Grizzly Giant, Mariposa Grove.
The Mariposa Grove, near Yosemite's South Entrance, contains about 500 mature giant sequoias. Giant sequoias are perhaps the largest living things on Earth.
Although the oldest giant sequoias may exceed 3,000 years in age, some living specimens of the ancient bristlecone pine (found in the mountains east of Yosemite
and at Great Basin National Park
in Nevada, among other places) are more than 4,600 years old.
The tallest trees are the giant sequoia's cousin—the coast redwood, which you can see at Muir Woods National Monument
and Redwood National Park
, among others.
The two-mile Mariposa Grove Road is open from approximately April through November. When open, you can drive to the grove from Yosemite's South Entrance (off of Highway 41). During summer, however, the small parking lot fills frequently, resulting in periodic road closures. So, it's best to take the free Wawona-Mariposa Grove shuttle.
When the road is closed during winter, you can still walk, snowshoe, or ski up the road from South Entrance (two miles with about 500 feet of elevation gain).
What to Do
Brochures Containing Natural History and Hiking Information
Once in the Mariposa Grove, you can hike to see more sequoias than those visible from the parking lot. A brochure (available for 50 cents in the grove or for free download [256 kb PDF]) has a map. Most people hike the 0.8 miles from the parking lot to the Grizzly Giant and California Tunnel Tree (about 500 feet of elevation gain).