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 is made famous for an 1899 photograph of U.S. Cavalry officers on their horses up on top.
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:
The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is located at the end of Mariposa Grove Road, off of 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) along with 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 the 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 the Mariposa Grove. Horses are allowed only on the Perimeter Trail, and not anywhere else within the grove.
Download a Mariposa Grove map here.
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.
Check out a trail map of Mariposa Grove which also includes some history about the trees.
Check out Instagram photos of Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia Trees