The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley: A Great American’s Dream

The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley: A Great American’s Dream

The tale of the celebrated Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley is particularly noteworthy since of its position in US Nationwide Park history, but also mainly because its pretty existence is a tribute to one particular man who had an bold aspiration for America. He preferred to construct a Nationwide Park System that would be the envy of the planet, and the Ahwahnee Resort served him do it – here is how.

The to start with director of the US National Park Service

A rich Stephen T. Mather agreed to direct the Park Assistance in 1915, at a time when there ended up just 16 nationwide parks and the public was indifferent to the strategy. Currently there are 58 outstanding parks, and through the years, considerably of the good results of the National Park system was because of to the mindful arranging and inspiration of Mr. Mather.

All are welcome

Mather envisioned the nationwide parks to be locations of beauty and peace and obtainable to all. In Yosemite, he directed the generation of a few distinct levels of convenience to cater to the comprehensive spectrum of national park guests.

The highest amount of lodging would be a initially-course hotel that offered all the amenities essential to draw in and fulfill the wealthy and influential. A second degree of accommodation would present 12 months spherical tents with a central area for providers these types of as a cafe and toilet amenities. He also established aside place for frugal guests who preferred to camp with their very own tents and tenting tools. Right now, the nationwide park process very a great deal follows Mather’s strategy.

How Mather grew the park method

Mather thought that if he developed a truly excellent resort in his favorite national park in Yosemite Valley it would be of curiosity to loaded and strong persons. They would arrive to take pleasure in the several facilities, and in return offer assist for his plan to increase the National Park Technique and the general public have faith in wilderness in the United States.

Concurrent with Stephen Mather’s appointment, the automobile was revolutionizing tourism and travel all across the country. By 1926, an all-weather freeway opened Yosemite Valley to calendar year spherical access. Since of both, Mather’s approach succeeded outside of his wildest goals.

Record of the Ahwahnee web-site

Thousands and thousands of decades of glacier grinding smoothed the lofty granite partitions of Yosemite Valley into the amazing majestic monuments we know these days.

30 thousand yrs ago, there was a wonderful lake on the site of the Ahwahnee Hotel. The drinking water remaining a fertile basic that was subsequently inhabited by Indigenous Us citizens.

The Miwoks lived in Yosemite for countless numbers of yrs ahead of it was uncovered by the white man in the mid-19th century.

Reminders of the to start with people

The Ahwahneechee tribe lived on the land in which the Ahwahnee Hotel stands right now. Their eating plan included a staple porridge produced from acorns. Hotel guests can investigate the significant granite formations and the pockets created in the rock by the Indian workers who floor the acorns into food.The rock formations are easy to uncover and are located immediately adjacent to the hotel parking large amount. Any lodge worker will be satisfied to demonstrate you the site.


After the white person learned Yosemite, it was not extended before the term bought out about the great wilderness with its 3,000-foot granite partitions and cascading waterfalls.

In the 1850s, the very first travellers entered Yosemite on horseback. A modest city, Kennyville was swiftly set up to give website visitors with livery companies and minimum creature comforts for the duration of their stay in the valley.

With the arrival of the auto in the early twentieth century, Kennyville’s usefulness declined quickly and the land appeared a perfect prospect for repurposing. Mather preferred the attractive website with plentiful trees and views of Yosemite Falls, 50 % Dome, and Glacier Place for his resort. He bought his wish.

The building commences

In 1925, the Yosemite and Curry Enterprise (YP&CC) was commissioned by the Park Assistance to make the fantastic Yosemite resort. Gilbert S. Underwood was preferred as architect. His endeavor was to be a single of his finest job problems and achievements.

A fireproof lodge

Fire is generally of great concern in the wilderness, and lots of park accommodations have fallen target to natural woodland fires. Mather preferred a fireproof resort. To that finish, the Ahwahnee is a correct masterpiece of design and style genius.

The Ahwahnee Resort construction appears to be like to be manufactured of rock and timber, but in fact the primitive on the lookout exterior siding, balconies, and beams that show up to be timber are basically produced from cement castings superbly stained to match the encompassing redwoods and pines. We have frequented the Ahwahnee Hotel a lot of times above the many years, but right up until we did the analysis for this posting, we had no concept the exterior partitions were being manufactured of cement.

Building the Ahwahnee Lodge was a monumental endeavor

It was the greatest these undertaking for the burgeoning young American trucking market of the 1920s. Vans ran on dusty roads working day and evening, seven days a 7 days for above a calendar year to convey elements to the Ahwahnee worksite.

All developing products for the 6-tale resort have been imported from outdoors the park. That intended hauling almost 700 tons of metal I beams along with 5,000 tons of building stones, and 30,000 ft of lumber and logs with early product trucks alongside bumpy filth streets. Insert to that the many tons of resort furnishings, and the kitchen area and maintenance gear needed to operate a luxury lodge. It was a massive endeavor for more than 250 drivers, workers, and artisans to build the timeless lodging masterpiece that we now so revere.

Stephen T. Mather did himself, and America happy.

The resort had its grand opening on July 14, 1927.

If you go

There are several entrances to Yosemite Park and you can opt for your route from the park website.

As you drive via the park observe for indications to the Ahwahnee Lodge. A pure stone gatehouse at the entrance to the resort gives the visitor an exhilarating feeling of arrival. The leafy tree-lined drive past the gateway boosts the anticipation, and the Sequoia lined parking spot presents a warm welcome to all site visitors.

You are privileged to be about to enter just one of the grandest park rustic motels in the world.

Satisfied travels.

We will publish extra about the grand Ahwahnee Resort in the pretty close to foreseeable future. If you favored this story, do not overlook the sequel. We will check out the Ahwahnee’s impressive inside, and the role that Ansel Adams and the Navy performed in the hotel’s historical past.

We want to thank Lisa Cesaro, of the DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, and Tami von Isakovics of Ellipses Community Relations for aiding us with data about the Ahwahnee Lodge and Yosemite Valley.

If you would like to browse more facts about the Ahwahnee Lodge there are two brief and exceptional books on the matter. The Ahwahnee – Yosemite’s Grand Lodge, by Keith Walklet and The Ahwahnee – Yosemite’s Typical Lodge, by Shirley Sargent. Both of those publications are offered on