July 5, 2015 will be the last day that visitors can tour the southern sequoia grove inside Yosemite National Park. The popular Mariposa Grove features 500 stunning specimens of giant sequoia trees including the Bachelor and Three Graces, The Grizzly Giant, and the California Tunnel Tree.
150 years of human development have taken their toll, and these trees - some of the oldest and largest living things in the world - are vulnerable.
The restoration will bring a new experience to Yosemite visitors. Gone will be the tram and parking lots. They will be replaced with wilderness. The main transportation to the bottom of the grove will be by shuttle bus. Raised boardwalks will travel over sensitive habitat to enable visitors to immerse themselves in the forest while safeguarding the trees' shallow root systems.
Handicap access will be provided to those with handicap permits. It will provide access to the lower part of the grove as far as the base of the Grizzly Giant. Otherwise, the only way to see the majority of the sequoia grove and the museum will be to hoof it along a 4-mile loop trail.