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Hike the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias

Tuolumne County, California

4.2/5
based on 6 reviews

Details

Distance

2.5 miles

Elevation Gain

500 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Rob Witt

Explore a giant sequoia grove with a dead sequoia you can walk through. This is a beautiful forest hike for the whole family and provides you with solitude as opposed to the crowded Yosemite Valley. 

The Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias is one of three sequoia groves in Yosemite National Park. This particular grove has gorgeous forest scenery and provides great solitude compared to the crowded Yosemite Valley. The trail used to be an old road offering a wide path with a gradual descent, making it a great hike for families even with children. The trail is just over a mile downhill to the first part of the grove of giant sequoias.

Once you arrive to the first of these massive trees, allow yourself to become overwhelmed and humbled with the scale of these ancient living organisms. Soak up the magnitude of the giant sequoias presence, be sure to wander through the entire grove. There’s an old dead sequoia that was carved out for horse and buggies way back in the day.

A short trail spurs off the main old road through the grove. Take time to explore this brief loop, as it leads past a fallen sequoia that provides a unique perspective of the massive scale of these giants. Walk around this dead sequoia, climb on top, and even crawl through the hollowed space inside for a hands on experience.

Hike back out the same way you came. There is a 500 foot elevation gain on the return journey, but it is gradual and never very steep. Be sure to have a snack and hydrate if needed. The trailhead is located off the Tioga Road (which is closed during the winter months) but does have a restroom.

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Features

Chillin
Photography
Snowshoeing
Hiking
Bathrooms
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Went in 2017 when the other grove was closed, so came here instead and enjoyed it! Gorgeous trees. Less crowded part of Yosemite too when we were there.

Love how humbled these big trees made me feel. And with the Mariposa Grove being closed, the Tuolumne Grove was a good place to appreciate these gentle giants.

We hiked to the grove from the visitor center immediately at the park's entrance. About 5-6 miles away each way, downhill for the first mile then uphill to the grove. I didn't really enjoy the hike - monotonous, no good views. but, once we got to the Grove, exploring the massive trees and tunnels was really interesting and fun

Since the most popular sequoia grove in Yosemite, Mariposa Grove, is closed until Spring 2017, Tuolumne Grove is a great alternative. While it doesn't have a grove that's as big as Mariposa, it makes up for it with character. As you can see in the photos, trees like the Tunnel Tree and Big Red are unique sequoias to the area. Tunnel Tree was a landmark for horse and buggies passing through to Yosemite Valley in the late 1800s, and you can even see carvings from people of that era inside. My girlfriend and I did this in the dead of winter with about two feet of snowpack on the ground, and it was fantastic to see these giants all covered in snow.

It's pretty awesome to walk through a dead sequoia. Lots of people have carved their initials into it, don't be one of them.

Try to go early in the morning to skip the crowds and also to catch the morning light beaming through the substantial trees. The Sequoias are truly amazing and really puts you in perspective. Totally worth checking out.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Camp at Crane Flat Campground

Merced Grove

Hike Old Big Oak Flat Road

Hike to Turtleback Dome

Backpack Yosemite's South Rim

Photograph Yosemite's Tunnel View