Wawona Hotel, Yosemite National Park

1 Reviews

Wawona, California 559-253-5635

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  • The Wawona Hotel
    The Wawona Hotel
    by VeronicaG
  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo

    Yosemite's Wawona Hotel

    by VeronicaG Updated Sep 4, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Wawona Hotel

    IT'S BEGINNING

    Galen Clark, an ailing gold miner from California, fell in love with the area as he passed through with a group of tourists on their way to Yosemite.

    He returned to build a rustic cabin in the woods and established Clark's Station (later renaming it Big Tree Station), hoping to take advantage of Yosemite's popularity.

    Eventually, he relocated and added a partner in 1870. Unfortunately, the business didn't do well, so became the property of Washburn, Coffman and Chapman.

    When a kitchen fire (1878) devoured most of Clarks Station, the hotel and most of the outbuildings had to be rebuilt.

    SOMETHING NEW

    Mr. Washburn took on a new partner and they hired Joseph Shelly to design a new two story building, holding 25 guest rooms. The new hotel may have opened the summer of 1879.

    By 1883, the name was changed to Wawona*. It had become a full fledged mountain resort...with a unique attraction!

    Someone was paid to gouge an 8 ft. by 26 ft. tunnel into the base of a giant Sequoia which blocked the roadway. After this, visitors flocking to Yosemite also stopped by to see the Wawona Tunnel Tree (fell around 1968-69).

    The hotel continued to attract tourists when the Wawona area was added to the National Park system in 1932. It recently (March, 2002) underwent a renovation and now offers 48 Victorian-style guestrooms.

    The Wawona Hotel is located in the lush meadowlands of the Wawona Valley. *The name Wawona comes from an Indian word meaning "Big Tree". For a list of the hotel's activities or reservations see website below.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Architecture

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