Madera County was originally a lumber-producing county and has since turned primarily into a tourism-based county with beautiful mountains, lakes and other wilderness areas. Madera County is part of the Central Valley and also has the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
There are many popular wilderness areas such as Devil's Postpile, Fresno Dome, Banner Peak, Thousand Island Lake, Bass Lake and Mammoth Mountain (although the ski resorts are on the Mono County side of the mountain).
There are two areas within Madera County and each of these areas has a distinctive style of living and has its own architecture and in some cases cultural differences. Madera County is in the San Joaquin Valley of California and is mostly rural. The county can be divided into the Central Valley Area and the Mountain Area. The major cities in these two areas are: