Submitted By: Sara Jones, Data Entry Assistant
Few experiences are as humbling as exploring Mariposa Grove at mid-morning. These great trees with their wizened trunks and proud branches beckon you to a place untouched by civilization. For contemplative types like me, the grove trail is the perfect place for an early morning saunter. If you lean your head back, you can catch rays of light twinkling through the high branches of the Sequoias. The fall is my favorite time to view this lofty forest, as the autumn light radiates a golden glow from above.
Mariposa Grove is located about two miles from the south entrance to the park. If you are staying at the Wawona Hotel, I recommend stopping by the Wawona Convenience Store to grab a muffin and cup of coffee before catching the shuttle to the grove. If you would prefer to drive, there are two main parking lots located next to the trailhead. Remember to layer up, as the early morning chill quickly wears away!
Tips for the Trail
Plan to arrive just after sunrise, when the sun is beginning to peek through the branches, and the solitude of the forest is interrupted only by the subtle creaking of animals’ footsteps. The lower loop trail (2.2 mi/3.5 km) is a short, low-impact hike with big rewards. Babbling brooks wind around pathways, and wildflowers are painted across the landscape. While many claim the Grizzly Giant to be the “big thrill” (and it is amazing!), I am always sure to visit my friends, The Bachelor and Three Graces. These whimsical sequoias also provide the perfect photo opportunity for any group with one gentleman and three ladies!