New outdoor art workshops and captivating live theater performances add to the richness and drama of a visit to spectacular Yosemite National Park. Among the art and theater programs for 2013 announced today by Yosemite Conservancy are a new opportunity to paint amid the ancient Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, a gripping performance of how African-American cavalryman patrolled Yosemite’s wilderness years ago, and a thrilling first-hand account of rescues by park emergency response teams.
“Yosemite has inspired artists, painters, photographers, writers and performers for more than 150 years to create works that portray the park’s iconic landscape, wildlife and people. Yosemite Conservancy not only supports art and theater programs that carry on that tradition, but fees from these programs go to important restoration and protection work in the park supported by our organization,” said Mike Tollefson, president, Yosemite Conservancy. “Art and theater programs provide entertaining, compelling and creative ways to enrich the visitor experience and encourage stewardship of the park.”
From April 8 through October 19, professional artists will lead adult Yosemite Art Center sessions held outdoors for all skill levels. In addition, inspiring new programs will be held in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and at the Thomas Hill Studio in Wawona from June 3 through August 31. Some of the workshops offered are Fun with Watercolor, Create Your Own Art Postcard and Adventures in Ink. The Yosemite Art Center will also host kids-only hour-long sessions from June 17 through August 15 in the morning for ages 6-10 and 90-minute sessions for kids 11 and older in the afternoon. Sessions for both adults and children are $10 per person.
Yosemite Theater LIVE! kicks off the season April 12 with Return to Balance presented by famed climber Ron Kauk. The park’s cultural history and adventure comes to life as Park ranger Shelton Johnson reprises his role as an African-American cavalryman patrolling Yosemite’s wilderness in the early 20th century. Actor Lee Stetson portrays John Muir in adventures about Yosemite wildlife and his dramatic battle to preserve Hetch Hetchy Valley. Filmmaker Steven Bumgardner gives a behind the scenes look into his wildly popular Yosemite Nature Notes series on the park’s natural phenomena and history. The Yosemite Search & Rescue Ranger team will share thrilling stories and cautionary advice with photography from actual Yosemite rescue operations.
“Because of Yosemite Conservancy support, people of all ages and abilities have an opportunity to experience the park in unique and memorable ways through art, live performances and cultural programs,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher.
Yosemite Theater LIVE! performances are held seven nights a week at 7 p.m. at the Yosemite Theater behind the Valley Visitors Center. Specific dates and additional details can be found at www.yosemiteconservancy.org. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for children under 13, and children under 4 are free. Tickets are available at Yosemite Conservancy Bookstores and at Tour & Activity Desks.
Through the support of donors, Yosemite Conservancy provides grants and support to Yosemite National Park to help preserve and protect Yosemite today and for future generations. The work funded by Yosemite Conservancy is visible throughout the park, from trail rehabilitation to wildlife protection and habitat restoration. The Conservancy is dedicated to enhancing the visitor experience and providing a deeper connection to the park through outdoor programs, volunteering and wilderness services. Thanks to dedicated supporters, the Conservancy has provided more than $75 million in grants to Yosemite National Park. Learn more at yosemiteconservancy.org or call 1-800-469-7275. (Courtesy of NPS)
Yosemite with a Furry Friend
Story, text & photo credit Claire F. Meyler, yosemiteconservancy.org
When we visited Yosemite for my husband’s 30th birthday, we wanted to bring the whole family – and that meant our pup, Samurai. With a few rare exceptions (noted below), Dogs are only allowed on paved trails and developed areas, to ensure the safety of Yosemite’s wildlife. But don’t let that stop you from bringing your furry friend! Yosemite Valley is a lovely place to explore with a dog in tow.
We enjoyed a leisurely walk along the Valley Loop Trail, a paved path that includes boardwalks over fragile meadows and lovely views of many Yosemite icons: Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan and other granite giants. The access path to Lower Yosemite Falls is also paved, with picnic areas and benches. For the rare unpaved treat, bring your leashed dog to the Wawona Meadow Loop, an easy 3.5 mile hike that begins at the Wawona Hotel. Visit in winter for beautiful snowy vistas, or come in spring for colorful wildflowers.
Other hidden dog-friendly paths include; Chowchilla Mountain Road; Wawona’s Four Mile and Eleven Mile Fire Roads; Carlon Road from the trailhead to Hodgdon Meadow; and on the Old Big Oak Flat Road from Hodgdon Meadow to Tuolumne Grove parking lot. For breathtaking views of the valley, drive to paved overlooks at Tunnel View or bring a picnic to Olmsted Point.
We chose to camp in the valley, but plenty of local hotels just outside Yosemite allow dogs for a small fee. Be sure to ask ahead when you make your reservations. Check out all the pet guidelines to make sure you have a safe and happy trip – and remember to store your dog food in the bear-safe food lockers!
Tips for the Trip
Make sure you pack enough water and snacks for yourself and your dog – you will both need extra water in the high elevation. Pack a 6-foot stationary leash, portable bowl, and enough waste bags to clean up after your pooch. To stay safe, never leave a dog unattended in a campsite or car. If you want to explore unpaved trails on your own, kennel services are offered in Yosemite, and at most pet-friendly hotels. Enjoy!
