Friends of Nelder Grove

Welcome to Nelder Grove

Download our Interpretive Guide

UPDATE: Friends of Nelder Grove nonprofit has been informed that Nelder Grove is OPEN temporarily, at least until contract work gets started again sometime in the summer of 2023. It is IMPORTANT that visitors know that the roads will not be cleared of snow/mud during the winter to access Nelder Grove. The gate will be closed that heads up to the Interpretive Center, yet the Bull Buck and Chimney trails are available for the public if you can get there. If you have any questions you can call me at 559-760-9108, or email:

Nelder Grove historically had about 400 mature giant sequoias, we lost some mature sequoias in our historic past, then we lost 277 mature sequoias that we cut down for fence posts and then a handful fell over due to natural events. We were then left with almost 100 remaining giants. During the Railroad fire we lost 40% of our remaining mature sequoia trees, and now we have approximately 60 left.

In the 1990s Mark Lemmon wrote, “A Fire Protection and Restoration Strategy for Nelder Grove”, that said, “The fuel load in Nelder Grove was in excess of 140 tons per acre” and that was over two decades ago. We are long overdue for this project to be accomplished and today is a day to celebrate the protection of our remaining trees. The public needs to know that Nelder Grove just might be closed throughout next year, but this is a good sign that in our future Nelder Grove’s mature giant sequoias, and our forest as a whole, will remain standing because of the that that began today.

The Shadow of the Giants trail is closed due to the Railroad Fire of 2017. Friends of Nelder Grove, Inc. remains available to you for any questions. You may send an email to or call, 559-760-9108. We want you to have a fabulous trip and we are happy to offer assistance. We recommend that when you visit the grove to download the GREEN map to take with you, or take a photo. We do not have a camp host at this time and Friends of Nelder Grove is not always on site. 

You can enjoy the plants, rocks and historical items because others left them for you. Leave what you find so that the next person can enjoy them.

Please observe the courtesies of the trail, the campground, and roads. Use existing camp areas and walk on the main trails to protect nature. Pick up your trash and take it with you. Remember this is a Pack It In – Pack It Out area. Follow the Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics.

Respect wildlife. Watch wildlife from a distance and never approach, feed, or follow them. Protect wildlife and your food by storing your meals and trash tightly.

Be kind to other visitors. Make sure the fun you have in the outdoors does not bother anyone else. Remember that other visitors are there to enjoy nature. Listen to Nature.

Practice Responsible Pet Ownership. This means controlling your pets’ interactions with people and wildlife in natural areas. Please keep your pets leashed within developed recreation sites. We also ask that you “scoop the poop.”

The rare orchid shown below reaches it southern distribution limit in the Sierra Nevada at Nelder Grove. It is a Forest Service Sensitive species, and picking or disturbing these plants is prohibited. Please take only photographs.


Mountain Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium montanum)
Photos by Brenda Negley