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Family Explorations in Tuolumne County

By | 06/11/2021 | Exploring Tuolumne County, Family, Gold Panning, Outdoor Adventure, Yosemite National Park

Tuolumne County is an all-season destination for family fun. Make historic discoveries in Gold Country, plan a mountain adventure in the High Sierra, and visit the iconic Yosemite National Park all while enjoying the affordable lodging accommodations the area has to offer. Get started on planning your thrilling family getaway with these three adventures!


Experience Historic Tradition in a New Way

Take a day trip back in time to the old west at Columbia State Historic Park. This authentic town has the largest collection of Gold Rush-era brick buildings in California. Here, you’ll find stagecoach rides, a working blacksmith shop, a tea house, and gold panning. Immerse your family in the spirit of Gold Country with some old fashioned gold panning. Take a quick lesson from a seasoned prospector, then put your skills to the test to see who can find the most gold. Top your session off with a stop at the St Charles Saloon for delicious pizza and old fashion sarsaparilla.

Nearby in Jamestown you can take a ride through the wild west at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park and learn about the history of the Sierra Railway. Don't forget to stop by Tiny Birds Tiny Bees for adorable clothes and gifts for kids (and moms!)

Columbia State Historic Park @mandabayy on InstagramRailtown @bosoxfan19 on Instagram

Explore the High Sierra 

Summer vacations are best spent at the lake, and Pinecrest is a destination like no other. With lodging, campingdining, and shopping just a short walk from the shore, you’ll enjoy the fresh air and good vibes of this little mountain town. Hit the Lake-Loop Trail Hike, or take a trip out on the water with a boat rental from the Pinecrest Lake Marina. With affordable rates and friendly staff, taking a motor boat/ pontoon boat/ or paddle boat out on the water will be the authentic experience your family will remember for summers to come.

In the gateway to the High Sierra, Twain Harte, mini golfing at Twain Harte Mini Golf can't be missed! This family owned business is the most fun you can have in miniature.

Pinecrest Lake Kayak


Hike the Underrated Side of Yosemite

Do you believe in giants? Immerse yourself in the wonder of a quieter Yosemite National Park gem. Hike 2.5 miles round-trip to an awe-inspiring grove of real-life giants at Tuolumne Grove. These ancient giant sequoia trees continue to thrive in the unique environment of Yosemite. View them up close and personal, and even walk through one of them. This grove is a great place to avoid the crowds and experience living history with the whole family.

Or get summer spirit at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir! Take a hike around the reservoir and admire stunning scenery. From the beautiful Wapama Falls to granite giants, let the beauty of Hetch Hetch surround you.

Hetch Hetchy Tunnel @claire.aubel on Instagram Hiking in Tuolumne Grove @jessisue25 on Instagram


Winter Fun: Hit the High Sierra Slopes

The best snow day ever awaits in Tuolumne County’s High Sierra at Leland High Sierra Snowplay and Dodge Ridge Mountain Resort. Pick your tube, and head for the hill! A simple tow will take you to the top, then it’s up to you which way you sled down. There’s several beautifully groomed runs that will keep the kids (and the parents) busy for hours. Need a break? Take a cozy seat by the fireplace in the Lodge, order a hot chocolate or some quick snacks, and watch the winter views from the warm indoors. Hit the slopes at the nearby Dodge Ridge Mountain Resort. Family owned and loved since 1950, this mountain has it all. Take lessons and hit the snow skiing for an unforgettable adventure like snow-other.

Pinecrest Snow Playing @taagchang on Instagram


Looking for more ideas on family friendly adventures in Tuolumne County? Check out the Tuolumne County Inspiration Guide!

Winter Wanders and Gems of Tuolumne County
If the season is right, Northern California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains will be embraced with crisp, fresh air and covered in a blanket of white. Winter wanders and gems will be found in the picturesque mountain landscapes and historical foothill towns of Tuolumne County. Take a refreshing trip where you will get your fill of things to do and your wallet will stay full with off-peak accommodation prices. READ MORE >
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Most people visit Tuolumne County to enjoy the outdoors—the forests, the lakes, the fresh air, but at times staying indoors may be the way to go. Even if conditions outside are unfavorable, you can still have great experiences indoors. READ MORE >
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