Yosemite's Mariposa Grove Of Giant Sequoia Trees

Mariposa Grove is home to the Giant Sequoia Trees. The Giant Sequoias in Yosemite are some of the oldest and largest living things on earth. This grove has more than 600 Giant Sequoias! The earths largest and oldest Sequoias have been growing here for centuries. It is easy to get here if you take

Highway 41, South Entrance to Yosemite National Park. When you get to the gate you can go left or you can go right. Going left takes you to Yosemite Valley.

Going left takes you to Yosemite Valley. Going right takes you to Mariposa Grove. Two miles from the gate will put you right in one of my favorite places...the heart of the Giant Sequoias grove.

When you get to the end of the road, you will come to a parking lot. From there, I recommend that you can take a tram ride through the grove. You will have a guide tell you all about the history of these Giant Sequoias. Audio headsets are available in several languages if you do not know English. This guided tour is about 1 hour and 15 minutes long.

Open tram ride through the big trees

If you are in good shape, you can walk the big tree loop. It is about a 6 mile loop if you want to see all the main trees. My kids and I find it to be a moderate hike and most of the hike is well shaded. The trail is well marked and we think it is a hike worth taking if you are up to it. If you choose to walk, you will pretty much have this beautiful forest completely to yourself :)

The average height of these large Giant Sequoias is about 275 feet and some have been found to be more than 325 feet high! There is a magnificent smell in the air from these beautiful Sequoias.

The outside of these giants are very thick. In fact, they can get up to 25 feet thick! They are a spongy bark and made with tannin-rich wood.

This bark retards forest fires and enables the giant sequoias to survive most forest fires.

Great Quotes By John Muir


The Grizzly Giant is the oldest of the Yosemite big trees here in this grove. It is estimated to be 2,700 years old! The Grizzly Giant is 224 feet high. Its circumference of its limbs 20 1/2 feet around. The large elbowed branch is 95 feet off the ground! The base of this Grizzly is almost 31 feet across. The top of this tree has been struck several times by lightning. The trunk has been scarred by countless fires...but it still stands!


How do you know how old the Mariposa Grove big trees are? Well, I tell my kids that when it is cut down (or falls down) we examine the rings. One ring represents one year of growth. These Sequoias run 50 to 60 rings per inch. So, if you count 600 rings on a fallen giant, you will know that it had lived for 600 years!


This is also the grove where the famous tunneled Sequoia (drive-though it) is. The drive through giant fell during the heavy snow in the winter of 1968-1969.

Also in the Mariposa Grove is the California Tunnel Redwood, a still-standing walk-through Redwood near the Grizzly Giant. The hole was originally cut for horses and carriages to pass through. The California Tunnel Redwood is located 0.75 mile from the parking lot.

My family and I find it fascinating that these giant sequoias do not have a deep root system. Their roots go two to six feet under the ground. They can stand with a shallow root system because the roots spread out around the tree more than 150 feet. This gives it stability to hold up the massive trunk. The roots spread out and come to the surface to get water. It always amazes me that when one of these giants fall, they shatter because their wood is so brittle.

The telescope tree is a giant sequoia tree that was struck by lightning and almost consumed by fire. The fire hollowed out the inside of the tree and lightning took the top of the tree off. I will tell you that the tree is alive and thriving :) You can stand inside the tree and look up to the sky.

Inside the tree...looking up

6 of us stood comfortably inside this tree :)





My interesting fact:

The tunnel tree was originally tunneled out in 1881. Five brothers were paid $75 to cut an opening large enough for a stagecoach to go through! The Yosemite Big Trees are very well known for the famous tunnel tree.

Our Pictures Of Hiking Mariposa Grove:

Here is another one of my interesting facts: Yosemite Rangers wear a belt buckles and hatbands that have the sequoia cones embossed on them. The trees represent longevity and strength.

There is a gift shop and restrooms located near the parking lot area.

There are three groves of trees in Yosemite National Park.

The Mariposa Grove is just one grove. It is the biggest though. Learn about the Merced Grove and the Tuolumne Grove of trees here in Yosemite Natl Park.


Can You See Mariposa Grove All Year Long?

The road is open during the summer and fall months. But the road is closed when there is snow. When it is closed we like to walk the road and still go and enjoy these trees. We put on our snow boots or snow shoes to get us there.

A lot of people strap on snowshoes or cross country skis and see the big trees in Mariposa Grove during the winter. The area is a great snow play area for the kids!







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