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Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

Walk among the giants of Mariposa Grove in Yosemite and see some of the biggest and oldest sequoias in the world
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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 7.5 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  No trip to Wawona is complete without spending a day exploring the giant sequoias of Mariposa Grove. This protected grove of trees is... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Fallen Monarch

As you first start along the trail you will immediately notice a gigantic tree on its side. This is the Fallen Monarch, and scientists estimate that it has been on its side for centuries. You will notice that is has not decayed and there are not very many plants growing on it even through it has been dead for hundreds of years. Acid in the bark... More

2. Bachelor and Three Graces

A little further up the trail you will find the Bachelor and Three Graces: one massive tree next to the smaller trees. There is no particular story behind these four trees, but it makes for a pleasant sight. Continue further up the trail to find the Grizzly Giant, the biggest tree in the park (in girth).

3. Grizzly Giant

One of the main attractions of the Mariposa Grove is the Grizzly Giant, which is appropriately named. It is estimated that this tree is over 1,800 years old, and is 100ft around at its base. If you look up the tree you will notice a very thick branch sticking out to the side that looks like it could be a tree by itself. Well you’re not far off:... More

4. California Tunnel Tree

Walk a little further past the Grizzle Giant and you will see the California Tunnel Tree. The hole, or “tunnel” at the base was cut in 1895 so that horse-draw stagecoaches could pass through (the forest was probably too dense to go around, or they were lazy). This is the only tunneled tree in the grove that is still standing today, so walk... More

5. Galen Clark Cabin / Museum

This log cabin was built in 1864 by Galen Clark, who first saw the grove I 1857 and immediately fell in love with its giants. He did all he could to protect these trees and built the cabin to spend the rest of his live in the grove showing off the majestic beauties to other visitors.
Today it is used as a museum with information on the history of... More

6. Telescope Tree

The telescope tree is best viewed from inside of the tree itself, and you will see how it got its name as soon as you walk inside and look straight up. This tree was burnt from one of many fires in the area, which hollowed out the entire tree.

The Telescope Tree is probably one of the best examples in the park of the Sequoia’s amazing... More

7. Wawona Tunnel Tree

It is fair to say that the Wawona Tunnel Tree is one of the most famous trees in the world. At least it was, until 1969 when it fell down after being weighed down with too much snow. Since 1818 millions of visitors to the grove drove through the large man-made tunnel (which may have shortened its life by up to 1,000 years).

Today it lays on... More

8. Galen Clark Tree

This tree is named for Galen Clark who spent his live living among the trees in his log cabin, while doing all that he could to protect the grove. He was able to convince President Abraham Lincoln to set aside the grove as a protected reserve “for public use, resort, and recreation”. Other than John Muir, no one worked harder to protect this... More

9. Wawona Vista Point

Near the Glen Clark Tree you will see a paved road leading uphill. This road goes 0.5 miles up a significant climb ending at the Wawona Vista Point, the highest point in all of Mariposa Grove. If you have the time the view is definitely worth the extra hike up. At the top there are 2 vista points (the views are almost identical), which offer... More

10. Sequoia Trail

The Sequoia Tail is a short trail through a meadow leading from the Outer Loop Trail back to the Log Cabin Museum, and is a perfect short hike for children, as the signs suggest a variety of small activities to do along the way.

The short walk is sprinkled with vibrant wildflowers covering the ground between massive sequoia trees that go up and... More

11. Clothespin Tree

Unlike the California Tunnel Tree and the Wawona Tunnel Tree, the Clothespin Tree was hollowed out by natural causes. It took many fires to create the tunnel in this tree, and yet the tree survived enough to continue growing despite the large hole in its base.

Don’t get your picture taking under it, it hurts the shallow roots and kills other... More

12. The Faithful Couple

While looking at the base of the Faithful Couple you may think this is just an ordinary sequoia tree in the grove. Look up and you will be pleasantly surprised. These two sequoias grew very close to each other and have actually fused together at their bases to form one tree, but remain two very separate trees at the top. The two sequoias spent ... More

13. Trail to Wawona Lodge

If you are up for it, you can take the 5-mile trail from Mariposa Grove back to Wawona Lodge. The trail loses about 2000 feet of elevation and offers a just more secluded experience of the area than the grove does.