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Bountiful Resources of the Yosemite Mariposa Grove


Yosemite Mariposa Grove is home to an outstanding array of majestic giant sequoia trees and other varieties of flora and fauna. Located just below the famous Wawona Tunnel View in the southern section of Yosemite National Park, the grove is often referred to as the ‘Gem of the Yosemite Valley’ and is one of the oldest living organisms in the world. The Yosemite Mariposa Grove is an excellent example of an old-growth forest where thousands of the towering ancient sentinels remain standing and reach up to an astonishing height of 311 feet (95 meters). The history of the grove dates back thousands of years when the area was first inhabited by Native American tribes. Today, these iconic and majestic trees continue to draw visitors from all over the world, who come to witness the towering and beautiful sequoias that can be found here.

Treasured Landmark

The Yosemite Mariposa Grove has had a long and amazing history as a landmark. In the mid-1800s, the grove first gained attention from Europeans when the prominent naturalist and explorer John Muir, who wrote extensively about the area, wrote about the “Grizzhodes” (what the Native Americans called the giant sequoias). They made a second discovery of the remarkable area when Galen Clark, a white settler, fell in love with the giant trees and was inspired to proclaim the grove a public park as the first of its kind within the US system. The US Congress declared the sequoia grove a United States National Park in 1864, and thus, the Yosemite Mariposa Grove was born.

Incredible Giants

The Yosemite Mariposa Grove is home to an estimated 500 living giant sequoias ranging in age from 800 to 2,000 years, depending on size. These giants are among the oldest living things on earth, standing majestically tall and ranging from 2,000 to 2,700 years old. Also known as Sierra Redwoods, the sequoias can reach astonishing heights of up to 311 feet (95 meters) and circumference of up to 100ft (30meters). The Yosemite Mariposa Grove also encompasses an array of other tree species, including white firs, ponderosa pines, sugar pines, incense cedars, black oaks, and Jeffrey pines. The World’s oldest tree, the ‘Grizzer Tree’, is also located here and can be easily identified by its distinct gnarled bark.

Bountiful Resources

The Yosemite Mariposa Grove is key to many valuable resources, both tangible and intangible. It is not just a destination for tourists, but it also has a significant role in providing a safe habitat for many species of wildlife, including bobcats, black bears, deer, songbirds and even bald eagles. The Ancient Sequoias are highly valued for their wood products, medicinal properties, and spiritual importance. They are known to be well-adapted for healing and spiritual transformation. In addition, the grove is an excellent resource for carrying out research related to ecology, botany, and forestry, making it an important educational center.

Bountiful Resources of the Yosemite Mariposa Grove two

Trails within the Groves

The Yosemite Mariposa Grove has nine distinct trails that each offer a unique experience to visitors. These trails vary in length and difficulty and are open to pedestrians, cyclists, and horseback riders. The Grizzled Dam Trail is an excellent choice for those in search of a leisurely stroll as it is an easy one-mile loop that covers some of the giant sequoias, including the Grizzled Dam Tree, the oldest tree in the grove. The Mariposa Loop Trail is another short-distance hike at approximately 2.2 miles, which allows visitors to get up close and personal with some of the most impressive sequoias in the grove. The Crystal Spring Trail is a much more challenging hike of 5.5 miles, but offers some of the best views of the grand tree giants as well as some strikingly beautiful vistas of Yosemite Valley.

Conservation of the Yosemite Mariposa Grove

The Yosemite Mariposa Grove is protected under the Yosemite National Park Act, which prohibits any timber-cutting or disruptive activities. In addition, the Giant Sequoia National Monument established in 2000 limits logging of the area’s sequoias. Appointed forest rangers patrol the grove regularly and work to educate visitors on the importance of stewardship and conservation of the giant sequoias and other resources found in the park.

Visiting the Yosemite Mariposa Grove

The Yosemite Mariposa Grove can be accessed by foot, bike, or car and is open year-round. There is even a shuttle that runs between the grove’s parking lots and the Wawona Tunnel View. With its stunning beauty, variety of resources and amazing opportunities for exploring, the gorgeous Yosemite Mariposa Grove is an incredible must-see destination located inside the incomparable Yosemite National Park.

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