Aside from enjoying your beautiful vacation home, we have several of our own amenities as well as some local favorites to tide you over until we get our park back.Bear Walk–Grab a map of the Wawona community and some free souvenirs for you and your pet from our Front Desk team and begin your hunt for over 20 fantastic wood-carved characters! On your way you’ll see some amazing views of Wawona Dome and the Merced River as well as other beautiful Redwoods In Yosemite cabins.
Geocaching–Receive a map from our Front Desk team depicting coordinates to The Redwoods In Yosemite’s hidden cache sites. Snap a photo of all 5 and receive a free souvenir! We’ll even throw in some souvenirs for your pets.
Fly Fishing—The Redwoods In Yosemite has partnered with Sierra Fly Fisher to offer you and your family the finest guided trips and instruction in California’s Sierra Nevada. The fly fisherman will enjoy quality fishing conditions on uncrowded waters while angling for wild trout. Contact our Front Desk for reservations.
We’re only 7 miles inside Yosemite National Park from the south gate entrance and just a few miles beyond that are several other activities to consider.
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad–Receive a 10% discount coupon upon check-in and enjoy an exciting 4-mile railroad excursion into history where powerful locomotives once hauled massive log trains through the Sierra Mountains. The Sierra National Forest’s majestic woods provide the backdrop for this journey back in time.
Horseback Riding–Our friends at Yosemite Trails Saddle & Sleigh Company offer one and two hour trail rides. After a hands-on arena lesson, you and your horse will cross through a mountain stream shaded by a canopy of towering pines. The Vista Pass trail offers four creek crossings, pristine alpine meadows and panoramic views.
The Redwoods In Yosemite has a selection of soups, sandwiches and snacks for your enjoyment at our self-service bistro.
In addition, Tenaya Lodge remains open during the shutdown and offers several restaurants as well as many other options in Oakhurst and Bass Lake. Visit the Vacation Planner section of our website to view many more of our partnered vendors.
If you have photos you would like to share on our ‘Wawona In Bloom’ slideshow you can submit them using the form below. Be sure to bookmark this page to see what’s blooming! Your photo may also be featured on our Facebook page so be sure to ‘like’ us by clicking the Facebook icon on the top right of your screen.
Story by Ralph Harder of Cabin 3A
Although I am an Original 73, I was not part of the core group that formed the Corporation. You, hopefully will hear/have heard from Bob Dunn, Elmer Green, and others still living about that. In fact, for the prior two years I was renting my cabin through the Mays, having become fed up with Dick and Wanda Moore. It is a shame that we have no complete history of the founding of WPMI (Wawona Property Management Incorporated), let alone the history of The Moore’s Redwoods, which preceded it. I’ll provide what I can.
Our logo states: CIRCA 1949. I can’t vouch for that but I know that in the 1950’s there were several cabins surrounding River Road. The Mays had a cafe and gas station (where the Honeymoon Cabin is now), plus their cabins. I visited Wawona twice while working summers for Yosemite Park & Curry Company in the Valley, in the 50’s. Richard (RD) Moore and his wife Jewett ran The Moore’s Redwoods. RD had a contractor’s and a broker’s license. He sold the lots and built the cabins –solid redwood logs—with the help of his son, Jerry. Jewett handled the rental business. In the 50’s and 60’s, allegedly, they were building 20 homes a year and renting most of them out for the owners. The lumber yard and hardware store was where the library is today.
After staying twice in Redwoods cabins, I bought a lot (from RD) in 1968 and started construction (by RD) that year—the second year for frame rather than log construction. All went well until late 70’s (I don’t have the date), when the Moores decided it was time to retire. I am sorry to say, that I was approached by RD, asking me to get a group together to buy him out. He may have approached others. He may have been asking $250,000. I tried several months, unsuccessfully, to interest enough owners to make the purchase. So then our troubles began. He sold his holdings to the National Park Service and took a lease-back. He turned the business over to his other son and daughter-in-law, Dick (Jr.) and Wanda Moore. We soon knew we were in trouble when we learned that Dick Jr.had been working for a bank in Fresno that fired him because of suspected embezzlement. There are many stories of poor management, culminated by theft of our deposits. I became fed up (not even knowing about the theft) and cashed out about two years before the end of “The Moores”. The Mays were easy to work with but weren’t used to working with anything “as big” as my 1500 Sq. ft. 4 bedroom cabin. I was happy to go to WPMI when it was formed.
There is more history that needs to be told…
My name is Carl and I have worked for The Redwoods In Yosemite for a little over two years now. In all that time, for some reason or another, I was never able to find the time to actually explore some of the amazing spots right here in our own backyard until recently.
These spots are never the same as the seasons change, but if you’ve visited us before then you know where they are. If you haven’t visited then I will discontinue using words to define what the following images describe so beautifully about how lucky I felt to capture them.
