The Grizzly Giant at Yosemite Park

The Grizzly Giant at Yosemite Park

The Grizzly Giant is the oldest treee at Yosemite, and possibly the oldest on the planet. This giant sequoia is said to be over 2,700 years old and resides in the Mariposa Grove at Yosemite National Park. The Mariposa Grove is the largest stand of giant sequoias (also known as Sierra redwoods or big trees) in Yosemite.



Some of the Redwood trees found in the Mariposa grove that are worthy of special note are:

  • The Columbia Tree: The tallest tree in the grove and in Yosemite National Park.
  • The Bachelor and Three Graces: A group of four trees, three of them growing very close together, with a fourth a little more distant. Their roots are so intertwined that if one of them were to fall, it would likely bring the others along with it.
  • The Grizzly Giant: The oldest tree in the grove.
  • The California Tunnel Tree: Cut in 1895 to allow coaches to pass through it (and as a marketing scheme to attract visitors to the grove), this is the only living tree with a tunnel in it since the fall of the Wawona Tunnel Tree in 1969.
  • The Faithful Couple: A rare case in which two trees grew so close together that their trunks have fused together at the base.
  • The Clothespin Tree: Countless fires throughout the decades nearly severed this tree’s trunk, creating a space in it large enough for a pick-up truck to drive through.
  • The Telescope Tree: A tree that repeated fires, down the decades, have left completely hollow. 

What is the largest tree in the world? It is the General Sherman sequoia in Sequoia National Park.

is supposed to have been the first tree seen by Galen Clark upon his entrance in the grove, and which would have inspired his love for the Giant Sequoias that would drive him to struggle for the setting aside of land for preservation, something that was unheard of in the mid-19th century.

  • The Wawona Tunnel Tree: Renamed to “The Fallen Tunnel Tree” after it toppled over during a snow storm in 1969. This was the first tree to have a tunnel carved through its trunk, in 1881. Its collapse is seen as a turning point in the preservation of wildlife in National Parks in the United States. So grave was the shock of its collapse that it brought about a greater awareness of how sensitive an ecosystem can be, even in regard to beings as massive as the Giant Sequoias.
  • The Fallen Giant: It was one of the largest trees in the grove, until it fell, in 1873.
  • The Massachusetts Tree: It was one of the most famous trees in the grove. It fell in 1927.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Timothy Colman
    Mar 06, 2008 @ 18:30:17

    Great book on the Giants of California and Southern Oregon is ‘Wild Trees” by Richard Preston
    See link

    And my green publishing co. in Seattle — Good Nature Publishing just made a beautiful fine art poster: “Sequoias: Giants of Sierra Nevada” painted by award winning artist John C. Pitcher

    Thanks for posting the link on the giant trees. We are lucky to have such trees nearby.


    Timothy Colman, publisher
    Good Nature Publishing Co.


  2. prettysleepy
    Mar 07, 2008 @ 01:52:31

    Thanks Timothy. I looked at the poster on your site and it is awesome. Very nice.


  3. Trackback: Yosemite’s mighty treedom « The Vacationer
  4. M. D. Vaden of Oregon
    Jul 17, 2009 @ 05:47:53

    The Grizzly Giant is a pretty handsome specimen. In some waya, more photogenic than General Sherman.



  5. Yuko Z. Kourt
    Oct 02, 2014 @ 19:00:22

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was once
    a enjoyment account it. Look complicated to far introduced agreeable from
    you! By the way, how can we be in contact?


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