About Mariposa County
On the western slopes of the Sierra Nevadas, Mariposa County occupies 1,451 square miles of mountainous and hilly terrain. The northeastern corner extends into the center of Yosemite National Park and includes the famous Yosemite Valley. The southwestern boundary follows the base of the foothills of the Sacramento Valley, leaving out the centers of population and limiting the county to a rugged and sparsely populated area. With a population of 17,130 (as of 2000), the population density is just 12 people per square mile.
High in the mountains beautiful forests and lush alpine meadows dominate the scenery. Below about 3000 feet in elevation, alternating patches of smaller forests and grassland cover the hills. The grass thrives after the rainy season in early spring, but is brown for much of the year.
The Merced River cuts through the middle of the county, coming out of Yosemite National Park and descending through the Merced Gorge until it flows into Lake McClure, a reservoir on the western edge of the county. From there it flows into the Sacramento Valley.
Two highway cross the county, California route 140 comes from Merced in the Sacramento Valley, through Mariposa (the county seat), then descends into the Merced Gorge, which it then follows up to Yosemite Valley. California 49 wanders through the hills from northwest to southeast, passing through Mariposa also.
Greeley Hill Road
Jordan View Lane
Old Greeley Hill Road
Priest Coulterville Road
Red Cloud Mine Road|
Red Flat Road
Smith Station Road