Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

Bachelor and Three Graces in the Mariposa Grove with sign and fence

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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.

Giant sequoia in the Mariposa Grove with other tree tops

Getting to the Mariposa Grove

Free Shuttle

There is currently no free shuttle from the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza to the Mariposa Grove. 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.

In 2021, cycling is not allowed beyond the arrival area. (Normally, you may also bicycle on the paved portion of Mariposa Grove Road to the Grizzly Giant parking area until the road closes on or before November 30 (depending on conditions).) 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 Arrival Area. (The road to the Grizzly Giant parking area is closed to all vehicles in 2021 because the road is being used as the main trail as a result of damage to the normal trail.)

Things to know Before You Go

  • Pets are not allowed on any trails in the Mariposa Grove. In 2021, pets are not allowed on the Mariposa Grove Road, Washburn Trail, or anywhere in the Mariposa Grove. (Normally, pets are allowed in the parking areas and on the paved road up to near the Grizzly Giant (but not to the Grizzly Giant) on leash only.) Pets are not allowed on shuttles.

  • Horses are only allowed on the Perimeter Trail and not anywhere else within the Mariposa Grove.
  • Restrooms are located at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza and Arrival Area, near the Mariposa Grove Cabin, and near the Grizzly Giant year-round. During winter, some of these will be converted to vault toilets.
  • Drinking water is available only at the welcome plaza (year-round) and arrival area (summer only), so plan accordingly.
  • There are no food services available at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza or within the Mariposa Grove. The Depot, located at the welcome plaza, has a selection of books, maps, general information, and gifts.
  • Bicycles are allowed on the Mariposa Grove Road between the welcome plaza (near South Entrance) and the Grizzly Giant when the road is open for the season. Bicycles are not allowed elsewhere in the the Mariposa Grove. (In 2021, cycling is not allowed beyond the arrival area.)
Three images, Fallen Monarch, California Tunnel Tree, and Mariposa Grove Cabin
From left to right: Fallen Monarch, California Tunnel Tree, and Mariposa Grove Cabin.

Things to Do in the Mariposa Grove

Guided Tours and Programs

The Grand Tour is not currently operating during due to COVID-19.

Ranger-led programs may be available on a limited basis; check local listings for dates, times, and locations.


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)

  • 0.3 mile (0.5 km) loop from trailhead, 30 to 45 minutes (wheelchair accessible)
  • Begin at Mariposa Grove Arrival Area. Winding through a forest with many giant sequoias, this trail features the Fallen Monarch and interpretive panels on the life and ecology of giant sequoias. This loop is relatively flat and is wheelchair accessible.

Grizzly Giant Loop Trail (moderate)

  • 2 miles (3.2 km) loop from trailhead, 1.5 to 2 hours
  • Begin at Mariposa Grove Arrival Area. Start along the Mariposa Grove Trail at the Big Trees Loop and hike past notable trees such as the Bachelor and Three Graces, the 3,000-year-old Grizzly Giant, and California Tunnel Tree. Allow two hours to enjoy the full loop that winds along the edge of the grove and includes 300 feet (91 m) of elevation gain. Visitors with a valid disabled placard can drive as far as the Grizzly Giant parking area and enjoy this area of the grove via a section of trail that is wheelchair accessible.

Guardians Loop Trail (strenuous)

  • 6.5 miles (10.5 km) round trip from trailhead, 4 to 6 hours
  • Begin at Mariposa Grove Arrival Area. After hiking to the tranquil upper portion of the grove, a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) loop takes hikers past many famous features including the fallen Wawona Tunnel Tree, the Telescope Tree, and the Mariposa Grove Cabin.

Mariposa Grove Trail (strenuous)

  • 7 miles (11.3 km) round trip from trailhead to Wawona Point, 4 to 6 hours
  • Begin at Mariposa Grove Arrival Area. This wide and relatively smooth trail follows a route that people have used to access the grove for generations. See famous sequoias such as the Bachelor and Three Graces, the Faithful Couple, and the Clothespin Tree along this somewhat strenuous route to the upper reaches of the grove. Continue to historic Wawona Point, an overlook with panoramic views. Total elevation gain is 1,200 feet (366 m). A number of alternative trails may be used to access the upper portion of the grove. These trails are generally steeper and more primitive than the Mariposa Grove Trail.

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.

Color trail map of Mariposa Grove

Last updated: July 19, 2021

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