2008 Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau Visitors Guide

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Visitors Guide for Madera County

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  • ahWahneeBassLaKechoWchiLLacoarsegoLdFishcamPmaderamaderaranchos

    northForKoaKhurstoneaLsraYmondWaWona

    v i S i t O R S G U i D e 2 0 0 8

    Passageway into the Range of Light

  • Sure, other mountains and waterfalls exist, other places that may seem ideal to take in a sunrise or sunset. Birds soar in other parts of the country; deer frolic in other meadows.

    But around here, in Yosemite National Park and its surrounding communities, there is uniqueness and beauty second to none.

    Famed naturalist John Muir wrote in his book the Yosemite, no temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. every rock in its walls seems to glow with life.

    Theres Nothing Quite Like Ittheres a reason for that.

    take a look at the stunning rock formations, hike among the towering giant sequoias and picnic in settings lled with picturesque views.

    then venture outside the park and relax on the shores of scenic Bass lake or stroll through the specialty shops dotting the area.

    Come to shop. Come to play. Come to stay.

    For more information, contact the Yosemite Sierra visitors Bureau, located at 41969 Highway 41 in Oakhurst, CA 93644. visit our Web site at yosemitethisyear.com, e-mail us at ysvb@yosemitethisyear.com or call (559) 683-4636; fax: (559) 683-5697.

    (main) Paul Mullins - Happy Isles bridge with warm fall colors, Yosemite N.P. (inset) Nancy Robbins - Maple leaves, Merced River

    Arrive

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  • Were located in the middle of California, covering 2,147 square miles, with North Fork being the exact center of California.

    Madera County is more than just the gateway to the southern entrance of Yosemite National Park. there is wine production in the family tradition, with tours of many of our small wineries, known as the Madera Wine trail. Madera County is also home to many artists who have many galleries to explore, and the Sierra Art trails.

    Bass lake offers shing, boating, water skiing, wake boarding, personal water craft, camping and picnicking. there are many trails to hike in the area, including the Way of the Mono trail, a half-mile self-guided walking trail detailing the Western Mono indians. Mountain biking on re roads and old railroad grades, ranging from easy to dif cult, are available. Mountain bikers can ride for hours and feel like theyre alone.

    North Fork is the beginning of the Sierra vista National Scenic Byway. the Byway meanders for 100 miles through

    outstanding scenery with remarkable views of the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. visitors will see massive granite domes, majestic peaks, sheer canyon walls formed by the San Joaquin River and expansive, high mountain meadows.

    For racing enthusiasts, there is the Madera Speedway, a 1/3 mile asphalt track located at the Madera County Fairgrounds. it is part of the NASCAR weekly Racing Series and hosts races from the Supermodi ed Racing league, the United States Auto Club and the NASCAR Featherlite South West Series.

    Many picturesque communities make up Madera County, including Ahwahnee, Bass lake, Chowchilla, Coarsegold, Madera, Madera Ranchos, North Fork, Oakhurst, ONeals and Raymond.

    there are plenty of lifes adventures to experience in Madera County.

    Madera County

    Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau President

    theres Nothing Quite like it ............3Madera County ...............................5Supervisors Message .......................7Madera Wine trail ...........................9So Much to See and Do in Summer! ...................................10Calendar of events .........................12Follow the Sounds .........................15tee time .......................................17the Secret of Mountain time .........19Chowchilla City .............................20Madera City ..................................20

    Madera Ranchos ...........................20ONeals .........................................21Raymond ......................................21Coarsegold ....................................21North Fork ....................................22Ahwahnee .....................................23Oakhurst .......................................23Bass lake ......................................25Fish Camp .....................................25Wawona .......................................27Bass lake Recreation Area..............27 Bass lake Recreation Area Map ......27

    Sierra vista National Scenic Byway ..28Camping / Rv Parks .......................30the Journey Begins Now ................33 Sierra vista National Scenic Byway Map .........................33Madera County / Southern Yosemite Area Map .........34travel Arrangements ......................36Fishing ..........................................37Overnight Adventures ....................38Madera County Arts ......................40Hiking, Backpacking, Climbing, Whitewater Rafting? ......................45

    if You enjoy Our local Wildlife .......47escape the Summer Heat ..............48Spring Flowers ...............................48Big Winter Fun ..............................49Fall for the Arts .............................50the Yosemite / Madera County Film Commission ...........................51Wedding Dreams Come true .........53Romance is in the Air .....................53Festivals ........................................55lodging .........................................59eateries .........................................65

    2008 Yosemite Sierra Visitors Guide - Table of Contents

    (main) Paul Mullins - Water rushing down the Merced River, Yosemite N.P. (background - table of contents) Nancy Robbins - Waterfall in Chilnualna Creek, Wawona area

    Bill Putnam

    Welcome

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  • 800-222-2244 shiloinns.com

    Yosemites Southern Gateway Hotel

    Free High Speed Internet Access FreeUSATodaynewspaper Complimentarycontinentalbreakfast Outdoorheatedpool&spa(seasonal) Saunaandfitnesscenter

    In-roomrefrigerator,microwave,coffee maker,ironingunitandhairdryer In-roomfirstrunmoviesandentertainment BusinessCenter Freshcoffee,popcornandfruit

    SatelliteTVwithfreeShowTime Guestlaundry Freelocalphonecalls Special-assistrooms Restaurantadjacent

    40644 Highway 41

    6 YosemitesierraVisitorsBureau-(559)683-4636

  • Supervisors Message On behalf of the Madera County Board of Supervisors, it is my pleasure to welcome you to Madera County. Whether you are planning to visit the beautiful Yosemite National Park or experience the world-renowned Madera County Wine trail or any of our numerous attractions, i am sure you will enjoy your visit.

    Madera County is home to some great restaurants with nearly every possible cultural cuisine imaginable available to you. Our hoteliers are great hosts, and we encourage you to stay an extra day and enjoy the many qualities that make every resident proud to call Madera County their home.

    We believe Madera County has every possible accommodation you will need, but we are privileged to have the San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater los Angeles Area just a short drive away, making Madera County, the heart of the Golden State, the most convenient location for those of you who have traveled a great distance to visit.

    We hope that your experience in Madera County is memorable, and we hope to see you back soon.

    Sincerely,

    Ronn Dominici, Chairman Madera County Board of Supervisors

    (main) Mike Norton - Black oak tree, Yosemite Valley on the trail between Camp 4 and Yosemite Falls (inset) Donn Lusby - Lady beetles, Merced River, Yosemite N.P.

    Ronn Dominici

    Experience

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  • 8 YosemitesierraVisitorsBureau-(559)683-4636

  • Madera Wine Trail cometoourFamiLYoFWineriesandtaKeasiPoFheaVen

    A growing cluster of family-owned wineries in Madera County is becoming a favorite spot for wine connoisseurs from around the world. For the past four years, members of the Madera vintners Association have joined efforts to present the Madera Wine trail. Wine enthusiasts can choose where they want to go and sample wines throughout Madera appellation and its surrounding communities year-round. Just pick up a trail map and follow the signs of good taste.

    Special wine-tasting events are offered three times a year. For a modest fee, purchase a souvenir glass, then travel to participating locations on the trail, where you experience a

    wide variety of wines, scrumptious food and outstanding entertainment. Sound like fun? the best!

    try coming out for the wine and chocolate weekend in February, or take part in the spring wine trail every May and return for the holiday wine trail in November. Mark your calendars now!

    maderavintners.com

    (top) Franka Gabler - Madera vineyard, Madera County, view from Highway 41 (right) Dan Carter - Tammy Krause, Westbrook Wine Farm

    Savor

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  • areYouahistorYBuFF?Great! A driving tour of our historic towns makes for a great day trip. Madera (Spanish for lumber) started life as a lumber company and has a century-old granite courthouse.

    interestedinaWesternstamPede?One rides into the town of Chowchilla (literally) every April and has done so for more than 50 years.

    hoWaBoutacountYFair?the Chowchilla-Madera County Fair kicks off spring in style in May, complete with festival rides, barbecues and a hometown parade.

    in spring, if you follow the green hills and winding roads to Raymond, you will see a serene home town. Once upon a time, it was the major stagecoach stop at the end of the rail line linking travelers to the wonders of Yosemite. Rumor has it the general store used to feature wildcat burgers when beef was scarce.

    LooKingForgoLd?

    Coarsegold was a rough and tumble town that sprang up around rich gold claims. if you stop by the Broken Bit, north of town, kids can still enjoy the gold panning experience and may even nd a nugget or two.

    Head north to Oakhurst, or Fresno Flats, as it used to be known, and visit the Fresno Flats Historical Park. You can take a tour of historic cabins and the old Raymond jail. Historians dressed in period attire give living history tours that bring the pioneering days to life. Come back for their Heritage Days celebration in the fall and see an old-fashioned parade, a

    So Much to See and Do in Summer!

