Yosemite Landmarks Getting Their Names Back

Great news for those who appreciate the history and traditions of Yosemite National Park.

Several of the major hotels and camp villages at the Park will be restored to their traditional names after a few years of being known by differing names. 

Some might recall that since 2015 many of the major historic sites within the Park received new, some might call bland, names. 

Do you remember The Ahwahnee and Curry Village? Well, since 2015 these two Yosemite staples carried the names The Majestic Yosemite Hotel and Half Dome Village. 

The Ahwahnee


Curry Village


Big deal? Maybe not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but tradition is tradition, and a name is a name, isn’t it? 

Backcountry Journeys has a deep connection with Yosemite National Park as we have for years and years paid visits to the Park to photograph its grandeur in spring, autumn and winter, as the old Park truly does resemble some people’s idea of heaven. Here, towering granite mountains stand like great castle walls, home to plentiful waterfalls that cascade into deep valleys and meadows below. And in Yosemite, names matter. 

El Capitan. Tunnel View, Half Dome. 

Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View


El Capitan

May 3rd to 6th, 2016

Half Dome

These names are synonymous with the Park, and many longtime Yosemite people, be it visitors, workers, and Park officials, feel the same way about the building and site names that were taken away. 

The entire fiasco was the result of a dispute when, in 2015, Yosemite National Park chose to not renew a contract with its longtime concession provider, Delaware North. While packing up to leave, the concessionaire issued a $50 million tab that the Park would be required to pay if it would like to keep the names of its own structures and sites. 

Sounds crazy. Yet, years earlier Delaware North had trademarked these names of these sites it managed, giving the company legal right to them. The Park Service declined and moved on giving the historic places new names. 

The Wawona

The Wawona Hotel didn’t cease to exist, it just became Big Trees Lodge. And Badger Pass Ski Area was renamed Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area. 

The old names have all been restored as of now, with the exception of Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, which was renamed Yosemite Valley Lodge.

In spite of the names, whether new or old, Yosemite is a photographers dream, and Backcountry Journeys can get you there! Join us one of these days to see for yourself all of the old and the new at Yosemite National Park. 

Kenton Krueger







Kenton Krueger grew up and spent the first 33 years of his life in the corn country of Omaha, Nebraska. After studying at the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Aviation Institute, he “conned” his way into the newsroom at the award-winning Omaha World-Herald, where for 3+ years he wrote news articles and photographed on a variety of topics such as community events, travel, and even mixed martial arts. Yet something was missing. While on backpacking trips to Grand Teton and Grand Canyon National Parks in the mid-2000’s he was quick to realize that the wild lands of the western United States stoked a fire in his heart as nothing else could. This realization led to a relocation to Flagstaff, Arizona, where he hasn’t looked back. He has spent the past several years guiding backpackers, hikers and photographers into the wild places of the American West such as Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Yosemite National Parks as well as in the Grand Staircase Escalante in southern Utah, and internationally in Costa Rica. In addition to backpacking and camping, his adventures include rock climbing, exploring the slot canyons of southern Utah and mountain biking. Kenton looks forward to utilizing his years of guiding experience, combined with his passion and experience behind the lens, to provide memorable and unforgettable experiences at the wild places we will visit together.







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