Wawona is located on the south fork of the gently flowing Merced River, at an elevation of approximately 4000 feet in a picturesque mountain valley. There is a small community of approximately 370 single family residences. Many of these homes are rented out with the permanent population being about 170. The area is forested with a diverse mix of ponderosa pine, incense-cedar, white fir and whiteleaf manzanita, which offers a pleasant combination of sun and shade. It is best known as the location of the historic Wawona Hotel.
The Wawona Hotel is one of the most respected mountain resorts in the world. With its historic white wooden buildings, verandas overlooking sprawling green lawns and Victorian interiors, the hotel is the perfect setting for a relaxing vacation. Wawona’s charming Victorian-style guest rooms are furnished with period furniture, upscale country décor, overstuffed chairs, and marble-topped dressers reflecting this historic hotel’s mid-19th century character and style.
Chilnualna Falls is a series of waterfalls totaling 690 feet, located on Chilnualna Creek in the southern section of Yosemite National Park. The falls are a popular horseback riding destination. Chilnualna Falls consists of five tiers ranging from 30–300 feet in height. The first tier is 90–120 feet high. The second is a 30-foot high cascade. The third and largest is 300 feet high. The fourth is 60 feet high. The final tier is a 180–210 foot high cascade. The trailhead to the falls is in the eastern extremity of Wawona, at the end of Chilnualna Creek Road. The trailhead elevation is approximately 4,000 feet and the trail reaches the main portion of the waterfalls at 6,200 feet.
Wawona Area Schools
Wawona Elementary School is a K-6th elementary school located completely within the boundaries of Yosemite National Park. Its modern “one-room” schoolhouse is home to approximately 16 students. The school is part of the Bass Lake Joint Union School District.
Oakhurst Elementary School (OES) is a K-5th elementary school. The school is located at 49495 School Road 427 in Oakhurst. OES is the largest of the elementary schools in the Bass Lake Joint Union School District.
Oak Creek Intermediatel (OCI) provides classes for students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. The school is located just a short way from OES at 40094 Indian Springs Road. It is also a part of the Bass Lake Joint Union School District.
Yosemite High School is a California Distinguished school and is part of the Yosemite Unified School District. Yosemite High School is located at 50200 Road 427 in Oakhurst.
The State Center Community College District operates the Oakhurst Center which offers a wide variety of courses including vocational and traditional degree programs.
The central valley city of Fresno is the home to California State University, Fresno. Fresno State, as the locals call it, is known for its strong academic programs and for its ardent sports fans. Fresno state is the home of the Bulldogs.