Yosemite National Park

Hiking in Wawona

Wawona Meadow Loop
Trailhead: Wawona Highway 41, across from the Wawona hotel on the golf course side
3.5 miles, 1.25 hours roundtrip; Easy
Follow the road that crosses the golf course to where parking is available on the far side on the right. Once across the course take the first left, on the unpaved fire road. The road ascends for 1-1/2 miles (2.4 km) then drops downward for the remaining two miles (3.2 km).

Swinging Bridge Loop
Trailhead: Covered bridge at the Pioneer Yosemite History Center
4.75 miles, 2 hours loop; moderate
Starts on the paved road (Forest Drive) upstream with the river on your left. At the entrance to the Seventh Day Adventist Camp (two miles) bear left and continue down the road to the Swinging Bridge. Cross the bridge and the South Fork of the Merced River, bear left onto the trail, which becomes a dirt road and eventually a paved road. This paved road is Chilnualna Falls Road which will return you to the Yosemite Pioneer History Center.

Chilnualna Falls Trail
Trailhead: Chilnualna Falls Road, parking towards end of paved portion on the right
8.2 miles, 5 hours roundtrip; Strenuous
The trail from the parking area, winds along the creek for the first half mile then continues through open forest until it becomes a series of switchbacks. The remaining three miles to the top of the falls is a steady ascent. Approaching the crest, vistas of the Wawona Valley are seen, as well as the wooded ridges beyond. Hikers are also rewarded with refreshing views of Chilnualna Falls.

Wawona to Mariposa Grove Trail
Trailhead: RV dump station near Wawona General Store6.5miles one-way; Strenuous
As you hike on this trail you pass through forests and have a good view of the Wawona Dome and Wawona basin. Continue on the trail to a dirt road, turn right at the"2 hr. horse trail" sign, walk a short distance up this road. The back of the Hotel will be to your right and the trail begins to the left. The trail sign at this junction reads "2 hour horse trail", continue on this trail to the Mariposa Grove.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
Trailhead: Far end of the parking lot at the Galen Clark history sign
6.9 miles, 4 hours loop; Moderate
Kids will love this trail. Shorter loops are possible. Besides being in an amazing environment, many of the trees have distinct personalities. Notably the Grizzly Giant, one of Yosemite's oldest, the California Tunnel tree, the Clothespin Tree. Wawona Point , the most dramatic view of the Wawona area, is reached by hiking. Once in the Upper Grove, follow the road toward the Galen Clark tree. Walk down the spur road from the front of the tree about 1/2 mile.

Alder Creek Trail
6 miles, 4 hours roundtrip; Moderate
Drive Chilnualna Falls Road past the Information/Ranger Station to the Alder Creek Trail pullout. The trail involves a gain in elevation, and until you reach the creek, it is quite dry (Creek may be dry in summer). Distant ridges are in view for the first few miles; the remainder of the trail is thickly forested. If you continue on this trail (13 miles total), you can hike to Glacier Point Road.

Hiking in Yosemite
Yosemite Valley | Wawona | Tuolumne Meadows

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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