Build Historical Connections: Washburn Trail – 2018

Build Historical Connections: Washburn Trail – 2018

Restore the historic Washburn Trail to connect hikers to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite.

Before cars began flowing into Yosemite in the early 1900s, many people traveled to and through the park on horse-drawn stage coaches. In the late 1870s, pioneer Albert Henry Washburn oversaw construction of a stage road connecting Wawona with the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

Fast-forward to the 21st century: In 2018, the park wrapped up a multiyear restoration project in Mariposa Grove , which included introducing a seasonal shuttle to transport visitors to the sequoias. This grant funded the creation of an alternative approach to the trees: a rustic 2-mile trail that follows a section of the long-abandoned Washburn Road. Crews converted remnants of the road into a pedestrian trail, constructed new creek-crossing bridges and repaired historic walls built by early Chinese laborers.

Your contribution helped preserve a chapter of Yosemite’s past in a year-round trail that creates a special sense of arrival for a treasured place.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park.

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Project Notes
Mariposa Grove will welcome hikers on a restored historic trail.

Restoring this historic road for use as a trail will allow visitors to understand what it was like to travel this road back in 1879 when Henry Washburn’s consortium completed this railroad branch line.

Dave Kari
Facility Management, Roads & Trails
Yosemite National Park