Most people who have had the opportunity to venture through Yosemite National Park, have driven through the famous and historical Wawona Tunnel. It is part of three main roads in Yosemite Valley, transporting you down to Tunnel View and Yosemite Valley, or up to Wawona and Mariposa Grove on California State Route 41, towards on the south entrance. There isn’t anything more spectacular than driving through Wawona Tunnel to reach one of the most stunning views in the park. The spectacular Tunnel View looks eastward into Yosemite Valley, including the Half Dome, El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall. Here are other great facts about the tunnel:
Construction of the tunnel began in 1930, and was dedicated in 1933. And everyone who worked on its construction survived.
It cost $850,000 to construct at the time, equivalent to a cost of 12.5 million today.
The tunnel was blasted through solid granite bedrock on the mountainside, requiring 275 tons of blasting power.
It is the longest highway tunnel in California at 4,233 feet (1,290 m) long, or 0.8 miles long, and was once the largest tunnel for vehicles in the west.
Although not a popular spot, people like and are able to rock climb the tunnel.
Looking for a cabin near this engineering marvel?
Our stunning Redwoods In Yosemite cabins are located in Wawona, at the Southern entrance of Yosemite, and just a few miles from the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Relaxing and private, these fully equipped vacation cabins border the wild and scenic South Fork of The Merced River, the Wawona swinging bridge and Chilnualna Falls (the second highest vertical drop waterfalls in Yosemite)! Our Event Center includes full use of the Fireside Room and adjacent deck, with audio and visual equipment and a catering kitchen. Many of our cabins are pet-friendly, some feature spa tubs, and all have private decks with BBQ’s and upgraded linens for that, “Home Away from Home” experience. Relax, explore, and escape in Yosemite!
Over generations, countless visitors have driven down a meandering Chilnualna Falls Road in Yosemite for the first time in search of an answer to that question. To those that made that journey, we all were that person at one point in our lives and the uniqueness of that initial memory, and those that ensued, is as unique as The Redwoods In Yosemite. It is a constant appreciation of that dichotomy of commonality and difference that makes the Redwoods so special. Whether you can no longer count the number of visits that you’ve made to the Redwoods or you just discovered it, it should come as no surprise that places like the Redwoods are rare. In many ways, its timeless continuance is an improbable outcome for a small establishment nestled within one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Were it not for decades of enduring care from its early founders and every generation that followed, the fate of the Redwoods might read quite differently. Acknowledging all the individual contributions that helped deliver the Redwoods to where it is today would be a daunting task, to say the least. Then again, that debt of gratitude may already be paid in full. For anyone that has spent time at the Redwoods has already received something meaningful in return, memories. To the individual for which these memories belong, they are likely priceless. Generously, several individuals have shared herein some of their thoughts on the Redwoods for all of us to enjoy. Perhaps that will compel you to share your memories as well. It’s not difficult, you just have to ask yourself, what does the Redwoods mean to you?
Author: Jon Finney
Mariposa Grove Photo: Nancy Robbins
poem by Kyla King of Cabin 39
I am from warm summers spent learning the names of brilliant wildflowers that cling to granite cliffs and peek out from beneath the scraggly limbs of weathered old pine trees.
I am from clear, calm pools formed over many years in the bends of the south fork of the Merced River where I can swim with rainbow-colored trout that sparkle in the sunlight as they flit through underwater realms.
I am from the sound of Chilnualna Falls as it crashes into a deep, cold pool in the shade of giant boulders.
I am from the smell of sugar pines and wild azaleas.
I am from high alpine lakes, precious jewels enclosed by granite peaks.
I am from crisp mountain air that tastes pure and clean and seems to wrap the awe-inspiring landscape in shimmering gauze.
I am from the wind that whispers through the tops of the towering pine trees, swaying ever so slightly.
I am from small patches of snow settled in the shadows of tall peaks, unwilling to melt in the heat of summer, ready to dazzle the occasional passerby. I am from the babbling sounds of the river, midafternoon summer sunlight, and gentle breezes.
I am from the feeling of warm granite, rough under my feet.
I am from the tremendous effort of backpacking and the relief that accompanies the removal of large backpacks.
I am from the breathlessness felt only on tall peaks gazing out at smudged blue and purple mountains, receding into the distance.
I am from card games during hiking lunch breaks.
I am from days of adventure and exploration and the thrill of discovering something in nature that no one else will see in exactly the same manner.
I am from forging my own path through undergrowth and hiking off-trail, rather than walking along the traditional path.
I am from an oasis, detached from the fast pace of urban life and the humming cacophony of noise that accompanies it.
I am from climbing mountains and bouldering.
I am from a loving family that values wilderness, quiet, and solitude.
I am from a childhood of picking wild berries and collecting acorns with my younger sister.
I am from an environment that inspires me to paint landscapes and write poetry and allows me to understand Frost, Thoreau, and Emerson’s appreciation for nature.
I am from a multi-generational tradition of summer trips, warm nights spent on the deck of our cabin, and hearing my grandparents reminisce about days from their past.
I am from a culture of laughter, adventure, and family.
I am from Yosemite.
To read more of our Recollections of Life and Events in Wawona, Yosemite National Park stories as told by the Homeowners of The Redwoods please visit our blog.