History & Culture

The area now known as Yosemite has been home to the Ahwahneechee for tens of thousands of years. Though the Europeans arrived in the mid-1800s, the rugged terrain made it difficult for many to travel and stay in the area. However, the construction of the Yosemite Valley Railroad in 1907 allowed many to come to the area. What was first inhabited by 650 people grew into a tourist attraction that reels in 3.5 million visitors annually.

People – The local American Indians have passed down stories saying that the inhabitants of the Yosemite area were created in the area and have lived there since the beginning of time. Today, seven tribes continue…READ MORE

Archeology – Yosemite’s cultural heritage has been under study since the late 1800s. Since then, over 1500 archeological sites have been documented, each containing physical memories of people from the park’s past. Through these, archeologists get to decipher a cultural chronology that helps…READ MORE

Stories – Yosemite National Park has been the setting of dramatic plotlines tying different people together. While history books detail the Valley’s discovery by Euro-Americans as early as 1833, there are many stories that have remained oral in nature...READ MORE

Collections – There are numerous cultural, natural and historic collections in the Yosemite Museum. All the artifacts, specimens and historic records are accessible for research, public enjoyment, and educational purposes. They also aim at…READ MORE

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