North Fork is a community of approximately 3,600 area residents located in the Sierra Nevada mountains adjacent to the Sierra National Forest, about 30 miles south of Yosemite National Park, and 50 miles north of Fresno. It is gateway to the historic Sierra Vista Scenic Byway, a road that offers stunning panoramic views of the central Sierra Nevada Mountains. Nestled in a small valley at 2,600 feet, North Fork is located at the exact center of California. Only a few of the residents live in the town of North Fork; most are located in the surrounding forested mountains in individual homes or small developments.
The weather in North Fork is nearly ideal. At 2,600 feet, the town is above the fog which affects the San Joaquin Valley during the winter, but just below the snowline. Residents who prefer some snow in their winter live at the higher elevations. Summer temperatures usually range from 5 – 10 degrees cooler than in Fresno or on the Valley floor. By California standards, the cost of living is very reasonable.
The makeup of North Fork’s population is somewhat eclectic in nature, combining Native American Mono tribal members; commuters to Fresno, Oakhurst and Madera; retirees; former loggers, ranchers, artists, and long term residents. The town’s business district consists of two restaurants, two car parts stores, a gas station, two hardware stores, a grocery store, post office, video store, medical clinic, insurance offices, real estate office, several hair care businesses as well as a number of other individual businesses.