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Environmental Education Main
Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center - (formerly LeConte Lodge) Main
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Inside the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center
Climate Change
Huell Howser Video
Summer Programs
Green Shoes Project
Words for Wilderness
Wildflower Exhibit
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Centennial Celebration
Rededication Ceremony
1904 Dedication
A Week Volunteering in Yoemite by Elaine Gorman
A Volunteer's Experience by Keith Martin
Make an online donation
Join Friends of LeConte on Facebook!
  Photo Albums:
General Photo Album
Including high-res photos
Centennial Photo Album
Rededication Photo Album
Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center Fact Sheet (2016) (PDF)
Help Preserve the Sierra Club Home in Yosemite National Park (PDF)
LeConte Memorial Lodge - First Permanent Visitor Center in Yosemite Valley & Home of the Sierra Club in Yosemite National Park (PDF) by Bonnie Gisel - from Yosemite Guide, May-June, 2012 (PDF)
LeConte Memorial - A Sierra Club Legacy by Elaine Gorman (PDF) (2012)
Joseph LeConte Fact Sheet (PDF)
John Muir, the National Parks, the Sierra Club, and the Yossemite Conservation Heritage Center (PDF)
John Muir Fact Sheeet (PDF)
Huell Howser Video
(Quicktime Movie 48 MB )
Hetch Hetchy and the Sierra Club
Make a Nature Journal
About Joseph LeConte
'Little Joe' Joseph N. LeConte
1896 Tribute to Dr. LeConte
John Muir Exhibit
Sierra Club History
Oher Sierra Club Lodges
Le Conte Memorial Lodge by Steven Finacom
NPS 1985 Theme Study
National Historic Landmark Program

Sierra Club Environmental Education Program
Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center
(formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge)

Please help us keep the Sierra Club's oldest public outreach and education program in Yosemite National Park. We need to continue the Sierra Club's legacy at the Heritage Center and the time has come to raise funds for the program and ensure its existence for future generations. To start, we need to raise $90,000 by October 1, 2016 to fully fund operations for fiscal year 2017. (See Fundraising Fact Sheet) (PDF)

Please make a tax deductible donation to preserve the Sierra Club home in Yosemite National Park!

  • Make an online donation using our secure web form; or
  • Write a check payable to "Sierra Club Foundation," marked "restricted for the LeConte Memorial Fund." Please send to: The Sierra Club Foundation, 2101 Webster St., Suite 1250, Oakland, CA 94612.

For a list of our upcoming 2016 seasonal programs, see Summer Programs.

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New! Interested in volunteering for the 2016 season?
There are some dates available and interested Sierra Club members should contact the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center
(formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge) Curator Bonnie Gisel at

Click here for more information about volunteering.

Huell Howser's California Gold television series visits Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge)!
View the video: Small | Medium | Large (Requires Quicktime)

LeConte Memorial Lodge Photo by Harold Wood


impressions from a visitor

"In a little Lodge in the woods, there dwells books and books of knowledge. In this Lodge built of stones, the knowledge is passed on. The knowledge in the Lodge is passed on and on and on. Saving the trees and water, the stones and sky and earth. And the knowledge in this Lodge helps more and more and more. This Lodge of knowledge and help is known and beloved as LeConte."
- Tania Berlinski, 2004

LeConte Lodge Centennial 1904-2004Public Service since 1904

The Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge), a National Historic Landmark, was built by the Sierra Club in 1903-04.

The Sierra Club has operated the rough hewn granite and wood Tudor-style as a public education center ever since, presenting and promoting the conservation ethic through public programs, educational displays and a library.

Styled a Lodge by its founders, in the traditional meanings of the term as a small house at the gates of a park, and as a meeting or gathering place (similar to the Elks Lodge or Masonic Lodge), this small stone building has never been used for overnight accommodations, but rather it is a public building which has always been used as a library and education center.

About 16,000 visitors per year enjoy this important historical structure due to the efforts of the Sierra Club. For over 110 years, a Curator and Sierra Club volunteers have served as summer caretakers providing information to National Park visitors about Yosemite, the Sierra Nevada, and the National Park Idea.

LeConte Library 2003 Photo by Harold WoodA library collection includes books on the natural and human history of Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada; books by and about Yosemite luminaries like John Muir, Ansel Adams, David Brower; children's nature literature, and Sierra Club books, magazine, and pamphlets.

Evening ProgramFree programs on natural history, outdoor adventure and conservation issues are presented several evenings each week at 8 P.M., and special day programs for children and families are scheduled throughout the summer, including sketching and poetry workshops, storytelling, and nature walks.

