Please note that while Yosemite remains open during the federal government shutdown, services and facilities are very limited, and certain areas of the park are closed. For more information, please refer to the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior: visit and

As the impact of the government shutdown continues to be felt, Yosemite Conservancy remains committed to supporting Yosemite National Park.

Click here for more information on the availability of Yosemite Conservancy programs and services during the shutdown.

Stephen Mather’s Best Ideas: Yosemite and the Creation of the National Park Service, with Steve Hale

Stephen Mather’s Best Ideas: Yosemite and the Creation of the National Park Service, with Steve Hale

Join Stephen Mather, the National Park Service’s first director, for a 1928 look at Yosemite Valley and his public-lands legacy.
Shows every Saturday at 7 pm, July 15 - Aug. 12
Repeats every week every Saturday until Sat Aug 12 2017.
July 15, 2017 to August 12, 2017
July 22, 2017 to August 19, 2017
July 29, 2017 to August 26, 2017
August 5, 2017 to September 2, 2017
August 12, 2017 to September 9, 2017

Travel back to 1928 to join the National Park Service’s first director, Stephen Mather, for his annual inspection of Yosemite Valley. A trip to Yosemite years earlier had helped inspire Mather, a successful businessman, to push for the creation of the NPS in 1916.

As you tour the park with Mather, portrayed by Steve Hale, you’ll hear about his vision for the new Yosemite Village. He’ll point out the recently opened Ahwahnee Hotel, the Rangers’ Club, and the roads – he donated Tioga Road to the park in 1915, and later oversaw the opening of an “all-weather” highway.

Under Mather’s early tutelage NPS grew from a fledgling idea into a successful agency. Now a century later, the service he helped create oversees more than 400 protected places. What he won’t tell you (but we will) is that you’ll find plaques in parks across the country honoring his legacy with the words, "There will never come an end to the good that he has done.”

Live Stage Performance
Saturdays at 7 pm, July 15 - Aug 12
Adults $10; Children under 12 years old Free
Yosemite Theater, Valley Visitor Center

Steve Hale

Steve Hale, the reenactor and author behind Comstock Characters, has been portraying pivotal historical characters from the American West for more than two decades. His award-winning work has earned accolades for excellence in interpretation and conservation, and for preserving historical legacies through performance. Hale’s 2016 book, The Passionate Creation of the National Park Service, sheds light on the fascinating and pivotal role that Stephen Mather played in forming the unified national park system in 1916.