The national park idea is rooted in the Mariposa Grove. In 1864 President Lincoln signed legislation protecting the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley for "public use, resort, and recreation." This landmark legislation holds an important place in our country's history and was enacted at a time when the nation was embroiled in the Civil War. For the first time in our nation's history, scenic natural areas were set aside and protected for the benefit of future generations.
A testament to survival and splendor, sequoia groves offer a glimpse into the past. Now is your chance to be part of the Mariposa Grove story and help develop a plan that aims to protect this special area.
The Bachelor and Three Graces: A group of four trees, three of them growing very close together, with a fourth a little more distant. Their roots are so intertwined that if one of them were to fall, it would likely bring the others along with it.
The Grizzly Giant: The oldest tree and second largest tree in the grove, with a volume of 34,010 cubic feet (963 m3)
The Washington tree: the largest tree in the grove, with a volume of 35,950 cubic feet (1,018 m3)
The California Tunnel tree: Cut in 1895 to allow coaches to pass through it (and as a marketing scheme to attract visitors to the grove), this is the only living Giant sequoia tree with a tunnel in it since the fall of the Wawona Tunnel Tree in 1969.
The Faithful Couple: A rare case in which two trees grew so close together that their trunks have fused together at the base.
The Clothespin tree: Countless fires throughout the decades nearly severed this tree's trunk, creating a space in it large enough for a pick-up truck to drive through.
The Telescope tree: A tree that has become completely hollow from repeated fires through the decades. Despite that, the tree is still living, as Giant Sequoias do not require a whole trunk to survive. It is possible to walk inside the tree and, from there, see the sky. This condition leaves the tree weakened and makes it more difficult for it to withstand strong winds. This tree (and the Clothespin Tree) could topple at any time.
The Columbia tree: The tallest tree in the grove and in Yosemite National Park at 285 feet (87 m).
The Galen Clark tree: Of historical importance, as it is said to be the first tree seen by Galen Clark when he entered the grove, and inspired his love for the Giant Sequoias and struggle for setting aside the land for preservation, a new concept in the mid-19th century.
The Wawona Tunnel Tree: Renamed the "Fallen Tunnel Tree" after it toppled over during a snow storm in 1969. In 1881, this was the first tree to have a tunnel carved through its trunk. Its collapse is seen as a turning point in the preservation program in National Parks in the United States. So grave was the shock of the tree's collapse that the result was a greater awareness of the sensitivity of ecosystems, even for a living thing as massive as the Giant Sequoias.
The Fallen Giant: It was one of the largest trees in the grove, until it fell in 1873.
The Massachusetts tree: It was one of the most famous trees in the grove. It fell in 1927.