Mariposa Grove: Yosemite’s Graceful Giants

The scale of all things Yosemite is often one of grand proportion, and Mariposa Grove is no exception. With over 500 mature sequoia trees, this forest is both massive and must-see marvelous.

Getting there is easy during the summer months when the Mariposa Grove Road is open, usually April through November. Limited parking fills fast in summer, however, causing road closures. The best plan is to take the Wawona-Mariposa Grove shuttle from the south entrance lot at Wawona. Taking the shuttle guarantees admission to the grove even when parking lots are on overflow. Pick up this fantastic free ride at the Wawona Store. Catch it back down at the Mariposa Gift Shop, or ride into the Yosemite Valley to link up with another adventure.

When the road is closed for weather or crowds, walking, skiing, or snowshoeing, depending on the season, gets you to the grove via a two-mile stint with 500 feet of elevation. Plus, the energy expended allows a little indulgence after an evening repast, especially if dining at the park’s culinary masterpieces in the Ahwanee, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, or the Wawona.

A map of the trees is available for a truly modest fee from various spots within the grove, but it can also be downloaded for free online. The cartographic details ensure no important tree goes unnoticed.

The gift shop in the lower grove is a great place to catch the tram tour of these giant trees. An hour long, the informed guides dish out fascinating facts to riders, May through October, in five different languages on audio. Don’t miss the Grizzly Giant, the California Tunnel Tree, The Bachelor and Three Graces, and the Fallen Monarch of the Lower Grove. The Upper Grove stars the Telescope Tree, the Clothespin Tree, Faithful Couple, Fallen Wawona Tunnel Tree, and a museum stocked with books for sale detailing this historic forest.

If you would like a guided tour to this area we recommend the Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoias Trip.