Coarsegold, California got its name from the California Gold Rush of the mid-19th century, when prospectors discovered coarse nuggets of gold in a nearby creek. At one time, several dozen gold mines operated in the area. Coarsegold is a small town of about 1,850 residents located at 2000 feet elevation in the Sierra Nevada foothills. It sits in a picturesque valley along Coarsegold Creek about 35 miles North of Fresno on State Highway 41 and only 35 miles from the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. It is a welcoming, small town supporting a market, veterinarian, restaurants, churches and other small businesses.
Annual events in Coarsegold are the rodeo held on the first weekend of May and the world famous Coarsegold Tarantula Awareness Festival the Saturday before Halloween. Activities on Rodeo Weekend include a deep-pit barbecue, dance and contest to pick the rodeo queen and her princesses.
With the Coarsegold Tarantula Awareness Festival the town celebrates the emergence of the eight-legged creatures as they come out of their burrows in search of a mate before they hunker down over the winter. In the foothills, tarantula sightings forecast both cooler temperatures and the approaching rainy season. While some people may shy away from them, the tarantulas are basically harmless and vital to the foothill ecosystem.
The historic village in the middle of town hosts craft fairs and local events including the Coarsegold Tarantula Awareness Festival.
Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold is one of the largest casino’s in California. Thousands of people enjoy Las Vegas style gaming, fine dining and world class entertainment where gold miners in the 1850s once gambled looking for the Mother Lode.
Coarsegold Area Schools
Yosemite High School is a California Distinguished school and is part of the Yosemite Unified School District. Yosemite High School is located at 50200 Road 427 in Oakhurst.
The State Center Community College District operates the Oakhurst Center which offers a wide variety of courses including vocational and traditional degree programs.
The central valley city of Fresno is the home to California State University, Fresno. Fresno State, as the locals call it, is known for its strong academic programs and for its ardent sports fans. Fresno state is the home of the Bulldogs.