Beautiful - but poorly maintained
Christopher Ferqueron · Los Angeles · April 18, 2019
The trees are beautiful, the parking area at the bottom is new and easy and the shuttle service was top notch. Getting up to the grove you're met with another beautiful new entrance and bathroom area and many informative signs. However, as you walk up the trails, there are dead trees, branches, and bark all over the forest floor and most notably all over the trails. It looks pathetic. There's even a part of the new boardwalk with 6-8 inches of dirty snow all over it. That's terrible - and slippery and dangerous.
The forest floor is covered in dead trees that the forest service has cut down and just left there. Mounds of bark, small branches that look like they're from a residential yard are all over. This... this has to be a fire hazard. Most of the hike is not pretty because of this and it looks like a war zone. It was ... depressing to see a park in the United States in such pathetic condition.
[Editor's note: hikers should be prepared for rough early-season conditions in areas of Yosemite that close over the winter. Debris on the trails, water hazards, and snow are common. The Sentinel Dome and Taft Point trails, for instance, are usually completely buried in snow on the day the Glacier Point Road opens and for some days thereafter. So be careful out there. It's a wild area, not a theme park.]
Lew Blank · Middleton, WI, United States · August 31, 2014
I was unsure whether or not to do this. We had two full days in Yosemite. One was designated to the Panorama Trail, a beautiful classic. The other one was really based on how we stayed at the Wawona Hotel, a short shuttle ride away. Me and my parents did the upper and lower groves to Wawona Point, just over six miles. It really wasn't too strenuous. The lower grove is really busy even on a monday (aug 25) and it's impossible to get a picture of yourself under the California Tunnel Tree without ten other tourists. The giant trees are just absolutely unreal. They're huge and red and a bucket list sight. The upper grove lacks the highlights but is less crowded and has beautiful vistas. I consider it better than the lower grove. We had Wawona Point to ourselves, and although it didn't stack up to other classic Yosemite vistas, it was pretty and panoramic. The trees really mad the hike and it was beautiful. If you have time to drive, do it!
Thanks again to yosemitehikes.com!
A Must-See in Yosemite
Ellen · Orange County, CA · July 6, 2014
We arrived at the grove around 3:30pm on Friday July 4th (we are gluttons for crowd punishment). We were in town just for the long weekend and figured, since the grove is right inside the park entrance, it would be a great start to our Yosemite weekend. We were correct!
We hiked from the parking lot, up right through the landmarks in the lower grove, then we zig-zagged left through the trails to Faithful Couple, Clothespin, and up the middle past the museum to the Fallen Tunnel tree. We did not buy one of the 50 cent maps at the grove parking lot, which would have been helpful, as the main loops were not clearly marked on the trail. We later found that the map is also available online at https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/mgrove.pdf.
The trees were stunning, and views from the upper trail were refreshing as well. Parts of the trail were in direct sunlight, so sunscreen was helpful. It was pretty warm too, around 80 in the shade. The temps were in the 100s just down the road in Oakhurst.
The hike and landmarks were well worth the time, and even on one of the busiest days of the year, the upper trail was not crowded and we had many solitary moments. I don't think I will revisit the trail, as it's a once-and-done experience. But I will recommend it to anyone who asks!
Don’t miss Wawona Point!
Robert & Susan Dunn · Little Rock, Arkansas · September 27, 2012
We took the Big Trees Tram Tour up to the Mariposa Grove Museum and hiked back down through the grove. The narration on the tram was so informative that we wondered what other interesting information we missed by not taking the entire tram tour!
As we hiked back down through the grove, we encountered numerous groups of folks heading UP into the grove who had obviously had no idea how time-consuming or strenuous the hike would be. Nearly all of them looked exhausted and asked, “How much farther to the museum?” Moral: If you’re gonna hike uphill into the grove, wear appropriate clothing and footwear, take (and drink) plenty of water, and allow enough time to enjoy the hike.
The walk (uphill) to Wawona Point is a highlight of the Mariposa Grove experience -- don’t miss it! The views from Wawona Point are impressive, and you’re likely to have the entire area to yourself.
The well-traveled trail through the grove is quite dusty. There are numerous junctions throughout this network of trails, but they’re all well-signed. If at all possible, avoid contributing to the traffic congestion at the grove by taking the free shuttle from Wawona and back.
Sarah · Fresno, CA · March 10, 2012
This was our first serious hike, and we loved it. We got there at 8 am, we were the first on the trail and the first to Wawona Point. It was quiet and beautiful with an incline that certainly gets your heart pumping. Many different path options, easy to navigate and the view from 6,800ft is really worth the trek to the Point. Taking the longest route up, the slightly shorter route back down and figuring all the trivial backtracking for photo opps, we walked just under 8 miles in exactly 5 hours. We highly recommend this trail. Happy Hiking!