Irreplaceable Trees

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, along with Yosemite Valley, was the first federally protected scenic area in the country in 1864.

Yosemite Conservancy continues to fund an ambitious multiyear project to protect these magnificent giants for the future. Restoring Mariposa Grove aims at reversing more than 148 years of development by balancing visitor needs with ecological protection. It identifies the best strategies for protecting the grove, while creating a peaceful and tranquil visitor experience.

Today, park scientists are closely monitoring wildlife populations that live within the grove’s special ecosystem. Scientists are collecting data on grove hydrology, as roads, trails and underground facilities have dramatically changed the water flow on which these trees depend. Scientists are also analyzing vehicle and pedestrian circulation patterns to help craft an improved model that will protect the fragile root systems of these trees and contribute to the resilience of the grove.


Learning from the Past

Yosemite’s Wawona Tree became a famous tourist attraction in 1881, when a tunnel was cut into it, allowing cars to drive through. The tunnel, among other factors, contributed to toppling this 2,100-year-old giant during the winter of 1968–1969.


Restoration Benefits Grove and Visitors

Both sequoias and visitors will benefit as a result of the project work:

  • Restoration efforts are focused on areas where giant sequoia habitat has been disturbed
  • Improved grove ecology is based on protecting the fragile root systems of these giant sequoias and restoring natural hydrology
  • Reinforcing the majesty, dignity and importance of these monarchs from the past will help visitors have a higher-quality experience in the grove

1,000 to 3,000 Years to Grow a Similar Tree

With your continued support, we can help prevent these trees from falling. It is hard to comprehend, but if one of these trees topples, it would take between 1,000 and 3,000 years to grow a similar tree in its place.

Partnering with Yosemite National Park.


Bill Kuhn

Vegetation Ecologist

Project Notes

The majestic giant sequoia have stood watch over the changing landscape of Yosemite for millenia.