The Mariposa Grove

September 15, 1994

We had driven to Yosemite National Park after our tour of San Francisco. After spending the night at the Wawona Hotel, we were off to explore the Mariposa Grove. One of the first things I tried to do was to find a way to communicate the scale of the huge sequoia trees in the grove. I'm convinced that you can't really do it in a single photograph, but at left you can see how small Brenda is in comparison to one of the sequoias. Above is a stand of four of the huge trees.

The brochures say that there are about 500 of the mature sequoia trees in the Mariposa Grove. The tallest tree in the grove is 290 ft tall, compared to about 310 ft for the tallest sequoia and 368 ft for the tallest coast redwood. They can exceed 3000 years in age, but that doesn't come close to the bristlecone pine trees for which there are examples 4600 years old. The largest sequoia is just over 40 feet in diameter.

The Mariposa Grove is at the extreme southern end of Yosemite National Park.

Another strategy we tried with a big downed sequoia named the Fallen Monarch was to put Rod besides it. But we found out that this gambit had been tried with this very same tree over a hundred years ago with a whole troop of cavalry.

This is one of the pictures on one of their brochures.

Below I tried a wide-angle lens which would give good depth of focus and perspective narrowing at the top to give an impression of the enormous height of these trees.

At left I just took two vertical regular focal length shots and patched them together to get the height. But it was a lot of work to patch them and not entirely satisfactory.

Although they are nowhere near as large as the sequoias, we still love the Ponderosa pines, and there were some very large ones here.

A dramatic view of four beautiful sequoia trees at left. In the view below, Brenda is at the base of these four sequoias.

At right is another composite effort to get a view of the whole trees.

Brenda at Mariposa Grove's Tunnel Tree.

In the view below left, Brenda stands at the base of the huge Grizzly Giant tree in the Mariposa Grove. One statistic that impressed us was that its largest limb is 8 feet in diameter!

Below right is a view of the top of Grizzly Giant.

We walked out into a small meadow, and then with a wide-angle lens I could get a photo of the full height of these five sequoia trees.

Rigging the camera for self-photos, we could really show how small we are against the massive trunks of these giant trees..

It certainly doesn't bother you to feel small in comparison to such majesty. In fact it was inspiring.

As shown below, even the cabin that housed the museum was tiny compared to the trees it celebrated.

We took the trail out to Wawona Point, which at 6810 ft altitude gave a wide view of the valley and the Sierra Mountains to the east of us.

To Sequoia and Kings Canyon

  Nave Album Nave