As tour director & guides, we often get asked about other things to do in the area.We wanted to share one recent adventure with you……
Just a short drive up Highway 41, through Oakhurst you will find tucked among the pines, family friendly Bass Lake, a mellow place for weekend wandering. Spending a couple hours in fresh air and surrounded by beautiful nature on Yosemite’s doorstep is a prize one should not miss, yes, even locals! We lived in the area for years and never got around to discovering what was right at our feet.
SO, adventuring we went.
After fueling up on coffee we drove just about an hour. Along the way was plenty of scenic beauty; wildflowers with interesting flatlands that gave way to rolling hills.
First stop was Coarsegold, along Hwy 41. They have a charming little museum and an ongoing antique flea market to stroll. Onward to Oakhurst, dating back to the 1850’s. Now filled with art galleries, microbreweries as well as the outstanding Fresno Flats Historical Park. After enjoying a few we moved up the road to Bass Lake. Deep breath in……..ahhhhh…
Time to stretch our legs a bit. There are numerous hikes you can choose from, but we learned our lesson; one man’s easy is another’s strenuous. A stop at the ranger station at the tip of the lake was in order. 7.5 miles of nature in day? Well, this was just a short day so we settled on a simple trail: Way-of-the-Mono just over a mile, round-trip.
Although it’s short, the Way-of-the-Mono includes magnificent views of Bass Lake and the surrounding Sierras. The trailhead includes interpretive signs that describes the indigenous people who lived in the region east of Fresno. Join the trail from the signed trail-head along Road 222 between the Bass Lake Ranger Station and Forks Resort.
And that brings us to lunch. You must stop at the Forks. Believe us, they’re known for their Forks Burger. You should not miss it. You can find the Forks Resort just down the road from the ranger station and the trail you completed, along road 222.
Good thing we did our adventure after daylight saving time, this gave us several more hours to enjoy the area as we wandered on down the road again to North Fork before looping back to Highway 41 and on home.
More to do ?
Museums – These are all within 20 minutes of Bass Lake: Coarsegold Historic Museum 31899 Hwy 41
Fresno Flats Historical Park 49777 Rd 427 Oakhurst
Kings Vintage Museum 40680 Hwy 41 Oakhurst
Sierra Mono Museum 33108 Rd 228 North Fork
Extend your trip
The Scenic Byway is one of the most beautiful drives in the area. The route begins at Beasore Road (off of Road 274 just up from the Pines Village) and winds through the Sierra National Forest, ending in North Fork. Along the way enjoy views of Mammoth Pools, Redinger Lake, Mile High Vista, Arch Rock, Portuguese Overlook, Fresno Dome and many more. Pack a lunch and enjoy a quiet picnic along the way.
The Byway is a full day trip but the natural wonders and beauty along this way make this drive well worth it.
There are loads of places to stay from the Chateau du Sureau to camping and everything in between. Here’s a few links to reasonably priced options: