Hike: Mariposa Grove Loop

Check out some of the oldest trees in the world (1,000 year-old sequoias) on this 4-mile loop through southern Yosemite's Mariposa Grove.
By Staff ,

The Grizzly Giant sequoia tree in the Mariposa Grove. Photo by Gloria Wadzinski

The Mariposa Grove is closed for renovations through 2017.

By Backpacker Magazine

(This hike is a 4-mile loop)

Check out some of the oldest trees in the world (1,000 year-old sequoias) on this 4-mile loop through southern Yosemite's Mariposa Grove. Reaching more than 360 feet in height and 25 feet in diameter, California redwoods are signature features of Yosemite National Park. This loop through Mariposa Grove, the largest of the park's three sequoia forests, tours hundreds of these old-growth trees, including two of the twenty-five oldest in the world.

From the visitor center on Mariposa Grove Road, follow the unnamed loop past Fallen Monarch, Bachelor and Three Graces, Grizzly Giant, and California Tunnel Tree. Climb toward the Mariposa Grove Museum, passing two adjoined trees, Faithful Couple, and Clothespin Tree.

Sections of the grove and the trails may be closed for controlled burning, which allows for redwoods to reproduce.Parking fills up quickly at Mariposa Grove; head out before 10 a.m. to avoid crowds. Otherwise, park at Wawona Store near the south entrance and take the free shuttle to the grove.

-Mapped by Dave Miller

DIRECTIONS AND WAYPOINTS TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR WAY:TO TRAILHEAD: From Fish Camp: Take CA-41 Northeast. At 2.3 miles, reach the Ranger Station South Entrance and turn right onto Mariposa Grove Road. Follow the road east. Parking for Mariposa Grove is on the left side of the road.

Point Name: MGL001: From the unnamed trailhead near the visitor center and tour kiosk, hike due east on a well-traveled path. Location: 37.50142°, -119.61073°

Point Name: MGL002: Reach the Fallen Monarch Tree and then begin a gradual climb up the trail. Immortalized by an 1899 photograph of horse-mounted U.S. Cavalry officers on top of the downed giant, Fallen Monarch likely fell about 300 years ago. Because sequoia bark has a high concentration of tannin, these trees decay very, very slowly. Location: 37.50108°, -119.60986°

Point Name: MGL003: Cross the road and pick up the trail directly to the right. Pass the Bachelor and Three Graces. Location: 37.50391°, -119.60461°

Point Name: MGL004: Reach the Grizzly Giant, one of the largest and oldest sequoias in the world. Follow the trail around to the left of the tree and head northeast. Location: 37.50339°, -119.60117°

Point Name: MGL005: Pass the California Tunnel Tree. In the late 19th century, the base of massive redwood was burrowed so that stagecoaches could pass underneath it. Stay left @ the T-junction. Follow the trail as it curves right and then cross the road. Location: 37.50484°, -119.60011°Point Name: MGL006: After crossing the road, turn left up the trail. The pathway banks around the bottom of a hill, then heads north. Location: 37.50554°, -119.59859°

Point Name: MGL007: Find two sequoias joined at the base, appropriately named Faithful Couple. Bear right @ the T-junction and hike northeast. Location: 37.50986°, -119.60408°

Point Name: MGL008: Climb past Clothespin Tree. Its tall, narrow tunnel is the result of naturally occurring fire. Follow the path as it winds toward the Mariposa Grove Museum. Location: 37.51027°, -119.60286°

Point Name: MGL009: Go straight at the 4-way junction, following the trail past restrooms and a meadow. Watch for white-tailed deer. Location: 37.51293°, -119.60155°

Point Name: MGL010: Learn about the giant sequoias at the Mariposa Grove Museum. When ready, retrace your steps to Faithful Couple. Location: 37.51372°, -119.59901°

Point Name: MGL011: Bear left @ the Y-junction, follow signs to the parking lot. The trail descends through juvenile sequoias, sugar pines and young cedar trees. Location: 37.50979°, -119.60438°

Point Name: MGL012: Go left @ 3-way intersection. Location: 37.50763°, -119.60943°

Point Name: MPG013: Bear right @ the 3-way intersection. Location: 37.50665°, -119.60892°

Point Name: MPG014: Reach the parking lot and the end of the loop. Location: 37.50268°, -119.61008°