If you have dreamed of seeing big trees you are going to love the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park.
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
This area recently went through a $40 million dollar restoration project. This part of the park was closed from Spring of 2015 until June 15, 2018. Today the full grove is open and available for exploring.Giant Sequoias are not the oldest living things on earth but they have been found to be over 3,000 years old. The oldest living trees are the Bristlecone Pines which have been found to be over 4,600 years old.
The tallest Sequoia tree in Mariposa Grove is about 290 feet (88 meters). They are not the tallest trees this is awarded to the coastal redwoods.
In total volume, the giant sequoias are the largest trees known to humans! There are more than 500 mature giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove.
Mariposa Grove is located at the southernmost point of Yosemite National Park.
Where to see Giant Sequoias in Yosemite
There are three places within the park that you can see a Giant Sequoias grove ( Sequoiadendron giganteum) within Yosemite. Mariposa Grove is the easiest grove to reach.
The Tuolumne Grove is located off of Tioga Road. To reach the grove you will need to take a one-mile hike down a 500-foot elevation loss trail. The grove has about two dozen mature giant sequoias.
The Merced Grove is located on the Big Oak Flat Road east of Big Oak Flat Entrance and approximately 6 miles west of Crane Flat. To reach the Sequoias you will need to take a 1.5-mile hike with a 500-foot elevation loss. The Merced Grove has about two dozen mature giant sequoias.
The hikes back out of the Tuolumne Grove and Merced Grove are considered strenuous with at least a 500-foot elevation gain as you walk back to the parking lot.
How to get to the Mariposa Grove
By Car- The grove is located off of Highway 41 right next to the southern entrance to Yosemite.
The grove is 16 miles from Oakhurst, California.
From Yosemite Valley, the grove is 31 miles and takes approximately an hour to drive.
Hiking - You can hike from the Wawona Hotel to the grove via a 6.5-mile trail
Mariposa Grove Yosemite Shuttle
There is a free Yosemite Shuttle that starts at the Mariposa Grove welcome plaza.
The shuttle runs continuously during the day. Normally the shuttle comes by every 10 to 15 minutes.
Hours of Shuttle Operation
- March 15 through May 14: 8 am to 5 pm (The last bus leaves at 5 pm)
- May 15 through October 14: 8 am to 8 pm (The last bus leaves at 8 pm)
- October 15 through November 30: 8 am to 5 pm (The last bus leaves at 5 pm)
- December 1 through March 15: No shuttle service available.
Limited shuttle service is also available from the Wawona Hotel also known as the Big Tree Hotel during summer, between 9 am and 5 pm, with pick-ups/drop-offs about every two hours. This service is only available to guests of the hotel!
Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza
The welcome plaza has a small bookstore, a water bottle filling station, and a large restroom. There are also great interpretive panels that detail the life and growth of Giant Sequoia trees.
Mariposa Grove Trails
Big Trees Loop Trail -Easy
Distance: .3 mile/.5 km
Time: 40 to 45 minutes
Starts: Begins at the arrival area.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
What you can expect to see: This trail features the Fallen Monarch, interpretive panels
Grizzly Giant Loop Trail - Moderate
Distance: 2-mile loop
Time: 1.5 to 2 hours
Starts: Begins at the arrival area
Elevation Gain: 300 feet
Wheelchair Accessible: Visitors with a valid disabled placard can drive as far as the Grizzly Giant parking area and enjoy this area of the grove via a section of trail that is wheelchair accessible.
What you can expect to see: Notable trees including the Bachelor, Three Graces, the Grizzly Giant, and California Tunnel Tree.
Guardians Loop Trail - Strenuous
Distance: 6.5 miles/10.5 km
Time: 4 to 6 hours
Starts: Arrival area
What you can expect to see: Famous trees including the fallen Wawona Tunnel Tree, Telescope Tree, and the Mariposa Grove Cabin
Mariposa Grove Trail to Wawona Point- Strenuous
Distance: 7 miles/ 11.3 km
Time: 4 to 6 hours
Starts: Arrival area
Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet, 366 meters
What you can expect to see: Famous trees including the Bachelor, Three Graces, the Faithful Couple, the Clothespin Tree and parts of the upper grove.
Mariposa Grove in the Winter
The Mariposa Grove Road closes to cars from the end of November until at least March 15th or later depending on the weather.
All trails in the grove remain open in the winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
From December 1 through April 15th if the road is closed to cars then overnight camping is allowed!!! You will need to get a Wilderness Permit to camp. Camping is only allowed above the Clothespin Tree.
Check out our Yosemite Winter Guide for more activities in the park during the winter!
Things to know when planning a visit to Mariposa Grove
Make sure and wear a hat and good hiking shoes, and use sunscreen. The trails can be exposed to the sun as they go uphill.
The temperature can change as you move around the grove. Dressing in layers is a great way to handle temperature changes.
How to get to Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias:
The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is located 36 miles south of Yosemite Valley near the Wawona Hotel.
You can get here by driving the Wawona Road, Highway 41, two miles north of Yosemite's south entrance station.
Pets: Pets are not allowed on any trails in Mariposa Grove.
Pets are allowed in the parking areas on leash only.
Pets are not allowed on shuttles.
Food/Snacks: There is no food service available at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza or within Mariposa Grove.
Water: Make sure and bring all the water you need for hiking in Mariposa Grove with you! There are NO disposable water bottles sold at the welcome plaza or at the arrivals depot at the Lower Grove.
There are drinking fountains at the welcome plaza and arrivals depot.
Bicycles are not allowed on Mariposa Grove Road or in the Mariposa Grove
Can you drive to Mariposa Grove?
You can not drive into Mariposa Grove. You will need to park at the welcome center and take the free Yosemite shuttle to the trailhead.
Cars are allowed up to the arrival area during winter from December 1 to March 15th.
How far is Mariposa Grove from Yosemite?
Mariposa Grove is located in the southern section of Yosemite National Park. The grove is within the park but not in Yosemite Valley.
What is the elevation of Mariposa Grove?
Additional Yosemite Resources
Things to do in Yosemite - All of the things you don't want to miss during your trip.
Yosemite Camping Guide - Everything you need to know to plan an epic camping trip in Yosemite.
Yosemite Lodging Guide - Everything you need to know to plan a stay in the park.
Oakhurst Restaurant Guide - Where to eat in Oakhurst on your way to the park.
Sugar Pine Railroad - Great family excursion near the southern part of the park.
We are ambassadors for Yosemite Madera County. All opinions expressed are our own,
Rhonda Salisbury says
I love your guides!!!