The Ahwahnee Resort in Yosemite Valley: A Nice American’s Dream

The Ahwahnee Resort in Yosemite Valley: A Nice American’s Dream

The story of the celebrated Ahwahnee Resort in Yosemite Valley is especially noteworthy due to its standing in US Nationwide Park historical past, but in addition as a result of its very existence is a tribute to 1 man who had an bold dream for America. He needed to construct a Nationwide Park System that will be the envy of the world, and the Ahwahnee Resort helped him do it – right here is how.

The primary director of the US Nationwide Park Service

A rich Stephen T. Mather agreed to guide the Park Service in 1915, at a time when there have been simply 16 nationwide parks and the general public was detached to the idea. Right this moment there are 58 magnificent parks, and thru the years, a lot of the success of the Nationwide Park program was because of the cautious planning and inspiration of Mr. Mather.

All are welcome

Mather envisioned the nationwide parks to be locations of magnificence and rest and accessible to all. In Yosemite, he directed the creation of three distinct ranges of consolation to cater to the total spectrum of nationwide park guests.

The very best stage of lodging can be a first-class resort that offered all of the facilities needed to draw and fulfill the rich and influential. A second stage of lodging would offer yr spherical tents with a central space for companies similar to a restaurant and bathroom services. He additionally put aside house for frugal guests who most popular to camp with their very own tents and tenting tools. Right this moment, the nationwide park system just about follows Mather’s plan.

How Mather grew the park system

Mather thought that if he constructed a very nice resort in his favourite nationwide park in Yosemite Valley it might be of curiosity to wealthy and highly effective individuals. They’d come to benefit from the many facilities, and in return present assist for his plan to develop the Nationwide Park System and the general public belief wilderness in the US.

Concurrent with Stephen Mather’s appointment, the auto was revolutionizing tourism and journey all throughout the nation. By 1926, an all-weather freeway opened Yosemite Valley to yr spherical entry. Due to each, Mather’s plan succeeded past his wildest goals.

Historical past of the Ahwahnee website

Tens of millions of years of glacier grinding smoothed the lofty granite partitions of Yosemite Valley into the breathtaking majestic monuments we all know right this moment.

Thirty thousand years in the past, there was an amazing lake on the placement of the Ahwahnee Resort. The water left a fertile plain that was subsequently inhabited by Native People.

The Miwoks lived in Yosemite for hundreds of years earlier than it was found by the white man within the mid-Nineteenth century.

Reminders of the primary individuals

The Ahwahneechee tribe lived on the land the place the Ahwahnee Resort stands right this moment. Their weight loss program included a staple porridge constituted of acorns. Resort guests can discover the big granite formations and the pockets made within the rock by the Indian employees who floor the acorns into meal.The rock formations are straightforward to search out and are located instantly adjoining to the resort car parking zone. Any resort worker shall be blissful to point out you the placement.


After the white man found Yosemite, it was not lengthy earlier than the phrase bought out in regards to the marvelous wilderness with its 3,000-foot granite partitions and cascading waterfalls.

Within the 1850s, the primary vacationers entered Yosemite on horseback. A small city, Kennyville was rapidly established to offer guests with livery companies and minimal creature comforts throughout their keep within the valley.

With the appearance of the auto within the early twentieth century, Kennyville’s usefulness declined quickly and the land appeared an ideal candidate for repurposing. Mather needed the gorgeous website with plentiful timber and views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and Glacier Level for his resort. He bought his want.

The constructing begins

In 1925, the Yosemite and Curry Firm (YP&CC) was commissioned by the Park Service to construct the nice Yosemite resort. Gilbert S. Underwood was chosen as architect. His activity was to be considered one of his best profession challenges and accomplishments.

A fireproof resort

Fireplace is at all times of nice concern within the wilderness, and lots of park inns have fallen sufferer to pure woodland fires. Mather needed a fireproof resort. To that finish, the Ahwahnee is a real masterpiece of design genius.

The Ahwahnee Resort construction appears to be manufactured from rock and timber, however in actuality the primitive trying exterior siding, balconies, and beams that seem like timber are literally constructed from cement castings fantastically stained to match the encircling redwoods and pines. We’ve visited the Ahwahnee Resort many occasions through the years, however till we did the analysis for this text, we had no thought the outside partitions have been manufactured from cement.

Constructing the Ahwahnee Resort was a monumental enterprise

It was the most important such activity for the burgeoning younger American trucking trade of the Nineteen Twenties. Vehicles ran on dusty roads day and evening, seven days every week for over a yr to deliver supplies to the Ahwahnee worksite.

All constructing supplies for the six-story resort have been imported from outdoors the park. That meant hauling practically 700 tons of metal I beams together with 5,000 tons of constructing stones, and 30,000 ft of lumber and logs with early mannequin vehicles alongside bumpy filth roads. Add to that the various tons of resort furnishings, and the kitchen and upkeep tools essential to run a luxurious resort. It was an enormous enterprise for greater than 250 drivers, employees, and artisans to create the timeless lodging masterpiece that we now so revere.

Stephen T. Mather did himself, and America proud.

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

When you go

There are a number of entrances to Yosemite Park and you’ll select your route from the park web site.

As you drive by way of the park look ahead to indicators to the Ahwahnee Resort. A pure stone gatehouse on the entrance to the resort provides the customer an exhilarating sense of arrival. The leafy tree-lined drive past the gateway will increase the anticipation, and the Sequoia lined parking space supplies a heat welcome to all guests.

You’re privileged to be about to enter one of many grandest park rustic inns on the planet.

Blissful travels.

We are going to write extra in regards to the grand Ahwahnee Resort within the very close to future. When you preferred this story, do not miss the sequel. We are going to discover the Ahwahnee’s exceptional inside, and the position that Ansel Adams and the Navy performed within the resort’s historical past.

We need to thank Lisa Cesaro, of the DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, and Tami von Isakovics of Ellipses Public Relations for helping us with details about the Ahwahnee Resort and Yosemite Valley.

If you want to learn extra particulars in regards to the Ahwahnee Resort there are two brief and glorious books on the topic. The Ahwahnee – Yosemite’s Grand Resort, by Keith Walklet and The Ahwahnee – Yosemite’s Basic Resort, by Shirley Sargent. Each books can be found on