Visitors Welcome Sign The unique structure was originally named for the scientist and university professor geologist Joseph LeConte, a charter member and early director of the Sierra Club, who died in the Valley in 1901. Unfortunately, Joseph LeConte's legacy has since been marred by the rediscovery of his late 19th-century writings on segregation and racial superiority. Those views are unacceptable to the Sierra Club, which is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion within its membership, in our national parks, and in society at large. Therefore, in 2015, the Sierra Club asked that the LeConte Memorial Lodge be renamed.

Although motivated by a rejection of Joseph LeConte's writings, the name change -- to Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center -- also more accurately represents the educational mission of the Center. The Center tells the stories of many Sierra Club leaders who have promoted protection for Yosemite and other national parks. Current exhibits cover John Muir, LeConte's son Joseph N. LeConte ("Little Joe"), Robert Underwood Johnson, William Colby, Edward Parsons, Marion Randall Parsons, Aurelia Harwood, Ansel Adams, David Brower, Dr. Edgar Wayburn, and other important Sierra Club leaders. The Center also highlights the Club's current endeavors to combat global climate change and support environmental justice.

Through interpretive environmental education programs and projects, the legacy of stewardship continues. Through the service of many Sierra Club volunteers and one staff curator, the Center continues to inspire current and future generations to enjoy, explore, and protect the natural world.

The Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (foremerly LeConte Memorial Lodge) is open from Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m... to 4 p.m. from May through September. Because the rough-hewn roof and granite walls have no insulation, the cold and snow of the winter keeps the building closed during the winter months. A goal for the future is to raise sufficient funding to open the Memorial seven days a week during the summer, and on the weekends in spring and fall.


We celebrated our Centennial in 2004.

Our focus for the future is on expanding and re-invigorating the ongoing purpose of Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge) to inform and engage visitors to Yosemite with the vision of caring about the world that was inspired by the Sierra Club's early leaders. Just as Joseph LeConte, John Muir, and other early Club leaders who are so closely associated with Yosemite believed, we celebrate the beauty of Yosemite while recognizing that the whole Earth deserves our stewardship. Two of our Centennial Celebration activities included our "Wilderness Quilt Project" and our ongoing Words for Wilderness program. Please joins us in our newest project - Walk in Green Shoes!


Would you like to assist as a volunteer in the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge) Program? Benefits include free admission and camping in Yosemite National Park, and the opportunity to actively contribute to the Sierra Club's Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge) educational program. Volunteers assist in greeting visitors and working with them on the LeConte Lodge Centennial Wilderness Quilt Project, keeping the Lodge orderly and clean, and in assisting evening presenters. For more information, see our page about Volunteering.


Due to the almost "fairy tale" appearance of the Memorial, we are sometimes asked for permission to hold weddings in the building. Such requests cannot be honored, since the Memorial is actively operated as a visitor and education center with numerous activities every day. For information about weddings elsewhere in Yosemite, contact the National Park Service for a Wedding Permit.

Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge) is located at Bus Stop #12, across from the Housekeeping Camp, in Yosemite Valley. Bicycle parking available.
Map to LeConte Memorial Lodge National Historic Landmark, Yosemite  Valley, Yosemite National Park

Shuttle Bus Stop: #12
GPS Coordinates: N 37° 44.400 W 119° 34.76
Street Address: 9006 South Side Drive,
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 755, Yosemite, CA 95389


For more information, during the summer contact Sierra Club Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge) Curator, P.O. Box 755, Yosemite, CA 95389, (209) 372-4542; e-mail:

During the winter, contact Team Chair Michael Bryant ( or Harold Wood, P.O. Box 3543, Visalia, CA 93278; phone: (559) 697-3525; e-mail: (e-mail preferred).

Please make a tax deductible donation to preserve the Sierra Club home in Yosemite National Park! (See Fundraising Fact Sheet) (PDF)

  • Make an online donation using our secure web form; or
  • Write a check payable to "Sierra Club Foundation," marked "restricted for the LeConte Memorial Fund." Please send to: The Sierra Club Foundation, 2101 Webster St., Suite 1250, Oakland, CA 94612.


Update regarding Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge) in Yosemite National Park: A New Name and a New Opportunity (April 2, 2016) (Link to our Grassroots Network)



Words for Wilderness and LeConte Centennial emblems by George Pettit

Other photos by Harold Wood

Website maintained by Sierra Club volunteer Harold Wood

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