Hike-in Required
Yes
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Once you familiarize yourself with the name Galen Clark, you'll start seeing the name pop up all across Yosemite. He's mentioned in Yosemite Valley and Wawona's Pioneer History Center. There is Mount Clark, a granite mountain in the Clark Range, a sub-range of the Sierra Nevada. There is a tree in the Mariposa Grove named after him. 

So who is Galen Clark? He is credited as the first European man to find the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia. If he wasn't the first European to see it, he was the first to document the grove in detail. He was so inspired that he dedicated the remainder of his life to protecting it and the Yosemite region, laying the groundwork for its eventual protection as a national park in 1890. He settled in Wawona, where he ran a rest stop for travelers and was known for his kindness, generosity, and eagerness to share his naturalist knowledge about Yosemite and the Mariposa Grove.

At the Mariposa Grove, Clark built a cabin about approximately 1.5 miles from the densest collection of trees, including the famed Grizzly Giant with its 92-foot base circumference. The tiny cabin used to serve as the Mariposa Grove Museum. Since the grove underwent restoration improvements in 2015, the cabin was boarded up, and some contents were moved to the exhibits at the bus stop near the parking area by the South Park entrance. It's also known as the Mariposa Grove Cabin.

The cabin sits in a unique part of Mariposa Grove. Small meadows with wildflowers and grasses share space with their massive neighbors. Because the cabin is only accessible by foot (2 miles, one-way), the number of visitors thins out significantly. Even though you can no longer go inside, it is still an enchanting place to visit. You can walk along the front veranda and enjoy the solitude of the trees, flowers, meadow-buzzing insects, and quiet nature of this special place.

Underfoot, you will see an array of pinecones of varying sizes. The smallest cones (about 2 inches long) belong to the giant sequoia. The largest cones (12 to 16 inches long) belong to the sugar pine. These trees aren't small by any stretch of the imagination (they grow up to 200 feet), but they are dwarfed by the redwoods.

There are vault toilets, but the drinking fountain has been disabled since the cabin has been boarded up, so bring water. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Redwoods. Old-growth forest. Picturesque.

Cons

Cannot enter cabin anymore.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Vault toilet
Old-growth forest
Historically significant
Wildlife
Wildflowers

Location

Field Guide

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.