“Wawona is like a bright green emerald set between the sparkling diamonds of Yosemite Valley’s waterfalls and the red rubies of the Sequoias in the Mariposa Grove.” – Yosemite visitor, early 1900s
Although Wawona was not added to Yosemite National Park until 1932, this large mid-elevation basin has hosted many people and activities for centuries and is home to numerous other natural features. Originally home to American Indians, the Wawona area later became a prosperous settlement and primary thoroughfare for people traveling to Yosemite Valley during the late 19th century. Galen Clark, the first state-appointed guardian of Yosemite, built Clark’s Station, which later grew to become the Wawona Hotel.
To Get There
Visitor Center and Museums
Chilnualna Falls flows all year, with peak flow in May. Pronounced “Chil-noo-al-na,” this waterfall is comprised of five large cascades sliding through and over large granite formations above the Wawona area. A strenuous trail, Chilnualna Falls allows for you to view the cascades in many locations along the hike and also rewards you with expansive views overlooking Wawona during your uphill climb.
In the Yosemite History Center, see horse-drawn wagons, walk across a covered bridge, and visit historic buildings out of Yosemite's past. During summer, stage rides are available and some buildings are open for demonstrations or exploration.
The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is the largest sequoia grove in Yosemite and is home to over 500 mature giant sequoias. There is no shuttle service between Wawona and the Mariposa Grove for the general public. The welcome plaza has about 300 parking spaces and may fill up by late morning. Arrive by mid-morning to increase chances of finding a place to park.
Last updated: October 12, 2021