La Casa Nevada

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing 

     Welcome to the Half Dome blog. For our new readers, I try to do this every day – except when I am out camping, hiking Half Dome or on a cruise ship. I am at the latter now. Flying home from Miami today.  My mission is done here. I’ll be updating my website calendar soon. My next gig is a private “How to hike Half Dome” class on Jan 8, then a speaking program in Sonora Jan 15. REI is working the schedule for my talks at the Bay Area stores and we will announce those when things settle.  Starting January 12 is my “Hiking 101” class at Trailsloggers in Campbell. We’ll have a class session then 3 weekend hikes. See the website if you want to join the fun. 

    Soon after the Yosemite Grant in 1864, Yosemite began to grow like wild dandelions. Tourism exploded although it was a chore to get to the park. California’s Legislature was hurting for funds, so they agreed to let independents build hotels to service the public. Several individuals took advantage of this – there were the Leidig, Black, Hutchings, and Lamon “Hotels.” All were in the Valley proper.  In 1869, Albert Snow and his wife Emily were granted a right to build a hotel in the flat area just north of Nevada Fall on today’s upper Mist trail. When you do your Half Dome hike, before you start your trek up the granite steps just to the left of the Fall, look to for the broad “bench” or flat of land. That area is where the hotel was. Called La Casa Nevada – the Snow House. Imagine the view! And the sleep inducing waterfall just outside your window. Snow built the horse trail up to the hotel and charged tolls.  La Casa Nevada prospered until 1891, when a fire (common in those days) burned it to the ground. Don’t look for artifacts or foundations. There is nil left. 
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “There is a house in New Orleans, they call the Rising Sun. And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy and God I knows I’m one.” Eric Burden & the Animals 

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch –


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