Located in the southern portion of Yosemite, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is the largest sequoia grove in Yosemite and is home to over 500 mature giant sequoias. The national park idea is rooted in the Mariposa Grove. In 1864 President Lincoln signed legislation protecting the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley for "public use, resort, and recreation." This landmark legislation holds an important place in our country's history and was enacted at a time when the nation was embroiled in the Civil War. For the first time in our nation's history, the federal government set aside scenic natural areas to be protected for the benefit of future generations. Later added to Yosemite National Park in 1906, the Mariposa Grove is a popular destination within the park.
The Mariposa Grove closed in spring 2015 for a large-scale restoration project that was formalized through the Mariposa Grove Restoration Project Final Environmental Impact Statement. The two primary goals of this project were to improve giant sequoia habitat and improve visitor experience. This included addressing the declining conditions of the grove and nearby South Entrance that were adversely affecting the ecological health of the sequoias (e.g., roads, trails and other buildings encroaching on roots of the ancient trees, hydrology issues). The Mariposa Grove reopened on June 15, 2018.
Through this project, the Mariposa Grove was designed to accommodate a certain number of people in order to maintain the facilities, protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a quality visitor experience. We are carefully monitoring the grove to evaluate how the new services are operating.
Getting to the Mariposa Grove
A free shuttle provides service from the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza, near South Entrance, to the Mariposa Grove. The welcome plaza has about 300 parking spaces and may fill up by late morning. Arrive by mid-morning to increase chances of finding a place to park.
Shuttle Hours for 2023
Dates are subject to change based on conditions and may vary from year to year. The road and shuttle service may open as early as April 14 and will close on or before November 30 (depending on conditions).
Driving Your Own Car
When the Mariposa Grove Road is open (approximately mid-April through November), it is only open to vehicles displaying a disability placard. The road is open to the arrival area and on to near the Grizzly Giant.
When Shuttle Service is not Available
Access to Mariposa Grove is via a two-mile hike (each way) on the Washburn Trail or the Mariposa Grove Road (each has approximately 500 feet in elevation gain). Several miles of trails are available in the grove from that point. During winter, trails may be snowy and/or icy.
Things to know Before You Go
Things to Do in the Mariposa Grove
Guided Tours and Programs
The Grand Tour is an eight-hour tour operated by our park concessioner, Yosemite Hospitality, which visits Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Tour not operating in 2023.
Ranger-led programs may be available on a limited basis; check local listings for dates, times, and locations.
Part of this restoration project focused on creating new trail systems that allowed for accessibility and overall visitor access, while protecting the sequoia ecosystem and promoting ecological health. Some options include:
Big Trees Loop Trail (easy)
Grizzly Giant Loop Trail (moderate)
Guardians Loop Trail (strenuous)
Mariposa Grove Trail (strenuous)
Visiting the Mariposa Grove in Winter
While the Mariposa Grove Road closes to cars from the end of November until at least April 1, all trails in the grove remain open in the winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. When closed to cars during winter, the Mariposa Grove Road is open to hikers, snowshoers, and skiers.
Access to Mariposa Grove when the road is closed is via a two-mile hike (each way) on the Washburn Trail or the Mariposa Grove Road (each have approximately 500 feet in elevation gain). Several miles of trails are available in the grove from that point. During winter, trails may be snowy and/or icy.
Overnight camping is allowed in the Mariposa Grove from December 1 through April 15 if the Mariposa Grove Road is closed cars and there is enough snow for skiing. A wilderness permit is required to camp, and camping is only allowed above the Clothespin Tree.
Water is available at the welcome plaza only and vault toilets are available in the Mariposa Grove at the arrival area, near the Grizzly Giant, and near the Mariposa Grove Cabin.
Commercial Bus Access to the Mariposa Grove
Reservations are required for all commercial carriers with vehicle capacity of 16 or more arriving to the Mariposa Grove. Commercial parking reservations are only available to commercial operators having a commercial use authorization (CUA) from Yosemite National Park, and private, nonprofit bus groups.
Schools planning to visit the Mariposa Grove by bus should email the Educational Fee Waiver Office for parking information and do not need to make advanced reservations online.
Last updated: September 18, 2023