Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Hike Guide
|In This Guide|
|Total Distance||7 miles (11.3 km)|
|Hike Time||4 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||1,590 feet (485m)|
|Highest Elevation||6,810 feet (2076m)|
|Fees & Permits||Park Entry Fee|
|Alerts & Closures (?)||Yosemite National Park|
Nestled in the southern, less-visited part of Yosemite National Park, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias hike takes you on a tour through a grove of 500 mature Giant Sequoia trees, including some that are 2,000 years old. The Mariposa Grove was first protected by Abraham Lincoln in 1864, added as a National Park in 1906, and in 2019 reopened after an extensive restoration. The 7 mile Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Trail hits all of the major attractions in the grove. It’s got a little bit of uphill, but in general, is pretty easy and offers great scenery for the effort.
Where is the Mariposa Grove Trail?
Okay, so parking and getting to the trailhead can be tricky, so please read this section carefully.
- Your best move, which I highly recommend, is to get to the Mariposa Grove at sunrise and do the hike then. If you arrive before 730am, you can drive right up to the trailhead and park in the small lot there. Use the trailhead address for the Welcome Plaza below, and then go straight up Mariposa Grove Road until you reach the parking area and bathrooms. You’ll beat the crowds and enjoy the grove and Giant Sequoias peacefully.
- If you get here after 730am, the park closes the entrance gate to Mariposa Grove Road, and you have to park at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Center (address below). There is a huge parking lot with 300 spaces, but it can still fill up by mid-morning, which gives you an idea of the crowds that will be at the grove. If the lot is full, people come and go all the time, so just wait for a spot to open. From the Welcome Plaza you take a shuttle bus to the trailhead (and back). The buses run every 10-15 minutes.
- In the winter Mariposa Grove Road is closed (check current conditions here). You can walk the 2 miles up the road to the grove after parking at the Welcome Plaza.
Use this trailhead address:
Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza, Wawona Road, Yosemite National Park, 95389, CA
Gear for the Hike
I recommend light hiking gear for this hike. Having a backpack and at least 1L of water will make the hike enjoyable. The trail surface is good but can get muddy, so trail runners or hiking shoes are a good move. You can also do this in fitness clothing if you don’t have hiking gear. It’s a longer hike, so take some snacks. The vita at Wawona Point is a great place for a picnic.
The Most Comfortable Hiking Shoe Ever
For most people, the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 (Women: REI | Amazon + Men: REI | Amazon) is a solid choice that will leave your feet feeling great at the end of any hike. The feel is cushy and light, and if it had a car equivalent, this would be a Cadillac or Mercedes Sedan. The grip is great and they work great on the trail. It’s a favorite of PCT and AT hikers for a good reason!
Stay Safe Out of Cell Phone Range
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Garmin InReach Mini (REI | Amazon | My Review) fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing.
Gaia GPS Mapping App
Smartphones are not backcountry instruments, but almost everyone has one today. And they all have GPS onboard. So I recommend getting a good GPS hiking app like Gaia GPS that supports offline maps. Just make sure to put your phone in airplane mode so the battery doesn’t drain. GaiaGPS not only has smartphone and tablet apps, but also an online planning tool. You can drag the GPX hike tracks from my (or any) guides into the online map and they will sync to your phone. You can also check for wildfires, weather, snow, and choose from dozens of map types with a premium membership (HikingGuy readers get up to 40% off here). Note that I also carry a paper map with me in case the phone dies or gets smashed.
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated February 2021.
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
Mariposa Grove Trail Maps
This hiking guide follows the route of the Mariposa Grove Trail, the longest hike in the grove. The trail has a fair amount of twists and turns, so saving this guide on your phone or printing it out will be helpful. If you have a GPS, I strongly recommend loading my GPX track (below) and bringing it along. It’s good to cross-check your position on the GPS if any part of the trail confuses you.
Download the Hike GPX FileView a Printable PDF Hike Map
How are you going to navigate this hike?
To start, you should always have a paper map and compass. And it helps to print this guide out or save it on your phone. I highly recommend a GPS as well. I use the Garmin Fenix 6 Smart GPS watch ( REI | Amazon | My Review) with maps (or the more affordable Garmin Instinct). The GPS smartwatch is nice because it’s rugged, works if your phone dies, and also has a billion other features like sleep tracking, workout recording, etc.
Quick Hike Brief
“He is the best mountaineer I ever met, and one of the kindest and most amiable of all my mountain friends.” – John Muir on Galen Clark, First Guardian of the Mariposa Grove
- One of the first gringos to show up here in 1857 was Galen Clark. Galen Clark was instrumental in getting the Mariposa Grove protected, and then acted as guardian and tour guide here until his death.
- The Mariposa Grove was first protected under the Yosemite Grant Act, signed by Abe Lincoln in 1864 during the Civil War. The first park commissioner was Frederick Law Olmsted who designed New York’s Central Park.
- Giant Sequoias are the largest living tree, but not the tallest or oldest. The tallest are the coastal redwoods and the oldest are the ancient bristlecone pines which are a few hours away. The tallest tree in the park is 290 feet and the oldest is 1,800 years old. Still not too shabby.
- Cars used to be able to drive through the grove and you can imagine the damage that was done. The grove was closed in 2015 for a massive restoration. The trails you see now were opened in 2018.
- Don’t leave the trail, take any cones, or pick any bark off the trees. Help protect this special place.
Mariposa Grove Trail Directions
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Turn by Turn Directions
After you visit the point, walk back down the road to the last intersection.
This guide last updated on September 17, 2020. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.
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