Wherever you are at Wawona Hotel, the chances are your room will open onto an expansive Victorian-style veranda—a grand porch—where you can relax on an Adirondack chair and take in the beauty surrounding one of Yosemite National Park’s most regal mountain resort hotels.
This national historic landmark comprises six whitewashed Victorian buildings. Wawona Hotel’s rooms feature antique furnishings and authentic Victorian era décor.
Fifty of the guest rooms have private bathrooms, while the remaining rooms share conveniently located bathrooms down the hall. Many of the rooms without bathrooms connect to rooms with bathrooms, which is ideal for families looking for extra space and happy to share restrooms.
Wawona Hotel is a hub for many activities near the southern end of Yosemite National park, with many amenities included. In addition to the outdoor swimming pool, and hotel dining room that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you’ll find tennis courts, a golf course (and pro shop), and a stable that offers horseback rides nearby.
The Wawona Hotel is conveniently located just inside the south entrance of Yosemite National Park, approximately 23 miles from Yosemite Valley, and offers easy access to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.
Albert Henry Washburn, along with his brothers, Edward and John, are responsible for developing all of the buildings currently part of Wawona Hotel.
Washburn built a new guest-house called Long White in 1876 to compliment the other buildings at Big Trees Station after acquiring the property from Yosemite’s first guardian, Galen Clark. Then, two years later a kitchen fire swept through Clark’s Big Trees Station, burning all but the stable and Long White.
Not to be deterred, Washburn contracted a builder within the week and began work on the main two-story hotel that we know today. It opened in 1879, and hosted former president Ulysses S. Grant later that same year. Long White was eventually renamed Clark Cottage in Galen Clark’s honor.
Five more buildings were built between 1884 and 1918, including the Hill studio, created for John Washburn’s father-in-law, the celebrated painter, Thomas Hill.
Wawona Hotel was also briefly known as Big Trees Lodge between 2016 and 2019.