Perhaps the most famous grove in the United States is the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees in Yosemite National Park. The grove is home to many of America's most loved, iconic, and protected trees. Nestled in amongst the grove is a stunning cabin now a museum. For many people, this cabin is as quaint and idyllic as one could ever hope to find - more than the seven dwarf's cabin in the woods that Snow White happened upon.

When one is entering the Yosemite National Park from the Central Valley region of California, one drives past this grove to get to Yosemite Valley. It is located right at the entrance, so don't forget to stop by and check it out!


Galen Clark - The "Guardian" Of Yosemite

The original cabin was first built by Galen Clark. He is thought of as the first European to find the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia (or at least the first to document it). Galen Clark was so inspired by these magnificent trees, that in an age of unabated deforestation and exploitation, she spent the remainder of his life protecting the grove and the surrounding Yosemite region.

  • Galen Clark: Thought Of As The First European To Discover The Grove
  • Guardian: Clark Is Thought of As The First Guardian of Yosemite

It was Galen Clark who laid the groundwork for the protection of the area in a national park in 1890.

Galen Clark is now considered the first "Guardian" of Yosemite. In all, he spent 24 years in his role of Yosemite's guardian after the Yosemite Grant was signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1864. It is partly thanks to this man that America still has the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias to enjoy today. He died in 1910.

Galen Clark lived in the little forested village of Wawona (now inside the park). He ran a rest stop for travelers there and was famous for its hospitality as well as for sharing his naturalist knowledge about Yosemite and the Mariposa Grove.

Today multiple sites in Yosemite are named after him.

He built the Mariposa Grove Cabin around 1.5 miles from the densest collection of trees of the grove (where the Grizzly Giant is).

Related: This North Carolina Wilderness Isn't Called 'Yosemite Of The East' For No Reason

The Background and History of the Replica Mariposa Grove Cabin

The Mariposa Grove Cabin is also known as the Mariposa Grove Museum and was first built in 1930 to recreate Clark's original cabin. Today the Mariposa Grove Cabin is a historic replica that enjoys the same idyllic setting in the grove. It is nestled being under the shadow of two prominent giant sequoia trees: General Grant and General Sheridan.

  • Built: In 1930
  • Replica: It Is A Replica Of Galen Clark's Original Cabin
  • Listed: On The National Register of Historic Places Since 1978
  • Restrooms: Restrooms Are Available At The Cabin
  • Flanking Sequoias: General Grant and General Sheridan

It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978 and it features in numerous historic photographs of Mariposa Grove.

The cabin once served as the Mariposa Grove Museum. But since it was restored in 2015, many of its contents and exhibits have been moved to other locations like at the bus stop near the parking area by the South Park entrance.

Related: What To Know about Yosemite Falls & The Historic Yosemite Falls Trail

Visiting The Mariposa Grove Cabin

The location that the cabin sits in today is a stunning part of the grove. In addition to being flanked by towering Sequoia, there are also small meadows with wildflowers and grasses nearby - come in the later spring to see them at their full magnificence. It really is a surreal spot to visit.

  • Access: The Cabin Is Only Accessible By Foot
  • Visiting: It Is No Longer Possible To Go Inside the Cabin
  • Distance: Need To Walk 2 Miles One Way

As the cabin is only accessible by foot and it's around a 2-mile long walk to get there, the crowds thin out considerably by the time one gets there. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to actually go inside the historic cabin but still, one can walk along the front veranda and take the obligatory Instagram pics.

  • Hours: 10.00 am to 4.00 pm daily (May through September)

Every fire season when the Grove comes in danger of wildfires, pictures are circulated online of the cabin and the Sequoia trees being wrapped in tin foil for protection. Unfortunately, the Sequoias are becoming increasingly endangered and many of them have been lost to the wildfires - 2020 saw many more of them destroyed.

There are plenty of accommodation options inside the Yosemite National Park. One can choose from historic hotels to lodges, to camping, to private cabins in the Yosemite Valley and the village of Wawona.

Next: 20 Stunning Photos Of Yosemite That Make Us Want To Pack Our Bags Immediately