LAVANYA SUNKARA


Location: Tuolumne Grove, Yosemite National Park

Tuolumne Grove, Yosemite National Park
May 2012

I visited the mighty Yosemite three times in the past decade. I consider it my heaven. Nowhere in the world does one see such incredible sights of the Half Dome crest, cascading waterfalls and the Giants Sequoias, and enjoy amazing hikes with panoramic vistas all around. It’s truly an honor to experience one of the natural wonders of the world.

In the picture above, you will see me embracing one of the biggest trees I’ve ever seen. It was an enthralling experience that I will remember for a lifetime.

Just a half hour drive through windy mountain roads from Yosemite Valley, you will find the trail head to the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias located in Yosemite National. The grove contains a couple dozen mature Giant Sequoias, including one you can walk through (although it’s dead). Sequoias are one of three types of redwoods and are the largest trees on the planet. The mature trees found in the Tuomumne grove are 280 feet tall and at least a few thousand years old. Theese giants dwarf the other large dominant trees of the forest surrounding them, and standing next to one of these is a privilege.

Even though the trees in Tuolumne are smaller in comparison to those found in Mariposa, the grove is less crowded and closer to the Valley. The hike to the grove is downhill and the round trip is about 2.5 miles.  The way back involves a walk up 400 feet up to the parking lot. But it’s all worth it just for a hug from one of the wisest trees on the planet.

Getting There: From Yosemite Valley, take highway 120 ten miles to the Crane Flat/Tioga Road turnoff, then take Tioga Road half a mile east to the Tuolumne Grove parking lot.

“I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.”
~ John Muir
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