Day Hikes in Wawona and Mariposa Grove

Wawona Area Hikes

Wawona Meadow Loop (easy)

3.5 miles (5.6 km) loop; 2 hours [leashed pets allowed]
Begin at the Big Trees Lodge (formerly 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 Big Trees Lodge Store (formerly 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 Big Trees Lodge Store.

Download a self-guiding trail brochure for the Pioneer Yosemite History Center.

 

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.

 
Uppermost section of Chilnualna Falls cascades over granite. Photo by Victoria Mates.

Chilnualna Falls (strenuous)

8.2 miles (13.1 km) round-trip; 5 hours. 2,400 feet (732 m) 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.

 

Mariposa Grove Hikes

 

Big Trees Loop Trail (easy)

0.3 mile (0.5 km); 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); 1.5 to 2 hours. 300 feet (91 m) elevation gain
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 disability 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); 4 to 6 hours. 1,000 feet (305 m)
Begin at Mariposa Grove Arrival Area

From the tranquil upper portion of the grove, a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) loop takes hikers past many unique features such as the fallen Wawona Tunnel Tree, the Telescope Tree, and the Mariposa Grove Cabin.

 

Mariposa Grove Trail to Wawona Point (strenuous)

7 miles (11.3 km) round trip; 4 to 6 hours. 1,200 feet (366 m) elevation gain
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.

Last updated: June 15, 2018

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Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

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