Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Mariposa County, CA, United States
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The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia Trees, near Yosemite’s South Entrance, contains about 500 mature giant sequoia trees, perhaps the largest living things on Earth. The oldest Yosemite giant sequoia may exceed 3,000 years in age!
Among the most popular specimens in the grove is the Fallen Monarch which was made famous by an 1899 photograph of mounted U.S. Cavalry officers who were able to ride their horses up onto the fallen tree.
Another must-visit tree is the Bachelor and Three Graces. This beautiful cluster is a very popular spot for photos.
However, the most famous tree in the sequoia grove is the Grizzly Giant, one of the largest trees in the Mariposa Grove and, at an estimated age of 2,700 years, one of the oldest living sequoia.
Beyond the Grizzly Giant sit hundreds of lesser-visited sequoias in the Upper Grove including the Clothespin Tree, the Faithful Couple and the fallen Wawona Tunnel Tree. Reaching the Upper Grove is a longer hike with elevation gains, but well worth the exercise!
Mariposa Grove is located in the southern portion of Yosemite Valley, on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. There are many popular ways you can get to this grove of giant sequoias:
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is located at the end of Mariposa Grove Road, off Highway 41. There is a larger parking lot as well as an arrival plaza to the right, shortly after the park’s south entrance. Most people will park here and take a shuttle, bicycle or hike the remaining distance to the lower grove. However, if you have a disabled placard, speak with a ranger on duty to be allowed into a smaller parking area closer to the lower grove.
When shuttle buses are running, you can catch one here. They run approximately every 10 -1 5 minutes.
If the shuttles aren’t running, it’s a pleasant ~2-mile hike (one way) on the Washburn Trail from the parking area at the Welcome Center to the Arrival Area at the Lower Grove.
Bicycles are also allowed on the Mariposa Grove Road between the Welcome Plaza (near the South Entrance) and the Grizzly Giant when the road is open. Bikes aren’t allowed anywhere else in the grove, however, so bring along some locks and plan to leave them at the Arrival Area.
You can also walk from Wawona to Mariposa Grove. From behind the Wawona Hotel, follow a 6.5-mile trail to the Mariposa Grove. Be prepared for significant elevation change.
You can also ride into the grove on horseback. Yosemite Trails leads a guided horseback tour from their stables just outside the southern boundary of the park into Mariposa Grove. Horses are allowed only on the Perimeter Trail, and not anywhere else within the grove.
The one-mile trail from the shuttle stop at the lower grove to the Grizzly Giant and the California Tunnel Tree makes a great trip for families with children. If you’re eager to see more, increase the distance and hike through the Upper Grove and out to Wawona Point Vista.
In winter, the visitors center at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza closes and the sequoia grove offers no formal services. However, you can park at the start of the Mariposa Grove Road and cross country ski or snowshoe in to see the giant sequoias. Snowshoers will love the Washburn Trail which winds through the forest, but especially once a snowshoe track is established, cross country skiers might find that trail too narrow and winding and could prefer to ski up the Mariposa Grove Road instead.
Take a hike through Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias to glimpse Yosemite’s majestic giant sequoia trees from the ground. Mariposa Grove is studded with trails that let you take the grove at your own pace, from a peaceful walk to a high-energy scramble.
Big Trees Loop Trail: This easy 0.3-mile loop is wheelchair-accessible and provides views of Mariposa Grove that work for any hiker. The loop takes you through the grove and past the famous Fallen Monarch tree.
Grizzly Giant Loop Trail: The Grizzly Giant trail takes hikers on a 2-hour adventure around the edge of Mariposa Grove, stopping at spots like the California Tunnel Tree and the Bachelor and Three Graces – and, of course, its namesake ancient Grizzly Giant!
Guardians Loop Trail: This trail runs for 6.5 miles and loops through the upper grove, showcasing the Tunnel Tree and Telescope Tree as well as the famous historic Mariposa Grove Cabin.
Mariposa Grove Trail: This 7-mile out-and-back trail connects the upper and lower groves and is the perfect excursion for experienced hikers looking for a bit of exercise! This trail takes you past the Bachelor and Three Graces, the Faithful Couple, and the Clothespin Tree. Finally, the trail climbs to a beautiful viewpoint at Wawona Point. Combine the Mariposa Grove Trail with the Grizzly Giant Loop Trail or the Guardians Loop to change up the scenery on your return trip!
Check out Instagram photos of Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia Trees
Pets are not allowed in Mariposa Grove or on shuttles. (Service animals are individually trained to perform a specific task to assist a person with a disability. These dogs are legally permitted anywhere visitors can go. Emotional support, therapy and companion animals are not service animals and must follow the same rules as other pets.)
You can bike along Mariposa Grove Road as far as the Grizzly Giant, but otherwise bikes are not allowed in the grove.