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Inside the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center
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  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
LeConte Memorial Lodge

What's Inside the LeConte Memorial Lodge?

Interior of LeConte Memorial Lodge, Yosemite National Park, Photo by James MacFarlane Fisheye View of LeConte Interior - Photo by James MacFarlane

Beautiful Craftsman - style chandeliers and box lighting in keeping with the original architectural style lend a tasteful light to the interior of the Leconte Memorial Lodge. The Sierra Club completed the renovations of the interior lighting system In 1998, replacing antiquated (and ugly!) lighting installed in the 1930's. Focus and exhibit lights were also installed for the library and exhibits. This project was made possible only by the generous donations of donors to the Sierra Club Foundation and the dedicated volunteer efforts of Sierra Club Le Conte Lodge Committee member George Pettit.

Interior of LeConte Lodge -- fireplace The first thing that strikes the eye of the visitor to Leconte Memorial Lodge is the bas relief above the fireplace. This memorial tablet was designed by Douglas Tilden, to honor the eminent geologist Joseph Le Conte, for whom the Lodge is dedicated. The inscription reads:

A "savant" of course, is a "wise man," and the Roman numerals indicate July 6, 1901, the date Le Conte died in Yosemite on the very first Sierra Club outing.

You'll find interesting historical photographs and displays in the Le Conte Memorial in addition to the beautiful granite rocks and vaulted ceiling. The Lodge contains four large exhibit cases, containing information about the Sierra Club's leading lights, John Muir, Joseph Le Conte, and about the history of the Sierra Club in Yosemite. Our newest display, on Climate Change in Yosemite, was installed in 2009.

Bas Relief of Joseph Leconte by Douglas TildenOffering a quiet respite from a sometimes overcrowded Yosemite Valley, the Le Conte Lodge has incorporated a library since its first operation in 1904. Among the volumes are books about Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada, wildlife, glaciers, and other national parks and wilderness areas. A nearly complete set of the historic Sierra Club Bulletin back to the 1890's is available as well.

A "Children's Corner" completes the interior of the Lodge, where young visitors can do a little coloring, leaf through Nature books or play with hand puppets and stuffed animals, while their parents peruse the library and displays.

Interior of LeConte Lodge with Ansel Adams display, photo by Keith Walklet

The benches, donated by Smith and Hawken, provide a place for visitors to sit awhile with a book or have a quiet conversation. These benches are re-positioned several evenings each week, when evening programs are featured. A screen for slide shows and films "magically" appears for these events!

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 center with numerous activities every day. For information about weddings elsewhere in Yosemite, contact the National Park Service for a Wedding Permit.

We think you'll agree that LeConte Memorial has a lot to offer despite its small size! The interior of the LeConte Memorial measures 26' x 35'. See blueprint.

The Sierra Club's Le Conte Memorial Lodge is only open in the summer months, so please remember to come visit us next time you are in Yosemite Valley that time of year!

Information and Donations

For more information, during the summer contact Sierra Club LeConte Memorial Lodge Curator, P.O. Box 755, Yosemite, CA 95389, 1-209-372-4542.

During the winter, contact LeConte Lodge Committee Chair, Harold Wood, P.O. Box 3543, Visalia, CA 93278; phone: (559) 697-3525; e-mail:

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.

Photos: Fisheye View of LeConte Interior - Photo by James Macfarlane; Bas-relief Joseph LeConte, by George Pettit; Visitors looking at displays by Keith Walklet.

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