Sign for North Pines campground - Yosemite National Park CA
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) completely reconstructed the public campgrounds at the head of Yosemite Valley, which are today known as the North, Upper and Lower Pines campgrounds.
There had long been camping all over Yosemite Valley, but it had been an unrestricted free-for-all with cars driving across meadows and people camping wherever they liked. The damage to the valley’s meadows and streams had been extensive before the National Park Service (NPS) brought a halt to the anarchy.
First, the NPS restricted camping to designated campgrounds at the head of the Valley in the late 1920s. It then implemented a new plan for individual campsites, known as the Meinecke system, which became the standard for the next half-century (before trailers became common, demanding larger spaces and hook-ups).
With the help of CCC labor, campsites were laid out with car parking, tent space, water supply, fire pits and picnic tables, plus comfort stations. Most of this work was done in 1940-41.
The Pines campgrounds have been renovated over the years, so it is unclear what, if any, traces remain of the CCC work.
(The Civil Works Administration (CWA) may also have done some work on these campgrounds in 1933-34)
John Broesamle book manuscript and interview, 2022.
Project originally submitted by John Broesamle on February 6, 2022.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.
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