History Attractions in Yosemite National Park

Maybe 9000 years ago the first people came to what we now call Yosemite; its significant heritage has been building ever since. The story of the Indians is still going on today here, and visitors will find it in many places, including a new cultural center west of Yosemite Lodge.

Eight years before Yellowstone, the US government set aside Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove as a park for the nation. This was a pioneering event on a global scale, which some have called "America's best idea." Yosemite is also a World Heritage Site, partly for this history of Native Americans and for the initiation of public lands preservation. Almost everywhere you turn you'll encounter a human heritage of interaction with the land.

The southern community of Wawona says "history" throughout, from the stately Wawona Hotel, to one of California's few covered bridges, the nearby Mariposa Grove that Abe Lincoln preserved, to the Pioneer Yosemite History Center. The history center is a collection of buildings from throughout the park, brought together in a village layout. These special structures are interpreted by costumed volunteers who'll explain the park's story as you visit a blacksmithy (watch out for sparks!), the Army headquarters, the Wells Fargo office, and some homesteads.

In Yosemite Valley, the chapel is one of the oldest buildings still in use in Yosemite, located all by itself where Yosemite Village used to be. Near the Visitor Center are the historic cemetery, the reconstructed Indian Village (still used for ceremonies), the first museum for the park system and more.

Yosemite Cemetery

user rating

Castle Cliffs Court & Village Drive
(Yosemite Village)

A peek at the past...
Read more

Yosemite Chapel

Southside Drive

The historic chapel across from Yosemite Falls...
Read more

Pioneer Yosemite History Center

P.O. Box 577
Wawona Hotel

Historic structures from the mining era...
Read more

Mariposa Grove

user rating

expert pick

Mariposa Grove Road
Park at the Wawona Store parking area and walk east 0.25 miles to Forest Dr. The trail head is on the right

Largest living things on earth...
Read more

Yosemite Museum Gallery

Village Drive & Castle Cliffs Court
(Yosemite Valley)

The Valley's History In Paint...
Read more

Indian Village of Ahwahnee

user rating

Indian Canyon Road
(Yosemite Village)

View indigenous peoples' past inside the park...
Read more

Indian Cultural Exhibit

Miwok and Paiute artifacts in Yosemite Valley...
Read more

Museum Gallery Shop

Village Drive & Castle Cliffs Court
Yosemite Village

Yosemite's Indian crafts, books and more...
Read more

LeConte Memorial Lodge

Curry Village Loop
(Curry Village)

Educational center...
Read more

Ansel Adams Gallery

user rating

expert pick

POB 455
(Yosemite Valley)

A shop and gallery featuring Ansel's photography and much more...
Read more
Contact   ·   Privacy   ·   Terms166 ms