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…

Giant Sequoia Tree Trunk in snow
Giant Sequoia Tree Trunk

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?

Merced Grove trail sign pointing
Trail sign

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.

Snow covered trail in the forest along the way
Snowy forest path

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.

Snowy grove of trees
Snowy grove

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.

Tourist women posing in Merced Grove
Snow bunnies

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

Superintendent's log cabin in the snow - Merced Grove photos
Superintendent’s log cabin in the snow

One of the highlights of our hike was this scenic and historic superintendent’s cabin.

Log cabin window closeup
Can we come in?

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.

portrait looking up at the tall trees - Merced Grove photos

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.

Sequoia trees behind wooden fence on trail - Merced Grove photos
Majestic giants

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.

 Sequoia"pine" cone in snow - macro
Sequoia”pine” cone in snow

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

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of (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.