Exploring The Epic Grizzly Giant Trail In Yosemite

If you’re looking for an awe-inspiring hike surrounded by giant sequoias I took my friends Gina & Victor on the Grizzly Giant Loop Trail in Yosemite’s ancient Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

Gina and Victor are an adventurous couple who met while working seasonal jobs in Yosemite. We all became fast friends when I started working in the park, bonding over our shared love of exploring the outdoors. When they mentioned they still hadn’t hiked the famous Mariposa Grove, I knew we had to go chase that iconic photo op among the towering sequoia trees.

This 2-mile Grizzly Giant loop winds through a peaceful meadow before entering one of the finest groves of giant sequoia trees in the world. As we set off down the well-maintained dirt path, Victor and Gina immediately remarked on the hushed tranquility surrounding the massive trees that have been growing here for thousands of years.

Shortly through the loop, we came upon one of the most striking sights – the fallen Monarch tree. This giant sequoia, known as the Monarch, was one of the largest trees in the Mariposa Grove until its collapse in 1977. Though its exact age is unknown, the massive fallen trunk is estimated to be over 2,000 years old. At over 25 feet in diameter, this downed sequoia emphasized the staggering scale and longevity of the ancient trees towering above us. Gina, Victor, and I spent some time admiring and posing beside the Monarch’s wide trunk and gnarled roots.

Soon we came face-to-face with the iconic Grizzly Giant itself. At over 200 feet tall and 30 feet in diameter, this giant sequoia is one of the oldest and largest in the grove, estimated at 1,900-2,400 years old. Gina & Victor took turns posing for photos in front of the incredible tree, trying to capture a sense of its sheer scale.

From there, the loop meanders past other famous sequoias like the California Tunnel Tree, the Faithful Couple, and the Clothespin Tree. Gina and Victor hammed it up for silly couple’s photos along the way, providing my camera with willing models to highlight the magnificence of these ancient arboreal wonders.

The entire flat, paved loop was easy for us to stop frequently and simply admire the incredible scale, gorgeous reddish bark, and twisted branches. Informative signs taught us about the significance and history of the giant sequoia trees. This trail is perfect for adventurers of all ages & abilities.

We spent hours meandering the Mariposa Grove’s peaceful trails, laughing together and soaking in the raw, untamed natural beauty. It was the perfect morning adventure to capture photos celebrating Gina and Victor’s adventurous spirits.

The newly renovated Mariposa Grove reopened in 2018 with improved visitor facilities, making it easier than ever to access this iconic piece of Yosemite. Whether you’re a fresh-faced park employee looking to explore or a lifelong visitor, the ancient grove offers a taste of nature’s true giants.


Getting pictures done by Kat was so fun and they turned out better than I ever could’ve imagined! I highly recommend her for your next photoshoot! Very professional and great at posing us for the best angle/photo.
-Gina


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