Yosemite's Famous Mariposa Grove Is Reopening to the Public

Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
Photo: Scott Walton/Getty Images

Yosemite National Park is counting down to its grand reveal. After three years of restoration, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias will reopen to the public at 9 a.m. this Friday, June 14.

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Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
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The Mariposa Grove is famous for being the largest collection of mature trees in Yosemite. There are more than 500 trees in the grove, which come together to create a unique natural wonder.

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Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
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The park is more than 150 years old and in that time, modern additions to the park — like roads, trails and other buildings — were slowly encroaching on the grove and ruining the fragile roots system.

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Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
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In order to preserve the impressive collection of trees, the National Park Service began its $40-million renovation project in July 2015. According to park officials, the restoration worked to “improve natural hydrology, construct an ADA-accessible boardwalk, construct an improved welcome plaza, and improve the overall visitor experience” at the highly-visited grove, SF Gate reported.

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Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
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The project was originally intended to only take 24 months but ended up taking three years to complete. Since work began on the site, visitors have been unable to see the legendary trees that make up the grove.

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Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
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When the park re-opens to the public this week, visitors will find several new hikes and trails throughout the Giant Sequoias. Friday’s opening ceremony will include live music, guest speakers, an American Indian Blessing and tours to see how the grove was restored.

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Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
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As it re-opens to the public, park officials will monitor how the environment responds to visitation. The park may limit how many people are allowed in the Mariposa Grove at any given time to protect the trees.

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Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
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The grove was created in the 1864 Yosemite Grant Act, signed by then-President Abraham Lincoln. The landmark legislation — which was signed during the Civil War — marked the first time that the federal government set aside scenic nature for future generations.

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Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
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The star of the Mariposa Grove is the 1,800-year-old Grizzly Giant which towers more than 200 feet. It is thought to be the 25th oldest living tree on the planet today — however the tree is, surprisingly, only about middle-aged. A giant sequoia can live up to 3,000 years.

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Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
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Visitors should also check out a landmark known as the “Fallen Monarch.” This dead tree is considered the “Elvis of trees” because it has become a legend in its death. The upturned base of the tree measures more than 15 feet across and has become an attraction for visitors to understand just what goes into keeping a giant sequoia alive.

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