Yosemite National Park will again be offering free entry weekends in 2011, with the first one this week as a celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 17). Tourism officials say the free entry days are not only the perfect chance to explore the scenic park, but the surrounding gateway region as well.
“Yosemite is obviously the main attraction in the region, but it brings people here where they find much more,” said Jarrod Lyman of the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau which represents Madera County, California’s Gateway to Yosemite. “When they discover things like Bass Lake, the Madera Wine Trail and other popular attractions, they realize there is much to see in the gateway region.”
MaderaCounty surrounds Highway 41, the most traveled entrance in to Yosemite. Located at the south entrance to the park, the entrance is the closest to popular spots like the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias, Glacier Point and tunnel view.
Madera County is also home to numerous art galleries and history museums. The region claims more artists per capita than any other in the country, and the rich history stemming back to Native American tribes, the gold rush and logging industry are on display throughout the county.
Organizations such as the Madera Arts Council and Sierra Art Trail hold numerous events to acquaint visitors with the galleries and works of Madera County, while the Consortium of Southern Yosemite Museums represents nine museums showcasing everything from clothing dating as far back as the 1700’s to gold panning, logging and even a working 100 year old steam engine, on which you can ride through the Sierra National Forest.
For more information about top events in California take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in California.
For more information visit www.YosemiteThisYear.com