• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

Preservation

Two American Indians sit on ground by their simple housing

Two women sit in a Native American camp near the base of Four Mile Trail in this historic 1901 image. Archeologists study the Ahwahneechee, who have lived in this region for generations.

D.H. Wulzen / Yosemite Research Library

To honor Yosemite’s past means to preserve it today through archeological and architectural recognition. Structures, artifacts, and trails symbolize more than their tangible worth by revealing underlying human values. Archeologists systematically study the things left behind—such as tools, ornaments, buildings, food remains, and changed landscapes—to uncover clues about historic cultures, economic systems, settlement patterns, demography, and social organizations. Yosemite archeologists have documented more than 1,500 sites that hold material remnants of past lifeways. Architects make note of the Rustic design of many Yosemite structures representing the belief that buildings should blend in with their natural surroundings and that natural settings influence architecture.

Did You Know?

Cars and campers in a meadow in Yosemite Valley.

Unrestricted camping is no longer allowed in Yosemite Valley because of damage it causes. The placement of campgrounds and campsites has changed over the past 75 years in response to a growing understanding of river dynamics, geologic hazards, and the park's natural and cultural resources.