To avoid the biggest crowds at the Mariposa Grove, drive northwest of Yosemite Valley to the Crane Flat area. Off Highway 120, two different trailheads leading to more remote groves of giant sequoias. If you go early enough in the morning, you may be lucky enough to get some quiet time alone by yourself to contemplate the giant trees.
The Tuolumne and Merced groves are closed to vehicles and accessible by steep paved trails. In winter, the trails through Tuolumne and Merced groves are marked for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Interpretive signs in Tuolumne Grove explain the natural history and ecology of giant sequoias.
Take the two-mile round trip hike to Tuolumne Grove which is the shorter and more popular of the two trails. Be prepared for a steep downhill walk to the grove, followed by a stiff uphill climb back to your car. The trailhead is just east of Crane Flat gas station, on the north side of Tioga Road. The trail follows an old park road that once connected to Big Oak Flat.
Don’t miss the Dead Giant, a hollow-out fallen giant sequoia (also called the Tunnel Tree), which you can walk through.