Everything to Know About the Mariposa Grove Hiking Trails

If you’re a nature-lover, you would be head-over-heels with the sight of Mariposa Grove Yosemite. It is the home of giant sequoias, which are the largest trees around the world. What’s more, you can witness the most famous among all—the 1,800-years-old Grizzly Giant. Journeying through the Mariposa Grove trails is one great way to experience nature. Know more about hiking and these majestic views.

Most of the hiking trails in Mariposa Grove are currently open. Due to COVID, you’ll have to walk for two miles from the parking area. Most transportation services are not operating. If you plan to hike for the weekend, you may check the NPS website. They keep you updated with the trails’ current conditions. Despite this, it’s still worth the effort to see what the adventure that the Mariposa Grove hiking trails offer.

Before packing your things up, it’s good to learn everything you need to know about the Mariposa Grove hiking trails. In this blog, we will share the directions, must-try trails, and many more with you. 

To have a sneak peek of this majestic trail, you can watch YOSEMITECONSERVANCY’s YouTube video:

How to Get to Mariposa Grove Hiking Trails

If you come from Oakhurst, drive North on Highway 41, leading to the Yosemite National Park. Getting here is simple because the Mariposa Grove sits at the southern entrance of the park. Upon passing through the park gates, you will easily see the parking area on your right side. We can assure you that there are a lot of parking spaces in this place.

More so, if your starting point is at the Yosemite Valley, you have to drive out of the park through the Northside. From there, move forward until you reach the Highway 41 junction. Head to the south through Wawona until you arrive at the park’s southern entrance.

During pre-pandemic, the NPS provides shuttle services from the trailhead into the grove. Yet, COVID restricted this service. They are not currently operating. Hence, you will have to start hiking from the trailhead for two miles to reach the grove. 

Mariposa Grove Best Day Hikes

Hiking trails at Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias range from easy to difficult. Hence, no matter what fitness level or goal you have, this will be one of your best hikes in Yosemite. We hope you include the following in your list of must-hike trails!

1. Big Trees Loop

This loop twists through the forests with various giant sequoias. It highlights the Fallen Monarch. Discover interpretive boards on the life and environment of giant sequoias. The Big Trees Loop is level and is wheelchair accessible. It is simple to follow. 

What’s more, it is an ideal path to see trees if you have kids searching for a short trail. This loop is the easiest among the Mariposa Grove hiking trails. It is only a 3-mile flat trail that you can enjoy with your family and kids!

2. Grizzly Giant Loop

After passing through the Big Trees Loop, you will arrive at the Grizzly Giant Loop. It starts along the Mariposa Grove Trail. There it’s leading to the scenic views of the Grizzly Giant. Then, the Bachelor and Three Graces, and the California Tunnel Tree.

If you plan to proceed, you should allow at least an hour or two to enjoy this 2-mile loop. It has medium difficulty, with a 300-feet elevation gain. 

3. Guardians Loop 

This trail is a strenuous one, which you can walk for 4 to 6 hours. The 6.5-mile trip starts at the arrival area. It leads to the famous tunnel trees, Telescope tree, and Mariposa Grove cabin. 

4. Mariposa Grove to Wawona Point

This trail begins at the south end of Mariposa Grove. After passing through the famous trees, you will have to climb ahead to other huge sequoias. These giants are known as the Faithful Couple and the Clothespin tree. From this point, you will walk another 2 miles to get to Wawona Point.

If you keep going, you can witness the breathtaking sight of the Wawona dome. See also Wawona Valley and the Merced river’s South Fork. This trail is the hardest of all. It will take you 7 miles to reach the end, with a 1,200-feet elevation gain. 

Highlights of the Mariposa Grove Hike Trail

Hiking at the Mariposa Grove trail rewards you with physical and health benefits. What’s more, it will introduce you to Yosemite’s greatest wonders. Indeed, you will not reach the end of the trail without being awestruck! Here’s what you can expect to see.

1. Fallen Monarch

The Fallen Monarch is the first tree to welcome you on your journey. Find it through the Mariposa Grove hiking trail. This giant tree tumbled centuries ago. Yet, thanks to tannic acid existing in the woods that preserved this historical tree. 

2. Grizzly Giant

The Grizzly Giant is the eldest among all the giants. It’s been standing tall in the Mariposa Grove for over 1,800 years. By giant, we mean that one of its branches is bigger than all the other non-sequoias in the grove. Also, its fire scars at the base are huge enough to offer shade to mule deer during the harsh summer. 

3. California Tunnel Tree

This famous tunnel was carved in 1985 to let horse-drawn podiums pass through. In fact, you can still pass through this tunnel tree during the day. It’s just a few walks beyond the Grizzly Giant. 

4. Faithful Couple

Some felt content and turned back after seeing the California Tunnel. But, if you’re more adventurous than them, you can walk for another half mile to see the Faithful Couple. Like a sweet couple, two sequoia trees grew together and merged over the years. Until they have formed a huge trunk. Indeed, nothing’s sweeter than growing together like the Faithful Couple.

5. Clothespin Tree

You’ll find the California Tunnel amazing and more if you see the Clothespin tree. Man did not intentionally carve this tunnel tree. Instead, it naturally carved tunnels brought forth by the fires over the centuries. You won’t believe that the opening is even wider than a car!

6. Telescope Tree

If there’s any tree that could withstand the test of time, it is the Telescope tree. Like the Clothespin tree, it stands still to survive. When you stand inside the tunnel, you can look up and see the sky through. It’s as if you’re looking at the world from the perspective of a strong tree. 

7. The Upper Grove and the Cabin

This place is one of the many reasons why people hike the Mariposa Grove hiking trail. A cabin served as a small museum. It informs visitors about the trees and the surrounding ecosystem. 

Mariposa Grove Regulation

When you visit the Mariposa grove trails, you must be aware of the regulations. Knowing these policies will keep you from the hassles as you enjoy your escapade. 

  • Usually, the NPS allows pets on a leash in these areas. Such as the parking areas and on the paved road near the Grizzly Giant. However, in 2021, pets are not allowed in Mariposa Grove hiking trails nor anywhere around it. 
  • The only area for horses is on the Perimeter Trail. You can’t try horseback riding anywhere around the grove.
  • You can only access the drinking water at the welcome plaza or the arrival area. Also, there are no food services inside Mariposa Grove. Make sure to plan!
  • Before the pandemic, visitors can use their bicycles in certain areas. But, the NPS implement no cycling policy beyond the arrival area. Hence, you can leave your bikes in the parking area.

Guided Day Hike Tours in Mariposa Grove

Guided tours are another great way to experience hassle-free hiking. That is why Yosemite National Park Hiking Tours provide multi-day packages for visitors. You can enjoy meals, accommodations, and a professional tour guide. You can also be in full gear as they provide you with backpacks, crampons, and trekking poles. 

Professional tour guides share their knowledge, personal and experiences. They have all passion through the day hike. So, it is easier for you to discover new things if you try guided day hike tours in Mariposa Grove. 

Conclusion

Indeed, nature-lovers who love hiking will fall in love with the beauty of Mariposa Grove. The refreshing giant sequoia trees bring the experience to a new level! Fortunately, all Mariposa Grove hiking trails are currently open. Yet, you only have to put effort into walking to get to the grove. By doing so, you’ll get your reward with four hiking trails that range from easy to strenuous. Choose your battle!

Aside from the hiking trails, Mariposa Grove also has a lot of wonders to show. The huge sequoia trees you can witness have historical backgrounds you will love. Ensure that you read the regulations and plan well if you go alone or on a guided day hike tour.