How Far Is Mariposa from the Entrance to Yosemite?

Are you coming from Mariposa and planning a trip to Yosemite National Park? Yosemite is worth visiting because of its unique features and beautiful nature. You will surely appreciate the wonder of the scenic outdoors if you are the adventurous type. So, you might be wondering how far is Mariposa from the entrance to Yosemite? Continue reading to find out.

Situated in central California, it has been a popular destination for millions of visitors. People from different countries visit the beauty of the crystal clear waterfalls, massive sequoia trees, and great landscapes.

Have a Leisurely Drive from Mariposa to Yosemite

Mariposa from the entrance to Yosemite is exactly 35.18 miles away in the northeast direction and approximately 66 miles by car following the route of Tioga Pass Road.

The time it will take you to get to Yosemite depends on your driving pace. If you want to go on a road trip, you may stop along the way and explore the interesting attractions. You may also eat at unique restaurants at some point. 

Another route you can try is to drive for 35 minutes and then stop at the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias and wander around for an hour. Your next drive will be about 55 minutes to Jamestown. Then, allow another hour to arrive at Yosemite Valley. After that, you are 11 minutes away from Yosemite National Park’s entrance. 

However, if you are going to stick to your original plan and drive nonstop, driving from Mariposa to Yosemite National Park is about 1 hour and 35 mins away.  

Driving from Mariposa to Yosemite is an Exciting Adventure

Mariposa is popularly known as the best getaway to Yosemite and is a lovely town to visit for people who want to immerse themselves in California’s best natural beauty. Outdoor lovers and hikers can explore places like Fireplace Creek Falls and Horsetail. Those seeking the history behind Mariposa’s natural blessings can check out the Mariposa Museum and History Center.

Meanwhile, Yosemite is one of the few places in the United States where you can witness the rainbow at night. It is also popular for its waterfalls, including the highest one, with rainbows appearing in them. 

More so, the park’s landscape is so diverse that it can support more than 400 species. Exploring might give you a chance to spy on the park’s birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. One rare animal called the Sierra Nevada Fox was first spotted a hundred years ago in Sierra Nevada’s high elevations.

Is Mariposa a Good Base for Yosemite?

Mariposa makes a good base for your Yosemite trip, although it would require an additional driving distance. Also, it is a little town with lots of western characters. Certainly, Mariposa is the coolest place to stay as it surrounds the Merced River. It’s an ideal destination to get to know the locals! The accommodations can surely fit your budget, and it’s a short drive from Yosemite’s entrance.  

What’s more, Mariposa is a charming small town packed with lots of amenities. There are beers, annual events like the Mariposa County Fair and Butterfly Festival, and a lively arts scene. Altogether, these would all make fun additions to your Yosemite itinerary!

Which Entrance is Closest to Mariposa?

The closest Yosemite Entrance to Mariposa is the town of El Portal, which sits on Yosemite’s doorstep.  This town has gas available for 24 hours each day, and they accept credit cards. There are administrative offices, housing, and nonprofits named Yosemite Conservancy and Naturebridge. To El Portal’s west are Midpines and Mariposa.

Other Entrance From Mariposa to Yosemite You Can Take

The Arch Rock Entrance is the nearest to Yosemite Valley, approximately 25 minutes from the park’s visitors center. In the opposite direction is the way to the heart of Mariposa County. 

Take route 140 west from Merced and Mariposa to enter through the Arch Rock Entrance. It has nicer views and is usually frequented by buses and RVs that cause heavy traffic during summer. 

Do the Roads from Mariposa to Yosemite Close during Winter?

Visiting Yosemite National Park during winter is a magical time. Nothing compares to watching the snow cover the lodgepole vines and granite domes. Visiting the park has good benefits and some drawbacks during this season, such as road closures.

Glacier Point Road

There is a road enclosure during snow, usually from November to May or June. The first 5 miles of this trail is open to the Badger Pass Ski Area from the middle of December to March. Also, Glacier Point cannot be accessed since it will be closed.

Mariposa Grove Road

This road and its shuttle system close for the season starting from November 30 and reopen around the middle of March to early April. 

The Washburn trail is always accessible for snowshoeing, skiing, and hiking. Also, it’s the most direct path to Mariposa Grove during winter. It is about 2 miles each way with 500 feet of change in elevation. Also, it can get snowy and icy during winter. 

Tioga Road

Tioga Road is closed during the snow season from November to late May or early June. This road enclosure can extend from the Tuolumne Grove to the entrance station of Tioga Pass. 

Also, it is impossible to enter Yosemite from the East or access Tuolumne Meadows when this road is closed. On the other hand, other park entrances, including the west’s Highway 120, Highway 41, Highway 140, and Hetchy Hetchy, remain open all year round.

Great Things to do in Yosemite during Winter

December is a wonderful time to tour around Yosemite without the crowds. The valley’s majestic snow makes the park worthy of photography. Ensure to catch the Tunnel View’s sunset or sunrise outside the valley. Lastly, Hetchy Hetchy, Mariposa Grove, and Wawona have lots of great hiking options to offer. 

Paying a visit to the Yosemite Museum and or Ansel Adams Gallery are great venues to see if the weather is not too friendly. By the end of December, other unique experiences in Yosemite are downhill skiing and cross-country skiing at the Snowboard Area and Yosemite Ski. 

These activities allow you to see areas of parks that are only accessible by cross-country skis or snowshoe skis and closed to cars. 

Benefits of Visiting Yosemite during Winter

Aside from the lack of crowds that make visiting Yosemite exciting, being able to see the beauty of snow falling that covers the valley dome or Mariposa Grove’s giant sequoias. It’s a winter wonderland in reality, and low lighting in winter makes it ideal for scenic photography. 

Drawbacks of Visiting Yosemite during Winter

Yosemite snow is a double-edged sword in a way that is beautiful yet is the root cause of many closed roads. One of them is Glacier Point and Tioga Road’s closure that starts from November to April.  

Is There Transportation from Mariposa to Yosemite National Park?

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is known as the park’s biggest stand of massive sequoias. It has over 500 mature sequoias in the grove. Park at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza and board the free shuttle bus to catch sight of these giants personally.

Generally, the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) has regular schedules with fixed-route public transit service into Yosemite National Park from gateway communities. They provide all-year-round service on State Highway 140 from Merced to Yosemite through Mariposa County. 

Lastly, it operates a bus from Midtown Mariposa to Yosemite Valley Visitors Center every four hours, and the travel time takes 1h 46m.

Does Mariposa Belong to Yosemite?

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias has the largest sequoia grove in the southern portion of Yosemite. The national park’s idea was rooted in the Mariposa Grove. In 1864, President Lincoln signed legislation protecting the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove for resort and recreation. 

Sometime in 1906, the Mariposa Grove was added to Yosemite National Park, which is now one of the park’s popular destinations.

Visiting Mariposa During Winter

Trails in the grove remain open for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing when the road closes to cars from late November to April. Overnight camping is permitted in the Mariposa Grove from December to April. 

However, wilderness permits are required for camping and are only permitted above the Clothespin Tree. There is water available at the welcome plaza, while pit toilets are available in the arrival area of Mariposa Grove.

Wrapping up

We hope this guide was able to help you from wondering how far Mariposa is from the entrance of Yosemite National Park. Nearby places were also mentioned so you can make the most of your visit. 

Keep in mind what you’ve learned here for future reference, especially when planning your trip. Check out the map of Mariposa and Yosemite National Park!