We certainly cramped a lot into the second day in Yosemite. One of the places we wanted to go see is the giant Sequoias at the Mariposa Groove. It’s located at the very south western side of the park and involves over an hour drive from the Yosemite Village. By the time we got there it was already quite late.
It is here in Mariposa that you will see two of the largest 50 Sequoias in the world.
Just slightly off the car park area was the Fallen Monarch. This tree fell over 300 years ago and even despite all these years, it is still pretty much intact. Almost everyone who walked through here will take a picture with the upturned roots.
A bit about Sequoias that we learned. Sequoias are the largest trees in the world in terms of volume but not in height. These are the trees that are so large that people have bored holes into the trunk large enough for a car to get through. There was one such tree in Mariposa but fell due to heavy snow back in the 1960s. Are there any such trees in the world right now that is still standing?
The reason why they are so bulky and large is that they are extremely resistant to fires and disease. The oldest known Sequoias is about 3200 years old. The oldest here in Mariposa is the Grizzly Giant.
Note that large fire scar on the base of the Grizzly Giant. Despite that large scar, it did not kill off the tree.
It was quite a long uphill walk to reach this point. We had enough and decided to turn back.
As hardy as the Sequoias are, the one weakest link is their roots. Their roots does not grow deep and is as shallow as inches from the ground surface. So, they are susceptible to root damages that brings them down. Most of the trees here are now protected by fences so people do not go right up to the base of the tree. Continue reading