Merced Grove Photos In December’s Snow
Of all Yosemite’s giant sequoia groves, this one makes you work the hardest. However, so sweet is the reward. Here are my Merced Grove photos from a particularly scenic and snowy winter…
Located a few miles after you enter the park via Big Oak Flat (HWY 120), this attraction can be accessed after a 2 miles down, 2 miles back hike. It’s a bit steep, but nothing you can’t handle, right?
I remember being quite hot when I did this in Summer some years ago, so it was nice to have all the snow to keep me cool during this visit.
Plus, there’s just something so magical and refreshing about seeing a fresh blanket of powdery snow in a place like this. I’m not sure if it’s the same for these giant sequoia trees, but I know that the native Americans had a special reverence for the tall redwood trees of northern California.
I think they believed the spirits of their ancestors were enshrined in the trees. For this reason they never camped or lived among these giants – perhaps it was a place of spiritual worship.
Anyhow, to give you a sense of scale, here are two moderately sized trees with two tourists…who happen to be my wife and her cousin. Again, these trees get much larger than this, even!
Superintendent’s Cabin – Merced Grove Photos
One of the highlights of our hike was this scenic and historic superintendent’s cabin.
How we wished we could spend the night here in this tranquil forest! Alas, it’s closed to the public. At least we could eat lunch on the front porch and pretend.
As far as I remember, we were one of very few groups there on this day in December. Pretty special to have a place like this, basically to yourself.
If you get a chance to do this hike in the snow, just make sure you have waterproof boots, ideally…and warm clothes, of course. While the trail should be obvious, sometimes it can get confusing in deep snow. Just use the footsteps of other hikers as a guide.
This grove is open year round, assuming Highway 120 hasn’t been closed due to a very bad storm. Closures are a very rare occurrence, so no need to worry.
Oh, and don’t forget to bring tire chains for your car! Whether you are required to put them on at that time or not, you are required to carry them.
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– Nathan Allen
I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of YosemiteParkPhotos.com (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.