Less often visited than Yosemite National Park’s Mariposa and Tuolumne groves, the Merced Grove is a smaller grouping of giant sequoias around a historic log cabin.
There are only about 20 giant sequoias here, which is a bonus in that most people skip this grove and visit the Mariposa or Tuolumne groves instead. You’ll find this area far less-crowded than Yosemite’s other two groves.
The trailhead is on the south side of Big Oak Flat Road, west of Crane Flat as you head toward the park’s Big Oak Flat entrance station. It’s a three-mile round-trip hike, losing some elevation on your way down into the grove, then working pretty hard to regain it on the way back up.
In 1915, the Merced Grove hosted Yosemite’s first ranger station, an entrance checking station. But in the 1930s, the entrance moved down the road, the building was torn down and the Merced Grove Ranger Station was built amid the giant sequoias. The cabin has a living room, bedroom and kitchen, and uphill are two outhouses. This log cabin was a summer retreat for park superintendents and still stands today.
Just for Fun
Enjoy these vintage postcards.