America’s National Parks Podcast

Grand Register of the Yo-Semite Valley

June 3, 2022

Yosemite was once a wild land ruled by grit. In the 1870s and 80s, only the hardiest of travelers braved the rumbling wagon road and the twenty-mile trek into the valley on mule or horseback. These were folk acclimated to the wild, people who had lived in mining towns or mountain villages their entire lives. Yet, tucked away in the packs of some of these rugged, hardened adventurers was beautiful, delicate china, artisan soaps, fragile full-length mirrors, and fresh crisp towels. Across the treacherous terrain strapped to stubborn scratchy mules, employees of the Cosmopolitan Bathhouse & Saloon brought luxury to the valley in a juxtaposition that defined so much of this era.

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