Results 1-7of 7 Reviews
October 17, 2008
From journal California Bold Rush
November 26, 2005
From journal Heaven on Earth
by Adventures With Adam
New York, New York
July 23, 2004
The Tuolumne Grove of sequoias, near Crane Flat, is closest to the valley, but Mariposa Grove at the park's south end is more impressive with more, older and bigger trees. It lies just over 30 miles south of the valley, but allow more than an hour each way to navigate winding, hilly Wawona Road. If you enter the park from the south, make this your first stop.
Try to arrive early in the day, as the parking lot fills up quickly. Several big trees are visible from the lot, but you'll have to walk a couple miles along the nature trail to see the most famous trees. Be prepared for some uphill terrain, although it will seem fairly mild if you've already conquered the walls of Yosemite Valley.
The greatest of these sequoias is the Grizzly Giant, about a mile up the path. At an estimated 2,700 years old, it measures 209 feet high, 92.5 feet in circumference and 33 feet in diameter. Visitors often look for the "drive-through" tree, but this sequoia fell decades ago. You can now see it in its recumbent position. But you can still walk through the popular California tree.
One of the most remarkable things you'll notice about these trees is the amount of scorching on them. Their bark is flame retardant, so in the course of their long lives, sequoias will likely endure many fires. They also resist disease very well, contributing to their longevity. However, even though they are the largest trees, they possess rather shallow root systems, making them susceptible to toppling. Hence, some of the trees like the Grizzly Giant are surrounded by fencing to prevent visitors from trampling the roots.
I caught part of a ranger talk and learned more about the sequoias. The first white travelers to see these trees were both awed and frightened by the forest. If the trees were this large, then maybe the animals were too, they reasoned. Once these fears were disproved, they looked at the trees with dollar signs in their eyes; just one of these giants could provide as much timber as dozens of ordinary trees. Fortunately, the grove was soon protected by a federal land grant, which led to the eventual formation of the park.
Give yourself a couple hours to enjoy Mariposa Grove. If time allows, on the way back to Yosemite Valley, turn off on Glacier Point Road, take it to the end and enjoy one of the most inspiring views of Yosemite.
From journal Adventures in Yosemite National Park
Alrewas, South Africa
October 25, 2004
From journal Yosemite, the land God made
Mays Landing, New Jersey
March 1, 2010
From journal Yosemite! Such Beauty!
February 24, 2003
These trees have been around about 70 million years. To put this into perpective, dinosaurs (and many other varieties of living things) went extinct around 66 million years ago, but the giant sequoias survived. Giant sequoias are the largest single organisms ever to live on earth. The oldest giant sequoia is the Grizzly Giant, found in the Mariposa Grove--it is about 2,700 years old?!
The Mariposa Grove is open year-round; however, the road closes with the first significant snow and reopens in late spring (depending on conditions). Most people visit in the summer. If you visit during the winter, bring along your snowshoes or skis! Keep in mind, when the road's closed you'll have to walk about 2 miles to get to the grove.
There are a few ways to enjoy the park. You can walk around the park on your own, which takes around 90 minutes, or go with a resident ranger, who will point out all the sights for you, or go by tram. Trams leave the car park every 20 minutes and take a 1-hour trip around the park with a guide narrating and pointing out interesting trees and relating facts and figures. You can get off the tram whenever you want and catch another tram later at no extra cost. They pass each drop point about every 20 minutes, so you are never left waiting for long. I would definitely recommend the tram tour, as you get to see all the park and learn as you go. Well worth it.
You might be wondering--why would I want to see a lot of big trees? Well, there are trees and there are trees, and these are TREES! It is hard to appreciate just how big and magnificent these are until you stand at the side of one or walk through the base of one. Go there and prepare to be amazed!
From journal Yosemite Wonders
los angeles, California
April 23, 2005
Two things to consider:
1. In April, you can enjoy quiet as well as beauty in the grove, as the Tree Tram, with its loudspeaker narration, isn't in operation. (How annoying would that be?!)
2. If you've already seen the giant sequoias in northern California or even been to Muir Woods north of San Francisco, there really is no reason to visit Mariposa Grove. There are so many other places in the park to enjoy that are more unique.
From journal April in Yosemite