What You Need to Know about Hetch Hetchy

California is a state that boasts a rich and fascinating history.  One place in particular that contains an exceptionally interesting backstory lies within the famous Yosemite National Park.  This spot, known as Hetch Hetchy, is a key part of American history.  Learn everything there is to know about this feature and make plans to visit today.  

3 Things You Need to Know about Hetch Hetchy

1. Hetch Hetchy History

Once the home of Native American tribes, Hetch Hetchy used to be a glorious glacier-carved valley about 15 miles north of where the Yosemite National Park exists today.  Named after a plant that grew abundantly there, this valley remained an iconic landmark of the area until the year 1913, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Raker Act.  This act allowed the city of San Francisco to build a dam in the Hetch Hetchy Valley, which sparked passionate controversy.  Numerous naturalists across the country, including the esteemed John Muir, were adamantly against this legislation, but it was still able to pass through Congress.  Even after the dam was built, people still expressed their outrage about ruining this magnificent valley, which eventually led to Congress passing the National Park Service Act.  This act promised that parks would be preserved and maintained for the benefit of all Americans, and no other national parks have been harmed in this way since.  

2. Hetch Hetchy Debate

Today, there is a Hetch Hetchy debate over whether or not to restore the valley to its original state before the dam was built.  Many are appalled that this once majestic natural wonder now lies buried beneath the O’Shaughnessy Dam.  Since the Hetch Hetchy reservoir only holds roughly 25% of the system’s water, it is believed that the flow of the Tuolumne River can be diverted into other reservoirs downstream.  However, others believe that this isn’t a good idea and it should stay the way it is for the benefit of the local community.  Although this is an argument that’s over one hundred years old, this controversy is still going strong today. 

3. Things to Do in Hetch Hetchy

A significant piece of California history, Hetch Hetchy is a great place to visit in Yosemite National Park to admire its beauty and learn more about its background.  There are plenty of Hetch Hetchy hikes here that provide incredible views of waterfalls, rivers, and other Yosemite icons.  Choose where you want your adventure to take you and visit this national park today!

Come Stay with Us in the Hotel Charlotte Bed and Breakfast!

After a fun day of hiking in Yosemite, treat yourself to a stay in the most luxurious lodging possible!  Hotel Charlotte is a historic bed and breakfast in Groveland, California, located conveniently at the gateway of Yosemite, that offers comfortable furnishings and excellent amenities within a charming, rustic environment.  Choose from staying in one of our twelve lovely rooms or renting one of our cozy vacation cottages.  You can explore the many attractions of our surrounding area, or simply spend time unwinding in our relaxing environment; we have an elegant living room, friendly and helpful staff, and even our very own restaurant to accommodate all of your needs!  Don’t wait another minute to start planning your dream vacation; check our availability and book your stay today!

To learn more about the many things to do in Yosemite, download our free Vacation Guide!

Photo by dschreiber29 / Thinkstock

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