If you are thinking of touring the West Coast, Yosemite National Park is an essential stop to make. And in it is Mariposa Grove, a place full of magic and where giant sequoias are found.
This area, Mariposa Grove, is located south of Yosemite. It is a good option if you do not plan to visit Sequoia National Park.
In this post I will tell you how to get to Mariposa Grove from San Francisco, what to see in the park and some travel tips.
Mariposa Grove is a grove of giant sequoias located next to the south entrance of Yosemite National Park. This area was protected from the year 1864, when President Lincoln signed a law that reserved Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley for public use, tourism and recreation.
In 1890 Yosemite National Park was declared a National Park and in 1906 Mariposa Grove was included.
MARIPOSA GROVE, IN SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK
How to Get to Mariposa Grove
Mariposa Grove is located in Mariposa County in California. It is near the town of Wawona and about 340km from San Francisco.
By rental car from San Francisco
To get there from San Francisco you must exit the Bay Bridge, cross Iakland and take 580 East towards Stockton. You have to go through Tracy, Modesto, Turlock and Merced. From there you take the 140 to the city of Mariposa and then the 49 to Oakhurst. Oakhurst is only 30km from Mariposa Grove, and if you need to stay in the area this is a good option. We spent the night here, to get up early and take advantage of it from the first hour. From San Francisco without traffic it will take about 4 hours.
By public transportation from San Francisco
You will have to take a train in Emerville to the city of Fresno (it is about 4.40 hours) and from Fresno there is a bus that goes to Mariposa Grove (Yarts).
From other destinations
From Los Angeles or Las Vegas, forget about taking a direct route here. There are many changes of transport or many hours by car. Better plan your route to get here eventually but not directly.
From other destinations in Yosemite National Park there are several buses in case you need it, and if you go by rental car it is easy.
What to see in Mariposa Grove
Once you arrive at Mariposa Grove from the south, the first thing you will find is the visitor center, where you must buy the ticket or show your ticket for all the national parks.
As soon as you pass the toll, you will find the Welcome Plaza. It is the visitor center. In the center you can request information about the park, go to the bathroom, do some shopping and where you will have to park. The Free shuttle bus leaves from here every 10 minutes. It is the transfer that will take you to the entrance of Mariposa Grove, since you are not allowed to access it with your vehicle.
When you arrive at the entrance of the park you will see that there is a map with the 4 routes suggested by the park, where the route, kilometers, difficulty...
Trails in Mariposa Grove
Big Trees Loop Trail. Easy. 0.5 km. From 30 to 45'. Wheelchair accessible.
Grizzly Giant Loop Trail. Easy. 3.2 km. From 1h 30′ to 2h. The most popular.
Guardians Loop Trail. Moderate. 10.5 km. From 4 to 6 a.m.
Butterfly Grove Trail. Moderate. 11.3 km. From 4 to 6 a.m.
The first two routes, being the simplest and with fewer kilometers, are the most popular and crowded.
As soon as you start walking you will see an incredible landscape of huge trees. You will be amazed by the height of the dozens of giant sequoias that welcome you to Mariposa Grove.
One of the places to see in Mariposa Grove is The Fallen Monarch. It's a huge sequoia root that has been dead for centuries. Its roots are enormous, and it gives you a more direct idea of the giants that these trees are.
Any of the routes you choose allows you to get off the route a bit and do alternative water trekking. First thing in the morning, with the morning mist, these paths have a very mystical and magical air.
One of the most significant redwoods in the park is The Grizzly Giant. It is approximately 1800 years old. It is almost 64 meters high and has a base of 30 meters. This is the second largest redwood in the Mariposa Grove.
On the Grizzly Giant Loop trail you will find The California Tunnel Tree. This huge sequoia that has a tunnel at its base that you can go through. This tunnel was made in 1895 as a claim for tourists. At first it was also possible to cross it by car, but nowadays it is only possible to cross it on foot.
Following the fall of the Pioneer Cabin Tree in 2017, this is the only living redwood to be tunnelled through.
See Animals at Mariposa Grove
Just as in Yosemite Valley it is possible to see animals from time to time, especially just at dawn in the meadows of the valley, in Mariposa Grove, being a grove, it is more complicated. Still it is not impossible. If you want to try to see an animal, get up early. Be the first to walk the trails and you might get a snapshot like this one that I add for you. Squirrels are friendlier and easier to see.
Practical information about Mariposa Grove
The accesses to the trails do not have timetables. But there are schedules in the services.
The shuttles are free, they run every 10 minutes and are operational from 8am to 8pm.
Access to national parks in the United States is paid. The fee can be paid directly at the park entrances (there is a toll at each access). However, if you are going to be traveling through the Western United States, visiting more national parks, it is more profitable to buy an annual pass.
Please check that the rates have not changed. You can view more information here.
Yosemite Rates (Mariposa Grove)
Cars, vans and motorhomes: 30 Dollars.
Motorcycles: 25 Dollars.
Tickets valid for 7 days. You pay per vehicle, not per person.
United States National Parks Annual Pass
Single fee: 70 Dollars.
Passes are valid for 1 year from the month purchased and only one is needed per vehicle (not one per person).
PLAN YOUR TRIP STEP BY STEP
I hope you enjoy your trip to the United States and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.
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A hug and see you soon!