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  • So Much to See and Do in Summer!working forge, a pie-baking contest and local woodcarvers making wood chips.

    Slip over to North Fork for a wealth of indian history at the Sierra Mono indian Museum, which displays beautifully crafted basketry used in everyday life. this former mill town was a logging community for more than 100 years. the exact geographic center of California also happens to be located roughly 7.4 miles southeast of town.

    hoWaBoutaLittLeeXcitement?

    Head to the Berenda Reservoir, near Chowchilla, the weekend before Fathers Day (in June) and catch the Power Boat Races. Water plumes, supercharged boats and food, food, food, make this one of Madera Countys most exciting events.

    LooKingForsomethingaLittLemoresedate?

    Head to the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, located in Fish Camp, north of Oakhurst. Authentic steam engines, like Old Shay No. 10 and No. 15, have been lovingly restored

    and wind their way along mountain tracks. take a Moonlight Special and enjoy a steak dinner before you depart.

    the Golden Chain theatre is just two miles and 200 years from Oakhurst. in June and July you can boo at the black-hatted villain and cheer for the hero while munching on free popcorn served by the saloon girls. it is a classic, one guaranteed to cramp your cheeks from grinning so much. if you like it, come back in the fall for the comedy and mystery season.

    if stuff is your thing, come up for one of our peddlers fairs.

    Coarsegold has an Antiques and Collectibles Fair on Memorial Day Weekend and labor Day weekend.

    Oakhurst also has a Peddlers Fair, Memorial weekend. Wander the booths and nd that special something to decorate your house.

    (main) Paul Mullins - Sunset over Millerton Lake from Sky Harbor Road (inset-opposite page) Mathew Tekulsky - Testing the waters, Bass Lake

    Awaken

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  • JanuarYFor a listing of winter activities ........................................................................................ (559) 683-4636

    FeBruarYAnnual Crab Feed - Oakhurst .......................................................................................... (559) 683-6064Wine & Chocolate Weekend/Madera Wine trail - maderavintners.com ............................. (800) 733-8068 Fresno Flats Ragtime & vintage Music Festival - Oakhurst ................................................. (559) 683-6570

    marchMadera Community Hospital Blues Festival - Madera maderahospital.org ....................................................... (559) 675-5503 Southern Yosemite Film Festival - Oakhurst southernyosemite.com ................................................... (559) 683-7766

    aPriLRaymond Parade and Family Fun Day - Raymond ............ (559) 689-3341Western Stampede - Chowchilla ..................................... (559) 665-1882Annual Stampede Art Show - Chowchilla ........................ (559) 665-2701Gold Rush Days - Coarsegold - shopcoarsegold.com

    maY28th annual Bass lake Fishing Derby - Bass lake basslakechamber.com ........................................................................... (559) 642-367657th annual Coarsegold Rodeo - Coarsegold ......................................... (559) 683-1952Chowchilla Chamber Golf tournament/Pheasant Run Golf Course - Chowchilla ................................................ (559) 665-5603Spring Wine trail Adventure Madera Wine trail - maderavintners.com ... (800) 733-8068Jazz on the lake begins 15-week session - Bass lake - basslake.com ......... (559) 642-3121Memorial Day Weekend Peddlers Fair - Coarsegold ............................... (559) 683-3900Oakhurst Mountain Peddlers Fair - Oakhurst ......................................... (559) 683-7766Chowchilla-Madera County State Fair - Chowchilla ................................ (559) 665-3728Arts & Craft Fair - Bass lake - thecraftfair.org ......................................... (559) 877-347418th annual Antique and Classic Wooden Boat Show - acbs-tahoe.org ... (559) 733-8379

    JuneArt, Music and Dinner in the Meadow - Coarsegold ................................ (559) 642-4448Madera Chamber of Commercial Classic Car Show - Chowchilla/Civic Center Plaza ............................................................... (559) 665-5603Yosemite Mountain Cruisers Car Show - Coarsegold ............................... (559) 683-5853

    Yosemite Sierra Calendar of EventsFor a complete calendar of events for the area visit: yosemitethisyear.com/calendar.html

    (top-inset) David Hurst - Digeridoo festival, North Fork (middle-inset) David Hurst - Sierra Art Trails, Oakhurst

    (bottom-inset) Heidi Vetter - Car show judging, Oakhurst

    Enjoy

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  • 32nd annual Arts and Craft Fair - Bass lake - thecraftfair...