Sierra Vista National Scenic Byway
Driving the Sierra Vista National Scenic Byway is perhaps the best way to view the spectacular local landscapes. The Byway begins in nearby North Fork, showcasing giant sequoia groves, alpine lakes and meadows, rock formations, wildflower fields and some of the most beautiful views of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The Byway is generally open from June through October and takes about 5 hours to drive
Yosemite National Park
Open year-round, Yosemite National Park is justly famed for its incomparable beauty -- its majestic forests, glorious waterfalls, colossal rock formations and enchanting high-country meadows. The park’s south entrance gate is located just 17 miles north on Highway 41 from The Pines Resort. (Please note: a fee is charged by the National Park Service at the park entrance). Park visitors traveling to the popular Yosemite Valley are encouraged to park their cars in a day-use area and see Yosemite by foot, bike, guided tour and free shuttle bus transport. Check online for information on visiting Yosemite, or call 209-372-0200.
Guided Outdoor Adventure Tours
For those who’d rather leave the driving to someone else, private and group tours into Yosemite National Park and Madera County's top visitor attractions are offered by several transportation agencies. Airport and Amtrak shuttle transport, limousines and group charters are also available. For information, please contact: Yosemite and Beyond Tours and Shuttle Service or 888-641-6789 Crossroad Tours or 559-683-7113.
In such scenic surroundings, it may be hard to keep your focus on the golf ball. However, three local courses catering to both novice and avid golfers, will keep you on your toes with majestic and challenging terrain. Enjoy 18-hole courses at Sierra Meadows Country Club (800-642-7448) or 9-hole outings at River Creek Golf Course (559-683-5600) and Yosemite’s seasonal Wawona Golf Course (209-375-6572).
Steam Train Rides
Just minutes north on Highway 41, the family-owned Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad takes guests on a 4-mile narrow-gauge adventure through the scenic fir and pine forest. Between March and October, vintage Shay steam engine locomotives traverse original logging railbeds restored from the turn of the century. Charters, special events, and BBQ dinners with live entertainment are also hosted on the grounds. Great fun for families and groups! Check online or call 559-683-7273.
Model "T" Ford Tours
Step back in time with Model “T” Ford Tours for an unforgettable and romantic vacation experience. From May through October, rent a convertible Model “T” or “A” Ford for a drive around Bass Lake, the Sierra National Forest or into Yosemite for the day. You’ll be instructed on how to drive your original roadster or touring car and then it’s yours for the entire tour. Check online or call 866-488-6877.
Museums and Historical Sites
The Consortium of Southern Yosemite Area Museums invites you to take an educational, family oriented and fun filled journey into the past and discover the many treasures of the region. You’ll find a wealth of information on local historical sights online or by calling 559-683-6570. Some local favorites include:
- The 110 year old Coarsegold Historic Museum brimming with artifacts and history including an old school house with authentic furnishings.
- The Laramore Lyman House Museum in Oakhurst, where you can see how the early pioneers lived and dressed, learn candle dipping and rope making.
- Step back in time with the vintage clothing and accessories exhibits for men, women and children and war memorabilia dating from the 1790's through the 1990's at The Wild Wonderful King Vintage Clothing Museum.
- Visit The Children’s Museum for fun-filled hands-on activities for all ages.
- Visit The Little Church in The Pines, built in 1894 to serve as the only house of worship in this area for nearly fifty years.
- Discover the riches of the mining era, and see amazing exhibits such as the “Fricot Nugget”, a rare, 13 pound crystalline gold specimen at The California State Gem & Mineral Museum.
- In North Fork, visit the Sierra Mono Museum, operated by an Indian tribe and opened in 1971 to preserve the culture and heritage of the Sierra Mono Indians.
- In Raymond, see the The Charles Miller House, built in 1886, listed on the California Registry of Historic Places, and the home of The Raymond Museum.
Wine Tasting and Tourinig
Madera County, in Central California, known for its dramatic scenery and rich history, is establishing itself in the wine industry, as well. Influenced by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the San Joaquin River and warm summer winds, vineyards along the Madera Wine Trail grow grapes suited to dry table wines, sweet dessert blends and ports. Just a few minutes from The Pines, the boutique Idle Hour Winery offers tours, special events, and tastings of their award-winning wines in an on-site wine and beer garden.
The Sierra National Forest is paradise for biking enthusiasts! Ride for hours on trails ranging from easy to challenging on a vast area network of forest trails, fire roads and old railroad grades. We recommend nearby Yosemite Bicycle and Sport for all types of bike rentals (including kiddie trailers), accessories and repair services. Ask about guided rides, trail maps and shuttle transport to the top of downhill mountain biking trails. Check online or call 559-641-BIKE.
The Merced River tumbles and twists out of Yosemite Valley, gradually mellowing into a raftable whitewater river just 4 miles below the nearby town of El Portal. It is one of the best whitewater rafting paddle-boat trips in California. Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions are one of California’s original and most experienced whitewater rafting outfitters offering half-day, full-day and multi day trips. Check online or call 800-431-3636
Yosemite Trails Pack Station has been serving visitors from around the world for more than 35 years. No matter what your riding experience, there’s a horse for you. Enjoy a one or two hour trail ride though the forest, past lush meadows and along meandering streams or longer rides exploring the Giant Sequoias in Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove. During summer, sit with the cowboys to enjoy a Chuck-Wagon Jamboree BBQ –or- during winter, cozy up on a horse drawn sleigh ride. Check online or call 559-683-7611.
If you're looking for Rainbow, Brook, Brown or the elusive Golden Trout, Sierra Fly Fisher Tours has got a guided trip for you! Enjoy memorable and quality Central California fishing conditions on uncrowded waters with fly fishing classes and trips for beginning to advanced skilled individuals, families, student and corporate groups. Check online or call 559-683-7664.
Guided Outdoor Adventure Tours
Like to hike? Want to experience the thrill of rock climbing or casting your line in a cascading Sierran stream? The Pines Resort in Bass Lake, CA is pleased to recommend Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides as a top-notch outfitter for guided “off the beaten path” hiking, rock climbing and fly fishing programs. SYMG offers a diverse menu of outdoor recreation workshops and trips for individuals and small groups year round led by experienced naturalists. Check online or call 800-231-4575.
Live Theatre and Cinema
At nearby Oakhurst’s MET Cinema , you can see first run movies in a clean theater with friendly service. For showtimes, visit online or call (559) 683-1234