Yosemite National Park: Mariposa Grove Loop

Check out some of the oldest trees in the world--1,000 year-old sequoias--on this 4-mile loop through southern Yosemite's Mariposa Grove.
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Check out some of the oldest trees in the world--1,000 year-old sequoias--on this 4-mile loop through southern Yosemite's Mariposa Grove.

Reaching more than 360 feet in height and 25 feet in diameter, California redwoods are signature features of Yosemite National Park. This loop through Mariposa Grove, the largest of the park’s three sequoia forests, tours hundreds of these old-growth trees, including two of the twenty-five oldest in the world.

From the visitor center on Mariposa Grove Road, follow the unnamed loop past Fallen Monarch, Bachelor and Three Graces, Grizzly Giant, and California Tunnel Tree. Climb toward the Mariposa Grove Museum, passing two adjoined trees, Faithful Couple, and Clothespin Tree. Sections of the grove and the trails may be closed for controlled burning, which allows for redwoods to reproduce.

Parking fills up quickly at Mariposa Grove; head out before 10 a.m. to avoid crowds. Otherwise, park at Wawona Store near the south entrance and take the free shuttle to the grove.

-Mapped by Dave Miller

PLAN IT

GUIDEBOOK AND MAP: The Complete Guidebook to Yosemite National Park, 6th Edition ($12.95, yosemitegifts.com). Plan other trips in the park using BACKPACKER's Yosemite National Park page.

CONDITIONS: For current conditions and updates, go to nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm.

PERMIT: The park requires a permit to hike the cables on Half Dome. A maximum of 400 permits will be issued each of these days (300 of these permits are available to dayhikers). For details, go to nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm.

Overnight camping in Yosemite National Park requires a backcountry permit. Check out the latest fees and more details at nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/permits.htm.
MORE PARK INFO: Yosemite National Park, (209) 372-020; nps.gov/yose

GPS DATA: Download tracks and waypoints, print or order custom topos, from the menu on the left.

OTHER RESOURCES

GAS
Lee Vining: Chevron
51557 Highway 395
Lee Vining, CA 93541
(760) 647-6330

Groveland: Claim Jumper Outpost
17586 Highway 120
Groveland-Big Oak Flat, CA 95305
(209) 962-7153

GEAR
Mammoth Mountaineering Supply
3189 Main St.
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
(888) 395-3951

GROCERIES
Mammoth Lakes: Vons
481 Old Mammoth Rd.
Mammoth Lakes, CA
(760) 934-4536

RESTAURANTS
Mammoth Lakes: Angel's Restaurant
20 Sierra Blvd.
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
(760) 934-7427

Curry Village: Degnan's Deli
9015 Village Dr.
Curry Village, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
(290) 372-8454

Lee Vining: Nicely's Restaurant
Highway 395 and 4th St.
Lee Vining, CA 93541
(760) 647-6477

Groveland: Cafe Charlotte
18736 Main St.
Groveland, CA 95321
(209) 962-6455

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 6.2

Waypoints

MGL001

Location: 37.501415, -119.610733

From the unnamed trailhead near the visitor center and tour kiosk, hike due east on a well-traveled path.

MGL002

Location: 37.501083, -119.609863

Reach the Fallen Monarch Tree and then begin a gradual climb up the trail. Immortalized by an 1899 photograph of horse-mounted U.S. Cavalry officers on top of the downed giant, Fallen Monarch likely fell about 300 years ago. Because sequoia bark has a high concentration of tannin, these trees decay very, very slowly.

MGL003

Location: 37.503914, -119.604607

Cross the road and pick up the trail directly to the right. Pass the Bachelor and Three Graces.

MGL004

Location: 37.503388, -119.601166

Reach the Grizzly Giant, one of the largest and oldest sequoias in the world. Follow the trail around to the left of the tree and head northeast.

MGL005

Location: 37.504841, -119.600108

Pass the California Tunnel Tree. In the late 19th century, the base of massive redwood was burrowed so that stagecoaches could pass underneath it. Stay left @ the T-junction. Follow the trail as it curves right and then cross the road.

MGL006

Location: 37.505543, -119.598595

After crossing the road, turn left up the trail. The pathway banks around the bottom of a hill, then heads north.

MGL007

Location: 37.509865, -119.60408

Find two sequoias joined at the base, appropriately named Faithful Couple. Bear right @ the T-junction and hike northeast.

MGL008

Location: 37.510265, -119.602859

Climb past Clothespin Tree. Its tall, narrow tunnel is the result of naturally occurring fire. Follow the path as it winds toward the Mariposa Grove Museum.

MGL009

Location: 37.512928, -119.601547

Go straight at the 4-way junction, following the trail past restrooms and a meadow. Watch for white-tailed deer.

MGL010

Location: 37.513722, -119.599007

Learn about the giant sequoias at the Mariposa Grove Museum. When ready, retrace your steps to Faithful Couple.

MGL011

Location: 37.509794, -119.604378

Bear left @ the Y-junction, follow signs to the parking lot. The trail descends through juvenile sequoias, sugar pines and young cedar trees.

MGL012

Location: 37.507633, -119.609428

Go left @ 3-way intersection.

MPG013

Location: 37.506645, -119.608917

Bear right @ the 3-way intersection.

MPG014

Location: 37.502682, -119.610084

Reach the parking lot and the end of the loop.

Sequoia Grove

Location: 37.513309, -119.600014

© Dave Miller

Trailhead

Location: 37.501377, -119.610313

© Dave Miller

Burn

Location: 37.502861, -119.607056

© Dave Miller

Controlled Burn

Location: 37.502975, -119.605858

© Dave Miller

Bachelor

Location: 37.504078, -119.604553

The Bachelor and Three Graces. © Dave Miller

Grizzly Giant

Location: 37.5037, -119.601296

© Dave Miller

California Tunnel Tree

Location: 37.505051, -119.600143

© Dave Miller

Faithful Couple

Location: 37.509838, -119.604469

© Dave Miller

Clothespin Tree

Location: 37.510365, -119.602615

© Dave Miller

Museum Trail

Location: 37.51318, -119.601425

© Dave Miller

Snowfall

Location: 37.513393, -119.60067

© Dave Miller

Mariposa Grove Museum

Location: 37.513573, -119.59906

© Dave Miller