• View of Half Dome and Washington Column in Yosemite Valley

    Yosemite

    National Park California

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  • Tioga Road is Closed for the Winter

    The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) is closed due to snow; it usually reopens in late May or June. You can check on current road conditions by calling 209/372-0200 (press 1 then 1). More »

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?

The Merced River flowing serenely through Yosemite Valley

Congress designated the Merced River as Wild and Scenic in 1987. The National Park Service manages 81 miles of the Merced River, encompassing both the main stem and the South Fork in Yosemite National Park and the El Portal Administrative Site. More...