Fallen Sequoia tree
Courtesy of the National Park Service
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In its recent history, Yosemite National Park has endured storms, fires, and floods. And yet, select sections of the treasured park were no match for the historic wind storm that hit January 18, when gusts reaching speeds of up to 100 mph toppled 15 sequoias and caused nearly $4 million in damages.

In recent years, the park’s battered sequoia grove underwent a 4-year, $40 million renovation courtesy of a partnership between the Yosemite Conservancy, Yosemite National Park, and Save the Redwoods League. The collaboration also yielded a new walking trail to allow visitors more seclusion in the scenic grove. Unfortunately, some of the fruit that the partnership produced—notably, work done on trails, boardwalks, and restrooms—was undone by the storm, Mercury News first reported.

Now, things are beginning to look up, and with the summer season kicking off, we’re happy to report that the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias has launched a phased reopening, starting with granting access to on-foot visitors.

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According to the National Parks department, the shuttle bus to the grove will not operate this season. Instead, patrons can access the area via a short 4-mile hike (and 500 feet of elevation gain). Those wanting to catch a glimpse of the famous Grizzly Giant and California Tunnel Tree, however, will need to hoof it an additional 1.5 miles.

“The main trail to the Grizzly Giant will be closed due to storm damage, but hikers can use the service road to reach the Grizzly Giant,” National Park Service officials noted, adding that hikers should keep an eye out for fallen trees.

Needless to say, we are ready to pack our bags and enjoy the beauty that Yosemite has to offer.