Big Trees Lodge, National Historic Landmark, Wawona

The Wawona Hotel is a historic hotel located within southern Yosemite National Park, in California. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. On March 1, 2016, the Wawona Hotel was renamed Big Trees Lodge due to a legal dispute between the US Government, which owns the property, and the outgoing concessionaire, Delaware North, which claims rights to the trademarked name.History to presentThe Wawona Hotel is one of the oldest mountain resort hotels in California, and a classic of Victorian era resort design. The Victorian style hotel was built in 1876 to serve tourists visiting the nearby Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum). As tourism increased, through 1916, the hotel built additional rooms and facilities. In addition, it cut more forest trails, as well as paths along the south fork of the Merced River.The Wawona Hotel is located 4mi from the park's south entrance, between the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees and the Yosemite Valley. It is one of the few historical period hotels still standing within Yosemite National Park's boundaries.Most of the hotel's 104 guestrooms open onto one of the Wawona Hotel's deep verandas, which wrap around the first and second floors; they have open views of the gardened and natural landscapes. The hotel includes six historically distinctive buildings, built between 1876 and 1916. The rooms are furnished with antiques, period pieces, and vintage elements. The hotel has no telephones or televisions in the guestrooms. Outdoor recreation choices include quiet nature walks or scenic drives, and when snow arrives, nearby cross-country and downhill skiing and snowshoe routes.
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Big Trees Lodge, National Historic Landmark Reviews
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  • The lodge itself is a national historical landmark, being one of California's original mountain resort hotels that was established in 1856. If you are going to stay there, just be aware that only half...  more »
  • We noticed this charming lodge on our way to Yosemite Valley Lodge, and although it isn't in the heart of Yosemite Valley, it has a lot of history and Southern style charm. We intended to have lunch h...  more »
  • A grand old hotel originally built by the Washburn brothers. Take sometime and wander through the Pioneer center first and you'll appreciate the history of the hotel that much more. I'm a local and ta...  more »
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  • Stayed for a couple of nights. The receptionist was not efficient and non-caring. As soon as we entered the room, dank and musky smell was overpowering. Not surprisingly the floor was wet and a portion next to the closet door had a trace of standing water. When reported, the housekeeping crew brought in an industrial type fan and opened all the door and windows for two hours. So we lost valuable time just to get settled in. Then numerous cobwebs under the bed frame and some crusts of food on the floor. It must not been cleaned after the earlier guests departed. The lodge maybe a historic building but the maintenance and housekeeping was absent. This was one of the worst lodging experience of numerous cross country trips. It appears that the lodge can get away from such a mismanagement simply there is a high demand for the national park visitors. What a shame.
  • The place is beautiful inside and outside. We didn't stay at the lodge but took a lunch break. The food was good and service was great. The servers were very friendly and knew about the food and drinks well. The ambience, to me, felt very British and classy. The place was extremely clean and well maintained.
  • We loved Big Trees Lodge! The staff is super friendly and our room was nice and quiet. Comfy bed. No internet but you’re in a National Park. They decorated for the Fourth of July and it was super cute. Felt more like we were staying in our own little private cottage than a hotel. Also, breakfast at the restaurant is great.
  • One could expect no less when it comes to atmosphere in Wawona and Big Trees Lodge. It's absolutely gorgeous inside and out. I went in expecting to be turned away due to crowding on the first day that Glacier Point Rd was opened, but we were seated immediately! The cocktail list is awesome. I would love to go back and try more options! I was also expecting it to be more expensive than it is, so that was another pleasant surprise. Food was out to us within 20 minutes and they had plenty of offerings for kids. Healthy choices too! We enjoyed dessert and coffee before starting the long drive home while listening to the pianist by the fire. He plays beautifully and between each tune would give the history behind it. I would love to stay at the lodge one of these days. I know my parents have and loved the experience.
  • Our young family did a quick trip to Yosemite and we decided to stay at Big Trees. It is an old hotel (read: missing a few modern amenities), but worth it in charm. My wife and I were able to enjoy an afternoon drink on the patio while the kids had a soda. We then checked out the pool. The kids enjoyed it, though it too is an older style pool. But for young kids, they really don’t care about that. We ate dinner in the restaurant, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The food was decent (good, not amazing, but good), but the atmosphere was charming and delightful. Large panel windows give lots of natural light, and the views of the forest and hotel grounds are easily observed from the restaurant. After dinner, we heard live music, so we joined others in the parlor where a gentleman was playing the piano and singing. We probably sat there for 30 minutes before retiring to our room. Our room was comfortable. They are not big rooms, and we used a shared bathroom. The bathrooms were clean. It was only a small nuisance to walk down the hallway a short distance to the bathroom. The next day we left early, and let the concierge know our plan for a hike in the valley. They had brown paper bag meals ready for us on our departure. I would stay here again. We enjoy old historical buildings, and for us this hotel fit that bill.
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45 days in United States BY A USER FROM CHINA November, culture, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, culture ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 44 days in Yosemite National Park BY A USER FROM MEXICO December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 10 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 9 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 57 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 32 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, culture, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 13 days in California BY A USER FROM HUNGARY March, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 44 days in California & Nevada BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 7 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, culture, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 17 days in United States BY A USER FROM SOMALIA November, culture, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, culture ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 29 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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