"Yosemite's Wawona Hotel" Wawona Hotel Tip by VeronicaG

Wawona Hotel, Yosemite National Park: 1 reviews and 1 photos

  The Wawona Hotel
by VeronicaG


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.


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.

Address: Wawona, California
Directions: Near the South Entrance to Yosemite
Phone: 559-253-5635
Website: http://www.YosemitePark.com

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 4, 2007
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