• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

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  • Road Closures Due to El Portal Fire

    The Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and the El Portal Road is temporarily closed. There is no access to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road or Highway 120. Tioga Road is open and accessible via Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass Entrances. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. More »

  • Yosemite National Park is Open

    Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and Wawona/Mariposa Grove areas are open and accessible via Highways 140 and 41. Tioga Road is not accessible via Highways 140 and 41 due to a fire.

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?

Merced River Gorge

Descending from Yosemite Valley, the Merced River becomes a continuous cascade in a narrow gorge littered by massive boulders. Dropping 2,000 feet in 14 miles, canyon walls rise steeply from the river and have many seasonal waterfalls cascading down to the river.