• Rainbow over Half Dome


    National Park California

Day Hikes in Wawona and the Mariposa Grove

Wawona Meadow Loop

3.5 miles (5.6 km) loop; 2 hours [leashed pets allowed]

Begin at the Wawona Hotel

Walk across the Wawona golf course on the paved road. Once across the golf course, take the first left onto the unpaved fire road that loops around the meadow.

Read more about wildflowers in this meadow.


Swinging Bridge Loop (easy)

4.8 miles (7.6 km) loop; 2 hours

Begin at the Wawona Store parking area

Follow Forest Drive, the paved road, two miles upstream from the store to the Seventh Day Adventist camp. At the camp, bear to the left onto a dirt road and continue a half-mile to Swinging Bridge. Cross the bridge and bear left onto the trail that becomes a dirt road, then paved Chilnualna Falls Road. This road will take you back to the Pioneer Yosemite History Center. Walk through the history center and its covered bridge to return to the Wawona Store.

Download a self-guiding trail brochure for the Pioneer Yosemite History Center.


Wawona to Mariposa Grove (moderate)

6 miles (9.6 km) to the Grizzly Giant (in the Mariposa Grove)

Begin at Wawona Hotel

The trail begins behind the last uphill building of the Wawona Hotel (Moore Cottage). Look for the trailhead 50 yards uphill marked by the sign "Two Hour Trail Ride."

You can take the free Wawona-Mariposa Grove shuttle bus back to Wawona.

The Mariposa Grove Road will be temporarily closed to vehicle and foot traffic, and the Lower Mariposa Grove will be temporarily closed to all use, tentatively beginning May or June 2015. During this time, trails to the Upper Mariposa Grove may also close periodically, depending on construction or restoration work. The Big Trees Tram Tour ceased operation permanently in November 2014. Shuttle service from Wawona to Mariposa Grove will not operate in 2015 or 2016. The entire Mariposa Grove will tentatively reopen in November 2016. More information

Natural tunnel through living sequoia caused by many fires over the years

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias (moderate)

Grizzly Giant: 1.6 miles (2.5 km) round-trip; 1 hour
Wawona Point: 6 miles (9.6 km) round-trip; 3 hours
Outer Loop Trail: 6.9 miles (11 km) loop; 4 to 5 hours

Various trails criss-cross the Mariposa Grove. To reach the Grizzly Giant or Wawona Point, follow the trail that begins at the far end of the parking area. Hike beyond the Grizzly Giant and California Tunnel Tree toward the Galen Clark Tree to reach the Upper Grove and Wawona Point. The Outer Loop Trail begins on the uphill side of the parking area.

Download a self-guiding hiking brochure and map for the Mariposa Grove (256 kb PDF).


Alder Creek (strenuous)

12 miles (18.7 km); 6 to 8 hours

Begin 0.4 miles up Chilnualna Falls Road

The trail begins across the street from the parking area at the "Backcountry Use" sign and leads uphill north through an open pine forest with abundant manzanita growing on drier slopes.

Uppermost section of Chilnualna Falls cascades over granite. Photo by Victoria Mates.

Chilnualna Falls (strenuous)

8.2 miles (13.1 km) round-trip; 5 hours. 2,400 feet elevation gain

Begin at Chilnualna Falls parking area, two miles up the Chilnualna Falls Road

The trail leads from the bottom of the parking area and along cascading Chilnualna Creek for a half mile (0.8 km). A series of switchbacks then lead away from the creek into the open forest, where you'll get views of the Wawona area.

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