Note: Mariposa Grove access will be limited for the next 2 years (2015-2016) as the roads are being removed and trails rebuilt. Work begins in late spring 2015 (access is always limited in the winter, if it snows). Some time in 2016 the new shuttle will begin operating. During this time access to the upper grove will be possible via a long hike.
Mariposa grove was used as a campground for many years until the damage that such activities cause to the trees became obvious to everyone. Today the grove is accessible by trails and a tram (open truck, much like some of the valley tours) to the museum near the top.
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 parking lot 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 has fallen (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 for those walking, the total trail distance is somewhat more), is accessible by 2 trails, the road (closed to private vehicles) was used by the shuttle/tram tour, but that will change with the trail reconstruction. 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 is always limited, given the general park visitation and the relative closeness of Mariposa to outside accomodations. Use the shuttle from Wawona. (When it reopens, the shuttle will be the only way in.)
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 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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