Restoration of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Project

Two photos. Left: People walking next to parked trams on paved road. Right: people walking on wide, unpaved trail through well vegetated area.
Tram area before project (left). Artist rendering of new trail at same location (right).
 
The Mariposa Grove restoration project will restore the grove's dynamic ecology and increase its resilience. As a result of this project, the Mariposa Grove is currently closed and is expected to reopen in spring 2017.

Once the project is completed, visitors to the Mariposa Grove will notice:
  • A consolidated parking area and information station at South Entrance
  • Many of the roads within the grove converted into hiking trails
  • Over a half-mile of new accessible trails and boardwalks providing universal access for all visitors to the grove
  • Flush toilets replacing vault toilets in the grove
  • Removal from the grove of commercial activities such as the gift shop and tram tours
Learn more about the project to restore the Mariposa Grove by watching this video, produced by Yosemite Conservancy, the primary non-profit partner supporting this project. You can also read a fact sheet about the restoration of the Mariposa Grove project [105 kb PDF].
 
Map showing the outer loop trail, which is open; all other areas in the grove are closed.


Project Impacts

The Mariposa Grove is closed, with no vehicle or shuttle access available, from July 6, 2015 until approximately spring 2017. South Entrance and the Wawona Road will remain open. We will attempt to provide additional access as work and weather permit. This page will be updated if access changes.

Foot and equestrian access is allowed along the Outer Loop Trail (see map), from which a relatively small number of sequoias are visible. (Find other places where you can see more giant sequoias.) Hikers and equestrians must remain on the trail, which travels through a closed area; the grove beyond the trail is closed and all other trails within the grove are closed. Hiking to the Outer Loop Trail involves a strenuous, 12-mile round-trip hike with 2,400 feet of elevation change (this doesn't include hiking the Outer Loop Trail). Allow eight to 10 hours for the hike. Drinking water and restrooms are not available. The trail begins in Wawona behind the last uphill building (Moore Cottage) of the Big Trees Lodge (formerly Wawona Hotel). Look for the trailhead 50 yards uphill marked by the sign "Two Hour Trail Ride."

The Big Trees Tram Tour permanently ended in 2014. The Wawona-Mariposa Grove shuttle is not operating, but is planned to be replaced with a shuttle from South Entrance to the Mariposa Grove when the grove reopens.

Project Schedule

2014: Construct new accessible trail to the Grizzly Giant and repair of structures at Wawona Point. There were no closures in 2014.

2015: Removal of roads in the Mariposa Grove, construction of the replacement service road bypassing the lower grove, and construction of a new shuttle stop in the lower grove.

2016: Construction of the South Entrance parking area and new restroom in the lower grove.

Other Places to See Giant Sequoias

Tuolumne Grove
Yosemite National Park

Located on the Tioga Road just east of Crane Flat, the Tuolumne Grove has about two dozen mature giant sequoias. Sequoias are only visible after a one-mile hike with 500 feet of elevation loss. (The one-mile hike back to the parking lot gains 500 feet and is strenuous.) Water is not available; bring drinking water for everyone in your group who will be hiking this trail. The drive takes about 1.5 hours from South Entrance. Parking is limited.


Merced Grove
Yosemite National Park

Located on the Big Oak Flat Road east of Big Oak Flat Entrance, the Merced Grove has about two dozen mature giant sequoias. Sequoias are only visible after a 1.5-mile hike with 500 feet of elevation loss. (The 1.5-mile hike back to the parking lot gains 500 feet and is strenuous.) Water is not available; bring drinking water for everyone in your group who will be hiking this trail. The drive takes about 1.5 hours from South Entrance. Parking is extremely limited.

North and South Calaveras Groves
Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Calaveras Big Trees State Park has perhaps twice as many giant sequoias as all of Yosemite National Park.
Calaveras became a state park in 1931 and includes the Discovery Tree, also known as the Big Stump, the first Sierra redwood noted by Augustus T. Dowd in 1852. This area has been a major tourist attraction ever since, and is considered the longest continuously operated tourist facility in California. Accessible trails and other facilities are available.

Directions
From Yosemite’s Big Oak Flat Entrance, take Highway 120 west to its junction with Highway 49. Take Highway 49 north, through Sonora, to Angels Camp, then take Highway 4 east to Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This drive takes about a two hours.

More information


Grant Grove
Kings Canyon National Park

The Grant Grove area was originally General Grant National Park, created in 1890 to protect giant sequoias from logging and contains the General Grant Tree, the third largest tree in the world.

Directions
From Yosemite’s South Entrance, head south on Highway 41 to Fresno, then take Highway 180 east to Grant Grove, in Kings Canyon National Park. This drive takes just over two hours.

More information about Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks


Giant Forest
Sequoia National Park

The Giant Forest is home to many of the world's biggest trees, including General Sherman, the largest. Forty miles of trails, including the paved Big Trees Trail with wheelchair accessibility, invite visitors to immerse themselves in the majesty of the ancient grove.

Directions
From Yosemite’s South Entrance, head south on Highway 41 to Fresno, then take Highway 180 east to Grant Grove Village, in Kings Canyon National Park, then continue on Generals Highway to Giant Forest. This drive takes about three hours.

More information about Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

Phone:

(209) 372-0200
The public information office is open from 9 am to 5 pm Pacific time (closed for lunch). Once connected, dial 3 then 5. If the ranger is already on the line, you'll be returned to the main menu. If the ranger is not there, you can leave a message and we will return your call.

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