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Oct 15

Mariposa Grove: Looking Up to the Giants

Looking upThe Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park is one of the most impressive places Karen and I have ever been to.  It is like looking up at clear night sky and seeing just how small we truly are.  It is a very humbling feeling, and you know what, every now and again feeling a little  bit humble is pretty good for the soul.  Why is it so humbling?  Well, try standing next to the largest living thing on the planet based on volume and not feel small.  Mariposa Grove is easy to get to and requires an easy to moderate walk over 2.2 miles to see the lower loop, but Karen and I highly recommend walking both loops which tops out around 6 miles.  If you end up walking both loops you will gain about 1,200 feet so you might want to do a little walking before going to Yosemite National Park in California or any park for that matter just to get your body ready for hiking.
Sequoia TreesMariposa Grove trailhead is just about two miles from Yosemite’s south entrance.  Being so close to the park entrance the large parking lot can and will frequently fill up.  If that is the case park rangers will direct you where you can park and take the free shuttle bus to the grove.  If you can, go during the off-season right before the snows hit the Sierra Nevada Mountains or when the roads become cleared in the early spring.  Those that are feeling up for a winter adventure can walk, snowshoe, or ski up the road from the south entrance.
The ForestKaren and I were at Yosemite National Park with her parents and went to the Mariposa Grove together.  We took the tram road all the way to the sequoia trees named Bachelor & Three Graces from there we got on the hiking path to the Grizzly Giant.  These trees are just utterly amazing.  The waterfalls are what drew me to going to see Yosemite National Park, but those trees will forever draw me back to the park.  I would hop on a plane in a second just to get another glimpse of them.  They are that spectacular.
Sequoia TreeThe Grizzly Giant does not even look real.  I could see why people at the Chicago’s World’s Fair in 1893 thought it was a fake when they were confronted with a thirty-foot tall section of a tree called the General Noble Tree.  Just looking at the Grizzly Giant and trying to wrap my mind around the fact that this tree was around before the start of the Roman Empire.  Like I mentioned before seeing these magnificent trees is a very humbling experience.
Grizzly GiantWhen we reached California Tunnel Tree Karen’s parents and Karen and I  decided to split up.  They continued walking the trails on the lower loop while Karen and I took the upper loop.  The farther up the trail we went the further from the crowds we became.  It also gave us a chance to see some of the numerous mule deer that are in the park along with some of the other wildlife that resides there.  The upper loop was a lot of fun, not the easiest of hikes since it is constantly uphill, but almost anybody can do it if they just pace themselves and bring lots of water and few snacks for energy.
Columbia TreePhotographing these trees came with a little bit of a challenge because it was so hard for me to provide scale.  It became a great learning experience in trying to get across to anybody that will look at my pictures just how gigantic these trees truly are.  The best way that I could find is by using the museum/book store near the top of the upper loop as a reference point to how small the store looks in comparison to the trees.
Attempt to Show ScaleI would love to see the park in the middle of winter and snowshoe to the grove,maybe someday it will happen, but for now I can just look fondly to the wonderful experience and the awe and wonder that looking at the trees brought to Karen and me when we walked the Mariposa Grove.  We highly recommend it, everybody that has a love of nature should see it at least once in their lifetime and if you are not a nature lover you might be after you visit Mariposa Grove.
Mariposa Grove Museum

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1 comment

  1. freda phillipsq

    It was amazing!! I can’t believe those trees are so big (expecially the trunk but not so much green leaves compared to the trunk). It really does make you feel small. They are soooo big around and just go up and up and up. Can you imagine how loud it must be when they fall. (After cutting that tree in Karen and Kenny’s yard……it was pretty big and made a big thud when only a few feet section of the trunk hit the ground.) I wish I could have taken my parents on that trip when they were living. Thank you Kenny and Karen for asking us to go with you. It was wonderful.

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