Coarsegold (formerly, Coarse Gold, Gold Gulch, Michaels, Oro Grosso, Texas Flat, and Coarse Gold Gulch) is an unincorporated community in Madera County, California. It is located 8 miles (13 km) south-southwest of Yosemite Forks, at an elevation of 2218 feet (676 m).
The place was first called Texas Flat after miners from Texas discovered gold there in 1849. By 1874, the name had changed to Michaels, honoring Charles Michaels, a local merchant. A rival mining camp inhabited by Mexicans there was called Oro Grosso.
The current name derives from the California Gold Rush of the mid-1800s, when prospectors discovered coarse lumps of gold in a nearby creek. At one time, several dozen gold mines operated in the area.
The Coarse Gold Gulch post office opened in 1878, changed the name to Goldgulch in 1895 and to Coarsegold in 1899.
The population from the 2000 census for the 93614 zip code is 9,391. A recent news article placed the 2007 Coarsegold population at 17,000. The community is inside area code 559. It is part of the Madera–Chowchilla Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The Coarsegold Historic Village is located on Highway 41 between Fresno and the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park at an altitude of approximately 2,000 feet (610 m). It is a very small town but does boast a few amenities such as a post office, a market, hardware store, bank, florist, party store and a few restaurants plus tourist shops.
Nearby towns include Oakhurst, around 7 miles (11 km) away.
Every year from mid-October to mid-November, tarantula mating season takes place and the town is full of tarantulas. Locals go out of their way to protect and respect the arachnids during this time. There is a Coarsegold Tarantula Festival (the 10th annual festival took place in 2007) which includes tarantula racing, a competition for the hairiest legs of both men and women, and a pumpkin dessert contest.