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.

Dave Kari

Facility Management, Roads & Trails

Project Notes

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.