Mariposa Grove Giant Sequoias – Yosemite National Park

June 7th, 2011 by Craig Mullins

To call them massive and awe-inspiring would be an understatement. The Giant Sequoia, tree like the approximately 500 mature ones found in the Mariposa Grove near the South Entrance of Yosemite National Park, are perhaps the largest living things on Earth.

While the sequoias are not the tallest of all trees – that title belongs to the coast redwood found in places such as Muir Woods National Monument and Redwood National Park – they are the most massive in sheer volume.

Mariposa Grove is located near Wawona, California in the southernmost part of Yosemite National Park, and is the largest grove of Giant Sequoias in the Park. Two of the Giant Sequoias in the Mariposa Grove are among the 25 largest in the world.

The Fallen Monarch: This tree fell more than three hundred years ago, but because Giant Sequoias are resistant to decay, their remains can linger for countless years if left undisturbed.

giant sequoias fallen monarch

The Bachelor and Three Graces: A group of four trees, three of them (the Graces) growing very close together, with a fourth (the Bachelor) a few steps away. It is said that the roots of the four trees are so intertwined that if one of them were to fall, the others would likely go with it.

giant sequoias bachelor three graces

The Faithful Couple: These two trees have grown so close together that their trunks have actually fused together at the base.

giant sequoias faithful couple bottom

giant sequoias faithful couple top

The Clothespin Tree: Numerous fires throughout the decades have nearly severed this tree’s trunk, creating a hole large enough for a pick-up truck to drive through.

giant sequoias clothespin tree

The Galen Clark Tree: It is said that this tree (it’s the redish one in the back) was the first Giant Sequoia seen by Galen Clark when he entered the grove; it inspired his love for the massive trees.

giant sequoias galen clark tree

The Wawona Tunnel Tree: Before this tree came crashing down during a snow storm in 1969 and was renamed to “The Fallen Tunnel Tree” it was known as the first tree to have a tunnel carved through its trunk.

giant sequoias fallen tunnel tree

giant sequoias fallen tunnel tree roots

The Fallen Giant: One of the largest trees in the grove, until it fell in 1873.

giant sequoias fallen giant

The Telescope Tree: Due to repeated fires, this tree has become completely hollow on the inside and yet it still survives; Giant Sequoias do not require a whole trunk to survive. It is possible to walk inside the tree and, from there, see the sky.

giant sequoias telescope tree

giant sequoias telescope tree base

The Columbia Tree: The tallest tree in the grove and in Yosemite National Park, standing at 285 feet.

giant sequoias columbia tree

The Grizzly Giant: The oldest tree in the grove, the Grizzly Giant was claimed by parked officials as the fifth largest tree in the world in 1932, with a volume of 34,010 cubic feet; that record has since been beat and the massive tree is now said to be the 25th largest tree in the world. The first branch from the bottom is 6 feet in diameter.

giant sequoias grizzly giant

giant sequoias grizzly giant tree

The California Tunnel Tree: In 1895 a hole was cut in this tree to to allow coaches to pass through it, as well as act as a marketing scheme to attract visitors to the grove; currently the only living tree with a tunnel in it since the fall of the Wawona Tunnel Tree.

giant sequoias california tunnel tree

For complete information and assistance with planning your trip to the Grove, visit the official website Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed an Act of Congress ceding the “Mariposa Big Tree Grove” (as well as Yosemite Valley) to the state of California. With the establishment of Yosemite National Park, the state returned the grove to federal control after there was much criticism of stewardship over the land.

The Mariposa Grove Museum, which was once known as “Galen’s Hospice” after Galen Clark, the man credited with discovering the Giant Sequoias in the Mariposa Grove, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
South Park Entrance on the Wawona Road, Hwy 41
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

mariposa grove museum

mariposa grove galens hospice

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