Current Travel Conditions - Yosemite Day Use Reservations Required Some Dates April through October! - Click for More Info.
Tuttletown Recreation Area Trail
Menka Belgal

Plan Your Spring Retreat in Tuolumne County

By VTC Author | 02/11/2024 | Exploring Tuolumne County, Family, Gold Country, High Sierra, State Historic Parks, Yosemite National Park

Longer and warmer days, blooming flowers, and gushing waterfalls are just a few sure signs of spring. Immerse yourself in nature's awakening during a couple’s retreat or springtime family trip to Tuolumne County, where there is a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and unforgettable moments. Here are some ideas to make the most of your trip.

Hiking Amidst Wildflower Blooms: Strap on your hiking boots and explore the vibrant hues of wildflowers along trails in places like Yosemite National Park*, Lake Don Pedro, and the Stanislaus National Forest. A couple favorite spots are Red Hills Recreational Management Area near Jamestown and the West Side Trail near the Town of Tuolumne.

Waterfall Chasing: Witness roaring waterfalls in their full splendor. Head to destinations like Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and Carlon Falls in Yosemite National Park for awe-inspiring views and photo opportunities. A simple drive into the High Sierra once Highway 108 opens for the season presents several waterfall views.

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

Fishing Excursion: Tuolumne County boasts many excellent fishing spots, especially during spring when the rivers are brimming with trout. Cast your line in the Tuolumne or Stanislaus River or Beardsley Reservoir for a chance to reel in a prized catch.

Biking Adventures: Go on an exciting mountain bike ride at New Melones Reservoir, or on the Ferretti Trail Network near Groveland where there's options for all skill levels.

Whitewater Thrills: Whitewater rafting with up to Class V runs on the Wild and Scenic Tuolumne River is thrilling! There are several local outfitters ready to take you on an exciting rafting adventure, each offering their own specialties. Note that this isn’t for young children and outfitters have age requirements.

Historic Exploration: Step back in time and discover the rich history of Tuolumne County through its historic sites and museums. Wander through the Gold Rush era streets of Columbia State Historic Park, and explore great shops and activities. Columbia is home to several springtime events such as Easter festivities, Diggins Tent Town 1852, and the Cinco de Mayo Celebration (Columbia was actually where the very first Cinco de Mayo celebration took place). Or, take a guided tour and excursion train ride at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. Weekend train rides begin in April. The Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum holds an extensive set of exhibits and items showcasing the history of the south part of Tuolumne County and the many transformations of the town of Groveland.

Wine, Beer, and Cider Tasting: Indulge in a sensory experience at the wineries, micro breweries, and hard cider and spirits distillery scattered throughout the County. The local varietals and spirited beverages pair perfectly with your adventures, and the boutique tasting rooms offer friendly ambiance and lively entertainment.

Family Stagecoach Ride

Camping Under the Stars: Spend a night under the starry skies at one of many campgrounds or RV parks.  Whether you prefer rustic tent camping or glamping in a cozy cabin, immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature and let the sounds of the wilderness lull you to sleep. There’s a bonus to camping in Tuolumne County--since the County is mostly rural, there’s little light  pollution, making for excellent visibility of stars, planets, and  shooting stars.

Outdoor Photography: Springtime in Tuolumne County offers endless opportunities for photographers to capture the beauty of nature in bloom. From majestic landscapes to intricate flora and fauna, unleash your creativity and document the season through your lens.

Local Events and Festivals: Keep an eye out for seasonal events and festivals happening in Tuolumne County during spring. From several farmers markets showcasing fresh produce and local crafts to cultural celebrations honoring the region's heritage, there's always something exciting to experience.

Cinco de Mayo in Columbia
Here's A Special Treat for a Limited Time!

Our very own Tuolumne County Historical Museum has been chosen to be the first host of the Ramona Memories. This traveling exhibition, "Telling Stories of Mexican California: Real Life and Myth Making" was developed and organized by the California Historical Society. It broadly outlines California’s history leading up to statehood as a backdrop to the factual and fictional stories that emerged after the US takeover. It considers individuals and families of Spanish Mexican descent who told their stories, and looks at some of the early narratives that helped create an enduring California mythos. 

The exhibit is on display April 7th-June 2nd, 2024.

Learn More
Find A Place to Stay

You’ll need a place to stay during your visit. Pick from mountain resorts, historic inns, cozy vacation  cabins (perfect for gathering the family), distinctive B&Bs, and  full-service RV parks. 

If  the weather is a bit adverse during your visit and you would rather stay inside, we’ve got you covered with plenty of things to do indoors. Take a look here. 

Stay Sonora house and yard

Reservations will be required to enter Yosemite National Park for Spring, Summer, and Fall dates in 2024.

Reservations are on sale now.

Note: Reservations are not required to visit the Hetch Hetchy area of the park, if you visit with a park-authorized tour operator, or if you enter the park before 5:00am or after 4:00pm.

Click Here for more information.

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