Priest’s Station update

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Most visitors to Yosemite from the San Francisco Bay area travel on Highway120. Just before Big Oak Flat and Groveland, the road tops out at Priest’s Station. I did a nice write up about it several weeks ago, so I won’t rehash that. But on my February trip I stopped by and checked it out. In October, 2009 the Wally Anker family reopened Priest Station as a restaurant and store. The site has been plagued by fires over the years. They have cleaned up the property, added a deck overlooking Grizzly Gulch and paved the parking lot. They boast a fine eatery and a few rental cabins. The Priest Station site still contains the original water well, which Anker hopes to restore. An old garage serves as their office. I met Steve and Denise Anker, a nice couple who are descendents of the original owners and they run the place. They welcome travelers who stop by for a bite after the hair-raising ride up the grade. They specialize in home-style cooking and offer authentic German dinners every first Saturday. They have a lot of olde tyme photos on the walls from their ancestors who began the enterprise in 1853!  Enjoy – and tell them Mr. Half Dome sent ya!

Early 1900's

Circa 1920

Denise and Steve Anker

How it looks today

Original Rental Cabins remodeled

The Old Garage

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “And the winner for best hike in the world is . . . .  HALF DOME!”


*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

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5 Responses to “Priest’s Station update”

  1. Lynn Says:

    We couldn’t be more thrilled that the Anker family has taken back Priest Station and restored it into such a nice stop. It had become quite a sad welcome for folks rounding the last up hill curve, but now with the fresh paint, elbow grease and bright lights, their place is a beacon for us as we climb the hill. Also totally love their home made potato chips!

  2. Sys Says:

    Aren’t they related to Conrad Anker, the climber? See the book ‘Into Thin Air’ by Jon Krakauer if you don’t know who Conrad is already..

  3. mrhalfdome Says:

    I’ve not heard that connection in all the press I’ve read about them. Surely that would have been mentioned, so I’d guess not.

  4. Lynn Says:

    Oh, its quite true Conrad is Denise & Steven’s brother.

  5. mrhalfdome Says:

    Thanks Sys & Lynn.

    They sure are humble about it. I appreciate the info. Thanks for reading and helping out.

    I googled a bit and found out that he was on the search team which located the remains of George Mallory on Mount Everest. An August 2010 movie called The Wildest Dream will tell the story.

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