The United States is blessed with some of the most outstanding natural scenery in the entire world. With true natural wonders of the world like the Grand Canyon and breath-taking national parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite, America is an incredible place for people to get outdoors, breathe in the fresh air, connect with nature, and experience the unique feelings and magical memories that only these places can provide.
Yosemite National Park is a perfect example. Located out among the Sierra Nevada mountains of Central California, Yosemite stretches out for nearly three quarters of a million acres. It crosses four counties and is filled with forests, mountains, meadows, and lakes, as well as all kinds of wildlife, but is perhaps best known for its breath-taking giant sequoia groves, of which Mariposa Grove is a prime example.
Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park
Mariposa Grove is a sequoia grove down in the southern section of Yosemite National Park, not far from the little community of Wawona. It's the biggest and best-known giant sequoia grove in the whole park, being home to a couple of the biggest giant sequoias on the entire planet. The grove had to shut down for a few years between 2015 and 2018 for restoration and renovation work, but is back open now and looking better than ever.
- Restoration - was closed down to the public from July 6 of 2015 through to June 15 of 2018. During this nearly three-year period, the grove underwent some big renovations and received some much-needed tender loving care. A highly significant natural and historic landmark and one of the most beloved locations in the whole of Yosemite National Park, Mariposa Grove has been standing for thousands of years and simply has to be preserved for the enjoyment and adoration of future generations, as well as out of respect to the past. Now, open again and better than ever, the changes of the restoration project are clear to see.
- The Changes - The impact of the restoration project will be clear to see for anyone who has visited Mariposa Grove in the past. The original parking lot and roads have been totally transformed, with new pedestrian trails to allow safer access around the grove and reduce the impact of vehicles on the area. Boardwalks have been placed over certain wetland areas to preserve these delicate ecosystems while also providing visitors access, and lots of repairs have been done at key locations like Wawona Point.
- The South Entrance - The South Entrance to Mariposa Grove is perhaps where the biggest changes can be seen. An entire new arrival plaza has been constructed here with its own restrooms, hydration stations, gift shop with proceeds going to support conservation efforts around the park, and a new parking lot. Guests will also find various educational displays and exhibits around this area and further into the grove to provide fascinating information about the trees.
- Better For Everyone - The changes made at Mariposa Grove have really helped to make the grove a more enjoyable location for visitors, while also providing a safer and healthier environment for the trees and other flora and fauna in the area. The improvements made to the area will allow the trees to thrive and provide the perfect conditions for platns and animals to live peacefully in their natural habitat, while also giving visitors better views of the big trees, more facilities like the restrooms and shop, and deeper access into the grove via the boardwalks and trails.
- Mariposa Grove Shuttle - Another great new addition to the Mariposa Grove area is the introduction of a free shuttle service taking guests from the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza at the South Entrance into the grove itself. The shuttles run every 10 minutes on average, with the first ride setting off at 8 in the morning and the last one getting back at around 8pm in the summer months or 5pm at other times of the year.
- Important Information for Visitors - Visiting Mariposa Grove is a must-do part of any trip to Yosemite National Park. The grove is widely considered to be the most impressive and beautiful location in the entire park and draws in many visitors each year. Visitors of all ages are welcome, but pets are not allowed. Guests can make use of the various facilities at the welcome plaza but are reminded that the grove does not have any food services and you'll only find drinking water at the plaza, so will need to plan ahead in terms of food and drink.
The Mariposa Grove is an iconic location for Yosemite National Park. Home to around 500 giant sequoias, some stretching up to heights of almost 300 feet into the sky, this location truly lives up to the definition of 'awe-inspiring' and is a joy to witness for visitors of all ages. Now, with the area having been fully restored and renovated to protect wildlife, preserve the history of this location, and provide a safer and more enjoyable experience for all future guests, the grove is better than ever.