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 will be 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

A free shuttle provides service from the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza, near South Entrance, to the Mariposa Grove. There is no shuttle service between Wawona and the Mariposa Grove for the general public. The welcome plaza has about 300 parking spaces and may fill up by late morning. Arrive by mid-morning to increase chances of finding a place to park.

Shuttle Hours

  • March 15 through May 14: 8 am to 5 pm. Buses will pick-up about every 10 minutes (last bus leaves Mariposa Grove at 5 pm).
  • May 15 through October 14: 8 am to 8 pm. Buses will pick-up about every 10 minutes (last bus leaves Mariposa Grove at 8 pm).
  • October 15 through November 30: 8 am to 5 pm. Buses will pick-up about every 10 minutes (last bus leaves Mariposa Grove at 5 pm).
  • December 1 through March 15: No shuttle service available.

Limited shuttle service is also available from Big Trees Lodge (formerly Wawona Hotel) during summer, between 9 am and 5 pm, with pick-ups/drop-offs about every two hours. This service is only available to visitors staying overnight in Wawona. Check with the lodge concierge for details.

Driving Your Own Vehicle

Limited parking is available for cars at the Mariposa Grove Arrival Area when the shuttle is not in operation (see shuttle hours, above). At 7:30 am, the gate at the bottom of the Mariposa Grove Road will be closed to keep vehicles off the road as the shuttle operation begins.

Cars displaying a disability placard can either drive to the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza, park in a designated space, then ride the shuttle, or they can drive up the Mariposa Grove Road and park at the arrival area or near the Grizzly Giant parking area. Parking is very limited and only available to cars displaying a disability placard.

Things to know Before you Go

  • Pets are not allowed on any trails in the Mariposa Grove. Pets are allowed in the parking areas 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, will have a selection of books, maps, general information, and gifts.
  • Bicycles are not allowed on the Mariposa Grove Road or in the Mariposa Grove.
 
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 an eight-hour tour operated by our park concessioner, Yosemite Hospitality, which visits Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

Additionally, there are guided walks through the Mariposa Grove. Refer to the Yosemite Guide for details.

Hiking

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) toop 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 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 is normally closed to cars in winter due to snow, all trails in the grove will be open in the winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing activities. 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: June 19, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

Phone:

(209) 372-0200

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