Mariposa grove was used as a campground for many years until the damage that such activities cause to the trees became obvious to everyone.
The Mariposa Grove work is done. The parking lot among the sequoias is gone and access is now via shuttle bus from the entrance area. Trail maps are on signs and online, but they take reducing paper seriously and so they aren't available on paper. The lower grove is an easy hike, with handicap parking also near the Grizzly Giant. The upper grove is trail access only (no motorized tours anymore).
2020 has been strange. The COVID closures hit in March, then reopening was with limited services -- i.e. no shuttles in Mariposa or the valley. The grove is now a long walk. Fires south of the park have kept Mariposa access closed through September due to smoke.
Some people confuse Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) and Sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum), but they really have nothing in common other than being large trees with reddish wood that grow in California and have been around a looooong time. Sequoia wood is not particularly useful, which is why they survived the era of cutting down anything that didn't move (though many were cut). It doesn't burn easily, it doesn't rot quickly, but it shatters when the tree falls after cuting. It makes more sense to confuse Sequoias and Cedars (but they aren't the same either).
|One of the named Sequoias that is fairly close
to the shuttle stop, and handicap parking, is the Grizzly Giant
(31m in circumference).
It is close to the California Tunnel Tree (a tunnel you can walk through).
The Wawona Tunnel Tree is 500 feet higher
up the hill and fell in 1969 (it was a drive-thru).
Early in the walk you pass the Fallen Monarch,
and a more recently unnamed fallen tree of about the same size.
The Upper Grove, about 500 feet above the Lower Grove (500 feet up on the trail, the total trail distance is somewhat more), is accessible by 2 trails. No access on the road (except it is still used for access to the communication facility on the peak). The museum at the top provides an review of the history of the grove. By walking, you see the deer and very rarely a bear.
Parking for the shuttle is ample most of the time, and the shuttle from the entrance is the only way in (except very early or late in the day).
A more recent fallen monarch
Snow in June
|Clark Cabin is the oldest of the structures used for the Hotel/Lodge at Wawona. At least it has been remodeled and rooms have baths. Some of the rooms in the historic structures still use the central shower and bath facilities. The location is stil Wawona, as is the private inholdings still in the area, the hotel name has changed due to issues of how much a trademark is worth.||The large meadow at Wawona currently has a golf course. If the availability of golf determines whether someone comes to Yosemite, their priorities are toatlly out of order and maybe they shouldn't bother with the trip.|
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