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Blog A Stroll Through Yosemite With Ansel Adams’ Spirit
Alex Silgalis | 09/14/2020Arts & Entertainment, Entertainment/Theater, Family Friendly, Holiday, Museums, History & Culture, Photography |   

There’s A LOT of historical figures that have played an important role in preserving/creating what Yosemite National Park is today. When it comes to words, John Muir is the “godfather.” His writings helped usher in the conservation and creation of national parks. From a visual perspective though, there’s no one that's done more than Ansel Adams to preserve and share its beauty. Here’s just a few of his “thumbprints” he’s left on this iconic park.

Ansel Adams with CameraAnsel Adams and Camera - J. Malcolm Greany / Public domain

LeConte Memorial Lodge (Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center)

Adams joined the Sierra Club in 1916 and spent the next four summers as custodian of the LeConte Memorial Lodge. Deeply moved by the organization’s credo, some of his first published photographs ended up in the Club’s 1922 Bulletin. Now called the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, this gorgeous Tudor Revival building still stands today. It is operated by the Sierra Club from May through September and features a children's corner, library, and a variety of environmental education and evening programs 

Tunnel View

Photographers at Tunnel View in YosemitePhoto by: Steve MontaltoTo access the iconic photo taken by Ansel Adams, you must venture through the still longest tunnel in California. Like taking any wondrous photo, the tunnel hides the view until the last second exposing you to the “shot.” A year after the tunnel was built, Adams snapped the iconic winter photo from this location that has been etched in everyone’s mind who've seen it.

Bracebridge Dinner

Even though most visit the park in the summer, Yosemite’s Christmas traditions are the stuff of legends. One of these is the Bracebridge Dinner. Created by Ansel Adams and inspired by the 1820’s Washington Irving Tale “The Sketchbook”, it’s about Christmas Day at Bracebridge Hall. In fact, Adams was the first director as well as one of the main performers for what has become a storied annual tradition.

Ansel Adams Gallery

Founded the same year as Ansel Adams was born, this art gallery was created by landscape painter Harry Cassie Best who was to become his father-in-law. After Harry died in 1936, the gallery became the Ansel Adams gallery. Located still within the Yosemite Valley, you can see an extraordinary portfolio of some of his finest works in person.

Photo by: Ansel Adams

In Ansel Adams words: "Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space." For those aspiring photographers, don’t seek out the exact same spot that Ansel Adams used to replicate his art. Rather, use it as the first step to branch out and find new trails. Find different perspectives or other locations that add onto his legacy. Happy photo’ing!


Like what you see? Save any of these pins (or possibly all of them) to your travel planning board(s) to give you an easy way to find your way back here!  Also check out our other blog posts as well as itineraries for more ideas and pins!

Alex Silgalis

Alex founded localfreshies.com® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.

Our annual Visit Yosemite | Madera County Visitors Guide can answer all your questions about visiting California's Gateway to Yosemite. From the park itself to the museums, wineries, art galleries and more throughout Madera County, our guide can help you plan the perfect vacation. Please note that we mail to the USA only, but anyone can download the guide.
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