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After three years, Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove of 500 giant sequoias will reopen to visitors

Visitors photograph the Grizzly Giant tree in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park in 2015, the year the area closed for improvements.
Visitors photograph the Grizzly Giant tree in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park in 2015, the year the area closed for improvements.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park will reopen in June after three years of restoration that brings a new way to visit the 500 giant sequoias. Travelers will park at a welcome center a few miles away and take a free shuttle to the popular grove.

Also, new trails and an accessible boardwalk will replace paved roads. The $24-million restoration project also improved access to the grove’s most popular sequoias, the Grizzly Giant and the California Tunnel Tree.

The grove closed in July 2015 to improve hydrology for the big trees and the visitor experience at the site, according to a park announcement Thursday. It is set to reopen June 15.

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Some public parking, a gift shop and tram were removed because pavement was harming the roots of the trees and interfering with natural drainage.

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Now visitors will start their tour at a Welcome Plaza and parking lot for 300 vehicles near the park’s southern entrance. From there, they take the shuttle to the Lower Grove, where the biggest and oldest trees grow. The Upper Grove will be accessed on foot.

The project was a partnership between the National Park Service and the Yosemite Conservancy.

Info: Yosemite National Park, (209) 372-0200

travel@latimes.com

@latimestravel


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