Mariposa is one of the primary “Gateway” communities for Yosemite National Park. You will enjoy the scenic drive on Highway 140 along the Merced River from Mariposa to the middle gate into Yosemite. Mariposa is the county seat for Mariposa County and has a population of about 2,175. At 1,949 feet in elevation it lies in the rugged foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains with Mariposa Creek flowing through the town.
Mariposa is Spanish for “butterfly”; it was named after the flocks of Monarchs seen overwintering by early explorers. Mariposa is the host for the annual spring Butterfly Festival when thousands of monarch butterflies are released back into the wild.
The Mariposa County Courthouse is the oldest courthouse in California and the oldest one west of the Rocky Mountains that is still being used. Since 1851, when Mariposa was a vibrant trading center for miners, the courthouse was the place where landmark mining laws were tried, and consequently, set legal precedent for present day federal mining laws.
Mariposa lies at the southern end of the California Golden Chain. Many Europeans were attracted to Mariposa by the lure of golden riches. During the 19th century California Gold Rush, its streams were panned for nuggets and and its hills were deep mined seeking the underground veins.
Mariposa Elementary School is located in the county seat of rural Mariposa County in the picturesque Sierra foothills, 34 miles southwest of Yosemite National Park. The school is arranged over three levels of a hillside and has approximately 300 students in Kindergarten through 6th grade, Preschool, K-6 Special Day Class, and thirteen kindergarten through sixth grade classrooms.
Mariposa Middle School is located near the town of Mariposa on twenty-five beautiful rolling, wooded acres. This school serves approximately 280 students in grades 7 and 8 coming from various parts of the County. The program is fully departmentalized, offering required and elective subjects, which are standards-based.
Mariposa County High School is located 45 miles west of Yosemite National Park in the historic town of Mariposa. The school has approximately735 students.
The State Center Community College District operates the Oakhurst Center which offers a wide variety of courses including traditional degree and vocational programs.
Merced College is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence. The leadership and educational services provided by the college reflect and enhance the cultural, economic, and social life of the community and respond to its changing needs and interests.
The University of California, Merced, is the tenth and newest of the University of California campuses. It is located in the San Joaquin Valley in unincorporated Merced County, California, near Merced.
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.