Located in the southern portion of Yosemite, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is the largest sequoia grove in Yosemite and is home to over 500 mature giant sequoias. The national park idea is rooted in the Mariposa Grove. In 1864 President Lincoln signed legislation protecting the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley for "public use, resort, and recreation." This landmark legislation holds an important place in our country's history and was enacted at a time when the nation was embroiled in the Civil War. For the first time in our nation's history, the federal government set aside scenic natural areas to be protected for the benefit of future generations. Later added to Yosemite National Park in 1906, the Mariposa Grove is a popular destination within the park.
The Mariposa Grove closed in spring 2015 for a large-scale restoration project that was formalized through the Mariposa Grove Restoration Project Final Environmental Impact Statement. The two primary goals of this project were to improve giant sequoia habitat and improve visitor experience. This included addressing the declining conditions of the grove and nearby South Entrance that were adversely affecting the ecological health of the sequoias (e.g., roads, trails and other buildings encroaching on roots of the ancient trees, hydrology issues). The Mariposa Grove reopened on June 15, 2018.
Through this project, the Mariposa Grove was designed to accommodate a certain number of people in order to maintain the facilities, protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a quality visitor experience. We are carefully monitoring the grove to evaluate how the new services are operating.
Getting to the Mariposa Grove
There will be no free shuttle from the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza, near South Entrance, to the Mariposa Grove during summer 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Parking is available (until full) at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza. There are approximately 300 parking spaces and it may fill by mid-morning. Access to Mariposa Grove is via a two-mile hike (each way) on the Washburn Trail or the Mariposa Grove Road (each have approximately 500 feet in elevation gain). Several miles of trails are available in the grove from that point.
You may also bicycle on the paved portion of Mariposa Grove Road to the Grizzly Giant parking area. Bicycles are not allowed on trails, unpaved roads, sidewalks, or boardwalks.
If you are, or are traveling in the same vehicle as, a person with a disability and the vehicle has a disability placard or license plate, you may drive on the Mariposa Grove Road as far as the Grizzly Giant parking area.
Things to know Before You Go
Things to Do in the Mariposa Grove
Guided Tours and Programs
The Grand Tour will not be operating during the summer 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Additionally, there are guided walks through the Mariposa Grove. Refer to the Yosemite Guide for details.
Part of this restoration project focused on creating new trail systems that allowed for accessibility and overall visitor access, while protecting the sequoia ecosystem and promoting ecological health. Some options include:
Big Trees Loop Trail (easy)
Grizzly Giant Loop Trail (moderate)
Guardians Loop Trail (strenuous)
Mariposa Grove Trail (strenuous)
Visiting the Mariposa Grove in Winter
While the Mariposa Grove Road closes to cars from the end of November until at least March 15, all trails in the grove remain open in the winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. When closed to cars during winter, the Mariposa Grove Road is open to hikers, snowshoers, and skiers.
Overnight camping is allowed in the Mariposa Grove from December 1 through April 15 if the Mariposa Grove Road is closed cars. A wilderness permit is required to camp, and camping is only allowed above the Clothespin Tree.
Water is available at the welcome plaza only and pit toilets are available in the Mariposa Grove at the arrival area, near the Grizzly Giant, and near the Mariposa Grove Cabin.
Commercial Bus Access to the Mariposa Grove
Reservations are required for all commercial carriers with vehicle capacity of 16 or more arriving to the Mariposa Grove. Commercial parking reservations are only available to commercial operators having a commercial use authorization (CUA) from Yosemite National Park, and private, nonprofit bus groups.
Schools planning to visit the Mariposa Grove by bus should email the Educational Fee Waiver Office for parking information and do not need to make advanced reservations online.
Last updated: June 11, 2020