Yosemite Valley
Museums & Historical Sites

 Yosemite Valley Online Hotel Reservations


Yosemite Valley, California Hotels and Resorts

Museums & Historical Sites in Yosemite Valley

Our guide to Yosemite Valley Museums and Historical Sites  will help you explore Yosemite Valley's colorful history.

Scroll down the page or click here to search  Museums  or  Historical Sites.

Featured Yosemite Valley Hotels
Featured Yosemite Valley Hotels

Yosemite Valley Museums


Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest / Schulman Grove Visitor Center

Located 23 miles east of Big Pine Hwy. 168  (760) 873-2500

The Visitor Center offers interpretive talks, self-guided trails, exhibits, and a picnic area (no drinking water available).  The Schulman Grove contains the oldest known continuously growing organism in the world--a 4,700 year-old bristlecone pine named Methuselah. Its exquisite shape had been defined by centuries of harsh winters and blistering summers.  The center is open daily June 15 through Labor Day, and on weekends Memorial Day through Columbus Day.

Columbia State Historic Park

Columbia State Historic Park is three miles north of Sonora, off Highway 49.

The town's old Gold Rush-era business district has been preserved with shops, restaurants and two hotels. Visitors have the chance to time-travel to the 1850s, imagining life when gold miners rubbed shoulders with businessmen and the other residents in Columbia. Visitors can experience a bygone era watching proprietors in period clothing conduct business in the style of yesterday. There are opportunities to ride a 100 year-old stagecoach, pan for gold, and explore the real working businesses of Columbia.

Eastern California Museum

155 N. Grant St., Independence  (760) 878-2411 ext. 2258

The museum has one of the finest collections of Paiute and Shoshone Indian artifacts. Also, the museum has an exhibit on Manzanar Relocation Camp that includes rare photographs, diagrams, and mementos. Additional exhibits include antique wagons, tractors, mining implements, a Paiute Indian dwelling, and a reconstructed pioneer town.  The museum operates 10am to 4pm daily (closed Tuesdays and major holidays).

Laws Railroad Museum and Historical Site

200 Silver Canyon Rd., Bishop  (760) 873-5950

The museum has preserved the last narrow-gauge railroad west of the Rockies.  The site also contains the original 1883 Laws Depot, Laws Post Office, and Agent's House.   You can tour the train and the museum's  buildings daily between 10am to 4pm.

Mammoth Lakes Ranger District Visitors Center

Hwy. 203,  Mammoth Lakes  (760) 924-5500

The center provides visitor information on the areas geology and history. They also provide a natural history bookstore, and wilderness permits.  During the summer, the center gives interpretive programs that feature wildlife, geology, history, wildflowers, junior rangers, and campfire programs. The center operates 6am to 5pm daily (July 1-Sept. 15) 8am to 4:30pm Monday-Saturday (Sept.15-Memorial Day)

Mammoth Museum

Sherwin Creek Rd., Mammoth Lakes  (760) 934-6918

The authentic 1927 log cabin, built by Emmet Hayden, displays old mining equipment, memorabilia and photos of early-day Mammoth Camp.  Mining equipment is demonstrated on the weekends during the summer months. The museum is open daily from 11am to 6pm during the summer.  The museum is operated under permit by the Inyo National Forest.

Manzanar National Historic Site

U. S. 395, approximately 6 miles south of Independence

During World War II, thousands of Japanese Americans were interned at Manzanar. Visitors who wish to explore the the internment camp ruins can still find walls, foundations, and the remains of some of the internees' rock gardens.

Mariposa Museum and History Center, Inc. -- A historical society and museum.

5119 Jessie St., Mariposa  (209) 966-2924

Mono Basin National Forest Area Visitor Center

U.S. 395, Lee Vining  (760) 647-6572

The center features interpretive activities and exhibits on Mono Lake--a 700,000 years old inland sea. Visitors can view some outstanding geological formations that include tufa towers and volcanoes. The center operates daily during the summer, and Thursday through Monday during the winter.

Mono County Museum

Bridgeport  (760) 932-5281

Built in 1880, the former Bridgeport Elementary Schoolhouse, displays exhibits of early Mono County mining and farming equipment, and a wonderful collection of Paiute baskets. The museum is opened 10am to 5pm (summer only)

Old School House -- Historical Museum

Lee Vining  (760) 647-6461

Built in 1925, the school house now displays odd artifacts, photographs and equipment that chronicle the history of Mono Basin. Other exhibits include farming and mining equipment.   The museum is open 12 p.m. to 8pm Thursday through Sunday during the summer.

Paiaute/Shoshone Indian Cultural Center

West Line St., Bishop  (760) 873-4478

The center has some outstanding exhibits that include a depiction of a Paiute camp in the winter, traditional willow shelters, sweat house, along with many other Indian artifacts. The center is open daily year-round (closed on major holidays).

Pioneer Yosemite History Center

The Pioneer Yosemite History Center consists of historic structures from different eras of Yosemite history. Originally constructed in different locations throughout Yosemite, they were moved to Wawona in the 1950s and 1960s. As you walk among them, it is important to remember that the area does not represent a village. Instead, each building represents a different chapter in the Yosemite story. Download PDF

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park

18115 5th Ave., Jamestown, CA 95310

Located in Jamestown, California, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park is home to one of America’s last intact, still-operating railroad roundhouses. Known as “The Movie Railroad,” Railtown 1897, its historic locomotives and cars have starred in hundreds of film and TV productions, including High Noon, Back to the Future 3, and Petticoat Junction.

Yosemite Cemetery

The historic Yosemite Cemetery is located across the street and just west of the Yosemite Museum. People buried here include Native Americans, casual park visitors, and people who played important roles in the development of what is now Yosemite National Park. A Guide to the Yosemite Cemetery is available to borrow or purchase at the Valley Visitor Center.

Yosemite Valley Chapel

P.O. Box 456, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389    (209) 372-4831

The Yosemite Chapel, located in Yosemite Valley, became listed on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places in 1973 based on its “simple architecture” that was representative of “a particularly fine example of the early chapels constructed in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.”

Yosemite Museum

P.O. Box 577, Yosemite National Park  (209) 372-0281

The museum contains Yosemite related history items, and natural history.

Yosemite Museum Gallery

The Yosemite Museum, next to the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, has displays that interpret the cultural history of Yosemite's native Miwok and Paiute people from 1850 to the present. Demonstrations of basket-weaving, beadwork, and traditional games are presented. The reconstructed Indian Village of Ahwahnee behind the museum is always open. The art gallery is open periodically and often exhibits pieces from the Yosemite Museum collection.

Back To Top >>

Back To Top >>