NileGuide Expert Says:
Along with Yosemite Valley, Abraham Lincoln protected these trees in 1864; the first time in history that a national government preserved land for the citizens simply because it was beautiful.
Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, California 93623, USA
+1 209 372 0200
NileGuide Expert tip:
Snowshoe or XC ski through these giants in the winter for an otherworldly experience.
This grove was part of the world's first 'national park,' protected by the US government 8 years before Yellowstone. It's open all year, but you can only drive in during the summer and fall. In winter it's a couple mile walk, ski or snowshoe along the access road -very worthwhile. These trees are huge, up to 300' tall, and 25-30' across at the base. The Grizzly Giant is a main attraction, a mile's walk from the parking area. The famous Tunnel Tree fell down in 1969, but there's a second tree with a tunnel cut through it next to the Grizzly Giant.
Walking trails lace the grove of several hundred trees, and a small museum in the upper grove makes an informative and scenic stop. Those who don't want to hike on these slopes can take a 1.5 hour tram tour for $26, with headset narration in 6 languages.
Parking is limited so for much of the summer, plan to park at the Wawona Store and take a free shuttle every half hour. Trailers and RV's should not go up the narrow road into the grove.