Long before automobiles arrived in the park, horse-drawn stage coaches provided a popular and practical way for visitors to explore the newly-protected Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove. In 1987, more than a century after the park’s first stage roads were constructed, Conservancy donors funded the construction of an authentic replica of the original coach that carried those early visitors into the Valley.
Over the next few decades, that replica coach, stationed at the Pioneer Yosemite History Center in Wawona, became a beloved symbol of the park’s past while transporting tens of thousands of modern-day visitors on a journey through history. After nearly 30 years of service, however, the stage coach needed to be replaced.
In 2014, Conservancy donors supported the construction of a new replica, restoring a piece of park history and commemorating two Yosemite milestones: the 50th anniversary of the Pioneer Yosemite History Center and the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant. Replacing the stage coach has allowed the park to continue offering people of all ages a fun, educational and memorable way to connect with Yosemite’s past.