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Wawona Rides

Rules for where stock can/cannot go are not well marked. Read board at entrance to camp for information on disposing of manure (in bags at dumpster, bring lots of large bags (can’t buy them there), ask maintenance yard just past camp if can use wheelbarrow) Check in/ask at Stables when you arrive for the latest information. Beryl, the ranger who runs wagon rides on other side of river, is very knowledgeable (very interesting to chat with) and helpful. Do not ride through Pioneer History area. Maximum two horses at a time on the covered wooden bridge. Do not ride up on the rent string or pass them without permission of the wranglers. Trails are all relatively wide and nicely maintained except where noted.

Chilnualna Falls Ride  3 ½ to 4 hours going up and back (can go just as far as you like). Good camera views of Wawona Dome.

Go left out of camp, then right on Chilnualna Rd through neighborhood. Stop for ice cream at store or on the way back. Follow “stock trail” signs; stay left, still on paved road (slippery for shod horses), then right around chain gate up road (on way down, advise dismounting and walking horses). Go on up trail which follows creek for a while. Upper falls are past a rocky ledge trail (rent string goes up there, “no problem”). Can tie below and walk up. If you like, come back down and have lunch along the stream (explore for a spot). For a great view, have someone hold horses at upper intersection of people/ stock trail and walk down to see falls (very close, worth a look). Or have partner pony your horse down as you walk down the “people trail”.

Meadow Ride   About 1 ½ hrs just around meadow, 2 hours if include hill option. May go clockwise or counter clockwise.

Clockwise: From camp follow trail along river toward highway. Cross bridge, go left back along corrals for wagon horses, past dump station, turn right across road taking trail up slope, meeting road behind Wawona Hotel. Go about 1/4 mile and cross highway to “Meadow Loop” (sign). Go along meadow toward the end. Look for two trails on left just on either side of a culvert adjacent to a sign “stay on road 1.3 mi”. One closest to highway goes up and connects with trail to Mariposa Grove (called “2 hour ride trail”). Other one (hill option) goes up to road that brings you back down to other end of Meadow Loop. Hill option starts on quite steep road (just keep going up wherever there is a cross trail), becoming a trail. One short narrow section. At foot bridge stay uphill to cross. Continue right (downhill) at road. Cross highway turning left across field in front of hotel, bear right below tennis court above restrooms, back around wagon corrals, back to camp. If going counter clockwise: Cross highway (following reverse of above directions) to road that bisects the golf course. Continue up the hill past the lower “Meadow Loop” road. Take dirt road to the left twice. Take trail on left down to dirt road. Turn left around meadow and golf course back to the original road to cross back over the highway.

If you wish you can just take Meadow Loop or you could go exploring on up the dirt road farther; it was the original Chowchilla road into Wawona Valley.

Mariposa Grove Ride   2 ½ hour to outer loop, 2 hours around loop with lunch stop, 1 ½ hours back down to camp. Beautiful trail, gorgeous trees. (It's been a few years so check with rangers regarding riding options in the Grove.)

From camp follow trail along river toward highway. Cross covered bridge. go left back along corrals for wagon horses, past dump station, turn right across road taking trail up slope, meeting road behind Wawona Hotel. Turn left at Maripose Grove sign. Turn left on outer loop (no stock allowed inside loop). Go to Wawona outlook, then have lunch near the intersection of the loop and outlook trail. Continue around the loop (you’ll get to a place that says no stock, we just continued on to finish the loop, got in trouble, oh well they should have a stock loop). Sign says Fish Camp the other way (not where you want to go) but may continue on around the lower loop passing “Parking area”. Follow all signs to Wawona. Return on trail down the hill.

Shorter option: ride to outer loop, turn left, go up to outlook intersection, then return (you’ll see some nice trees).

Alder Creek Ride   Take trail as towards Chilnualna Falls, not far on left turn toward “Alder Creek”. Follow out as long as you wish. Full loop requires overnight on the trail and comes back Chilnualna Falls trail. Trail is described as hot and dry. We enjoyed it.