If you hope to see the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park this month, you'll need to plan on a weekend visit if you're driving directly there. And after September passes, the parking area at the site will be closed for the rest of the year while improvements are made to it.
Park officials say the parking lot will be temporarily closed beginning September 8 while improvements are made to the trailhead and parking area. During the month of September, the parking lot will close at 6 a.m. on Mondays and re-open at 5:30 p.m. on Fridays. There will be no weekend work during the month of September. Beginning October 1 and continuing through December 31, the parking lot will be closed seven days a week, park officials say. The Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias will remain open, with limited parking available at the Crane Flat Gas Station and other road turnouts.
“These enhancements are long overdue,” said Superintendent Don Neubacher. “The entrance to the Grove should set the stage for an incredible walk among giant sequoias. This project will create a sense of arrival for visitors, will provide improved restrooms, new interpretive signs, additional parking, improved traffic flow, and an enhanced picnic area.”
The Tuolumne Grove Trailhead and Parking Area project is expected to be completed in May 2015. The work is being done in conjunction with improvements along the Tioga Road Corridor. In addition to National Park Service funds, support is being provided by the Federal Highways Administration and Yosemite Conservancy.
The Tuolumne Grove has approximately 25 mature sequoia trees and receives about 80,000 visitors annually. The Tuolumne Grove is one of three giant sequoia groves in Yosemite National Park. The Merced Grove is located approximately two miles from the Tuolumne Grove. The Mariposa Grove, the largest of the three, is located near the southern entrance of the park.