Things To Do Near South Entrance (Wawona) in Yosemite National Park



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  • South Entrance (Wawona)
  • Yosemite Village
  • Neighborhoods

  • Highway 41 corridor
  • There are so many good things to do near Wawona, but most would agree that the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is at the top of the list. This is the largest of the park's three sequoia groves and the one with the most history. Pioneer/ranger Galen Clark popularized the grove, and was later responsible for its protection as part of the 1864 Congressional act that preserved this parcel and Yosemite Valley. Galen built a cabin in the upper grove, a replacement of which serves as a summer visitor center. There are several miles of trails that wind through the huge trees. Many people prefer to pay for a tram tour through the grove, which brings you to the Grizzly Giant and the famed Tunnel Tree.

    Going north from Wawona, it's not too far to the Glacier Point Road. In summer the drive out to the end brings you to the rim of Yosemite Valley - unbelievable views of Half Dome, high peaks, waterfalls and cliffs. In winter, the Badger Pass Ski Area is 6 miles up the road; one of the West's first ski areas.

    In Wawona itself, the visitor center, next to the Wawona Hotel is worth some time. Just down the hill is the Pioneer Yosemite History Center, an assemblage of historic buildings gathered from throughout the park to illustrate the challenges of the early days. In the summer, costumed interpreters provide a living commentary on Yosemite's heritage that far out-classes any brochure or sign. Across the street from the hotel is a very pleasant Meadow Loop Trail, an old carriage road following a mostly flat route through the forest.

    expert pick

    Mariposa Grove

    user rating

    Mariposa Grove Road
    Park at the Wawona Store parking area and walk east 0.25 miles to Forest Dr. The trail head is on the right

    Largest living things on earth... read more

    Wawona Campground

    P.O. Box 577

    This site is available year round with reservations necessary from May through October. Swimming and fishing opportunities are available on site... read more

    Wawona Visitor Center

    Wawona Hotel Drive, off 41
    (near Wawona Hotel in Yosemite Valley)

    Your best first stop if coming in from the south...
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    Yosemite Sugar Pine Railroad

    56001 Highway 41

    Ride a real steam train at the park's south entrance... read more

    Pioneer Yosemite History Center

    P.O. Box 577
    Wawona Hotel

    Historic structures from the mining era... read more

    Chilnualna Falls Trail

    P.O. Box 577

    Wawona's best big hike... read more

    Wawona Golf Course

    Highway 41
    (27 miles south of Yosemite Valley)

    Magnificent views from every hole... read more

    Wawona Meadow Loop

    Westfall Picnic Ground

    P.O. Box 10

    Westfall Picnic Ground is located just off State Highway 41. It is less than five miles from the south entrance station for Yosemite National Park... read more

    Big Sandy Campground

    P.O. Box 10

    Big Sandy, at an elevation of 5,800 feet, is located in the heart of the Mariposa Ranger District offering 18 sites - no potable water... read more
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