Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove is famous for being one of the largest collection of mature trees in the world. The grove’s sequoias are among the largest living things on earth, reaching up to 285 feet tall, with bark more than a foot thick and dating back 2,000 years.
Now, it’s on an exclusive list of the World’s 100 Greatest Places in 2018 from Time Magazine. The grove recently reopened to the public following a 3-year, $40 million renovation on the area. That makes it one of the most sought after destinations in the world.
Here is what the list said about the beautiful place:
Sequoias are mighty trees that can live for more than 3,000 years and grow to a height of nearly 300 ft. But they’re not invincible. And the more than 1 million people who pour into Yosemite National Park’s Mariposa Grove each year to appreciate their splendor also potentially damage them—mostly with car pollution and water-blocking parking lots and asphalt roads. So in a rare move, the National Park Service closed the grove in July 2015, launching a three-year, $40 million effort to rework the park and protect its sequoias. Among the changes it made: ripping out the parking lot and roads and revegetating the land, building wooden boardwalks and bridges to improve water flow, and erecting a visitors’ center. In order to visit the new Mariposa Grove, which opened in June, visitors must take a shuttle from a more distant parking lot. But they can do so knowing their grandchildren may one day have the same awe-inspiring view of nature. —Kate Rockwood
The restoration project was only supposed to last two years, but park officials took their time to get the destination perfect. The area was set aside for protection under President Abraham Lincoln, and its tress have been dazzling visitors for over 150 years.
The restoration project was started in order to help preserve the roots of the massive sequoia trees. After many updates to the area over the past 150 years – roads, trails and buildings – the health of the massive root system was questioned. The restoration project made sense to everyone.
Mariposa Grove is one of Yosemite’s original landmarks. On June 30, 1864, while the Civil War still raged, President Lincoln signed a two-paragraph bill that changed America’s landscape forever. Lincoln’s “Yosemite Grant Act” is widely seen as the birth of America’s national park system.
John Muir once called the trees of Mariposa Grove as “nature’s forest masterpiece, and so far as I know, the greatest of living things.”