Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked Questions
1. What does “Manzanar” mean? “Manzanar” is the Spanish word for apple orchard.
2. Where do I get my passport book stamped? Manzanar National Historic Site’s passport cancellation stamp is available in the Visitor Center.
3. How far is Manzanar from Death Valley? Yosemite? Manzanar is located on the west side of US-395 about 117 miles from Death Valley National Park and about 106 miles from the east entrance to Yosemite National Park.
4. Can I see Mt. Whitney from the site? You cannot see Mt. Whitney from Manzanar. You can see Mt. Whitney from Lone Pine, 9 miles south of Manzanar. The tall mountain directly west of Manzanar is Mt. Williamson.
5. Can I camp at Manzanar? Camping is not allowed in Manzanar National Historic Site, but there are numerous camping facilities in the nearby communities. Picnicking is allowed at the site, except within the fenced cemetery area. There are several picnic tables at the west side of the parking lot.
6. What happened to all the buildings from the camp? After the war, all but three of the camp’s 800 buildings were dismantled or relocated. Former Manzanar War Relocation Center buildings can be found throughout the Owens Valley.
7. Do former internees come back to visit? Former internees come back to Manzanar frequently. The Manzanar Committee, a non profit educational organization, sponsors a pilgrimage to Manzanar the last Saturday of every April. Many former internees, and a growing number of young people, participate in this event.
8. Can I bring my dog to the site? Dogs are welcome at Manzanar, but they must be on a leash and owners must clean up after their pets. Pets are not allowed in buildings or within the fenced cemetery area. Please be aware that our parking lot has no shade and summer temperatures are frequently over 100.
9. Can I pick fruit from the historic orchards? Visitors may sample the fruit from the orchards. They may gather 1 quart or less per person and no more than 5 quarts per year.
10. Can I purchase food or beverages at the site? A water fountain is available in the Visitor Center. There is also a water fountain next to the parking lot at the sidewalk. There is no food concession at Manzanar. Lone Pine, 9 miles south, and Independence, 6 miles north, have grocery stores, convenience stores, and restaurants.
11. What is the best time of year to visit Manzanar? Any time is a good time to visit Manzanar. Spring can be windy, but the temperatures are pleasant and wildflowers bloom in rainy years. Although our desert summers are hot, the retreat to the nearby Sierra Nevada make summer our busiest season. Autumn again brings comfortable temperatures and fall color in the high country. Winter is slower and a great time to plan a school field trip or a family vacation. Winter also offers stunning photographs of the Manzanar landscape with the snow covered Sierra in the background.
12. Where is the bathroom? Our Visitor Center has clean, wheelchair and family friendly bathrooms. We also have a wheelchair accessible portable toilet at the cemetery which is at the halfway point on our driving tour.
Did You Know?
Hours after Pearl Harbor the Hawaiian territorial governor declared martial law. With the exception of about 2,000 people confined in Hawaii or on the mainland, Japanese Americans were not forcibly removed from the islands. They comprised one-third of the population and their labor was essential for the war effort.