Dome, several collections of beautiful and rugged rock formations are scattered throughout Yosemite.

2. Waterfalls

Waterfalls are a must-see in Yosemite and none are more worthy of your time than Yosemite Falls. Three separate waterfalls combined to create this 2,425-foot waterfall. Yosemite Falls is the longest waterfall in all of North America and the fifth longest waterfall in the world. Summer is a wonderful time to see this waterfall because of the rushing runoff water from the melt of mountain snow.

3. Yosemite Valley

Even though Yosemite Valley is accessible by car all year, the best ways to experience this stunning valley is to hike a trail along Mirror Lake, which reflects Half Dome. Yosemite Valley is exceptional because of is extreme depth and short width. The valley its self is only one to two miles long, but the mountains, which create it, are about 3,000 feet high. This combination of rugged cliffs, unusual rock formations, waterfalls, lakes, and lush foliage are truly worth the hike!

4. Giant Sequoia

Created over 3,000 years ago, Giant Sequoias are the largest trees in the world. Imagine a tree so large that it takes 15 people with their arms extended and hands connected to reach around its 300-foot base. These wondrous trees can be found in three separate groves throughout Yosemite, but the largest and most awe-inspiring display of Sequoias is in Mariposa Grove.

Entrance fee in Yosemite National Park is $20 per car and is valid for seven days. You can opt to drive around the park yourself but the management encourages using the free available shuttle buses heading to most popular spots for purposes of ensuring the park remains free of pollution and of course to maintain uniformity and the park’s natural charm.

Yosemite also offers a variety of lodging options. The campgrounds are outstanding with electricity at some sites for RV or trailer campers. There are shuttle buses that travel all around the valley so it is very easy to go from the camping areas to the village or other locations.

Stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst when you travel to Yosemite National Park and get rooms at very affordable rates. For more details visit:

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Jul 25

Lembert Dome is a granite dome rock formation in Yosemite National Park which rises above the forest and provides a central viewing platform for the surrounding peaks. It rises to an elevation of 9,450 feet mountain peak in the Sierra Nevada Range in California. It is a colossal dome that dominates the eastern end of Tuolumne Meadows.

Lembert Dome is a popular ascent, particularly among day hikers in the area, with the summit offering magnificent views of Tuolumne Meadows to the west, the Cathedral Range to the south, and the Sierra crest to the east. The trail is a 3 mile out and back trail that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from July until October. Its summit gives a spectacular bird’s eye view of Yosemite’s splendor and uppermost stretches delve into a natural, granite stairway.  Another pleasant path beginning from the Lembert Dome trailhead is the one leading to Dog Lake one of Yosemite’s warmest, attracts swimmers and picnickers.

While visiting Yosemite stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates.

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Jul 17

Tony Krizan Discover Yosemite Tony Krizan   Discover Yosemite’s Forgotten Trails SeriesJoin us as The Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites, joined by the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, once again present the 4th in a series of six presentations by author adventurer, Tony Krizan.

The presentation “Lost in Kings Canyon”  will be this Saturday, July 19th in the beautiful lobby of the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites located on Highway 41 in Oakhurst from 7:30 to 8:30 pm.  

The presentation is open to the public and is free of charge. Guests can enjoy complimentary gourmet cookies and finger pastries provided by Crab Cakes Restaurant in Oakhurst.

In conjunction with the presentation, REI of Fresno will display various kinds of extreme hiking equipment in the Southgate Hotel lobby. The same type of equipment Tony would use on one of his many adventures.

You owe it to yourself to experience Tony Krizan and Yosemite’s Forgotten Trail Series, getting hands on knowledge of the REI equipment, while enjoying gourmet treats created by Crab Cakes Restaurant, all  in the beautiful lobby of the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst. 


Upcoming Event Dates: 
Saturday, July 19th
Saturday, August 16th
Saturday, September 13th.



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