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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 Ski 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 Ski 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!

Plan The Perfect Girls' Trip To Tuolumne County
Hike to a waterfall in Yosemite National Park, go horseback riding in the High Sierra back country, or go on a wine tasting adventure in Gold Country. Tuolumne County offers unforgettably iconic adventures at safe and affordable. READ MORE >
Planting a New Grove of Giant Sequoias
On April 30th 2021, Arbor Day, Visit Tuolumne County teamed up with Heidi Lupo and her students at the Pinecrest Expedition Academy to plant three baby Giant Sequoias to form a new grove of the massive trees in Kennedy Meadows on Highway 108. READ MORE >
Micro Itinerary: Adventurous Afternoon in Twain Harte
Adventure is everywhere in Tuolumne County, and Twain Harte makes for the ultimate destination! Follow along as nature photographer Zach Holback shows off some of his favorite places to spend an afternoon exploring the natural beauty of Twain Harte with his fiancé Desiree and dog Zoey! READ MORE >
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