Day Hikes in Wawona and the Mariposa Grove
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.
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias (moderate)
Grizzly Giant: 1.6 miles (2.5 km) round-trip; 1 hour
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.
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.
Did You Know?
Built to connect human developments on both sides of the South Fork Merced River, the Wawona Covered Bridge is one of few covered bridges in the region. Built in 1868 by Yosemite’s first guardian, Galen Clark, the Wawona Covered Bridge boasts state significance within transportation, entertainment, and recreation contexts.