Located on Highway 120 and 26 miles from the Yosemite Park entrance, the historic community of Groveland is the most convenient gateway to this treasured national landmark for tourists coming from the San Francisco Bay area, Sacramento or Stockton and Modesto.
Groveland is also home to the famous- infamous Iron Door Saloon--said to be the oldest continuously operating saloon in California. Gold, water and Yosemite are responsible for this natural stopping off point on Highway 120 to a variety of vacation destinations. James Savage discovered gold here in 1848. Savage's Diggins became Garrotte in 1850 and was a boom town. By the 1870's, it was transformed from dozens of bars and bordellos to a quiet community with cattle ranches and a trickle of tourists talking the new Big Oak Flat Road to Yosemite. Groveland experienced a second gold rush with the advent of deep shaft mines and milling operations. It was over by 1914 but, a 3rd rush began with congressional approval to build the Hetch Hetchy Project.This quirky community of 1500 permanent residents rests above the fog and below the heavy snow pack and claims an average of more than 300 days of sun. A town with historic buildings, including California's oldest continuously-operating saloon, and quaint shops, Groveland is an ideal setting for a romantic diversion, a base camp for river rafting, mountain biking, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing, or it can simply be your entertaining pit stop on the way to Yosemite National Park.