Walking up to 1 mile on paved and dirt paths. The drive to Mariposa Grove is about 30 miles and takes about 1 hour on a curvy mountain road. The hike into Mariposa Grove is about 2-3 miles roundtrip on a wooden boardwalk.
A breakfast buffet in the Lodge's dining room will include an assortment of muffins and baked goods, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, fresh fruit salad, bacon, sausage, French toast or waffles, hot or cold cereals, coffee, tea, juice, and water.
We will board the park shuttle to Happy Isles where a local naturalist will guide us on a nature hike of the area. Located in the east end of Yosemite Valley, Happy Isles is composed of two small isles in the Merced River surrounded by an easy paved trail that offers a pleasant and happy place to walk along the river. This scenic location is the starting point for the Mist Trail to Nevada and Vernal Falls as well as the northern trailhead for the John Muir Trail to Half Dome.
At Base Camp Eatery, formerly the Yosemite Valley Lodge Food Court, lunch coupons will be used to purchase hot or cold entrées, grilled items, pizzas, sandwiches, or salads at different stations. Assorted beverages such as milk, soft drinks, coffee, tea and water are available.
We will board the motorcoach for our visit to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias which contains about 500 mature giant sequoias. Giant sequoias are perhaps the largest living things on Earth and may exceed 3,000 years in age. Reopened on June 15, 2018, the Mariposa Grove restoration project aimed to restore the grove's dynamic ecology and increase the grove's resilience. Many visitors from around the world are eager to visit the beloved grove of trees that has been closed for the last three years. Be prepared to share your experience with other arboreal enthusiasts who may be craning their necks to see the sequoias for the first time. Your patience with the opening and new infrastructure is appreciated. Keep an eye out for the sequoia saplings that have taken root with the absence of people. The driver will park the motorcoach near the shuttle stop at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Center where restrooms are located. The group will board the National Park Service bus that will take the group into the grove and to the start of the wooden boardwalk to see the sequoia trees. Our naturalist will guide us through the grove and explain giant sequoia ecology and our connection with these large trees.
At the historic Wawona Hotel, enjoy a 3-course plated meal with salad, entrée, and dessert plus choice of milk, coffee, tea, or water; other beverages available for purchase. Located 4 miles from the park’s southern entrance, Wawona was a popular stagecoach stop for passengers traveling to and from Yosemite Valley in the 1800s.
Aboard the motorcoach, we journey back into Yosemite Valley. After we return to Yosemite Valley Lodge, enjoy an evening at leisure.