One of ten internment camps built to incarcerate Japanese Americans during WWII, Manzanar War Relocation Center tells the tragic story of this chapter of American history. Through artifacts, excavated foundations, building reconstructions, letters, films, and excellent interpretation, the extensive hardships of living in a hastily constructed, cramped, and inhospitable internment camp in the middle of the harsh weather of the Owen’s Valley becomes graphic. The Visitor Center is outstanding, and the entire site can be explored by foot or by car.
As a destination in itself, or as a place to visit to or from the Eastern Sierras, this National Historic Site is truly compelling and critically important to experience.
Manzanar Reward Rd, on the west side of Hwy 395, 9 miles north of Lone Pine
National Park Service
Historic/Cultural Interest, Viewing, Walking
Among other significant injustices, the Japanese citizens who were captured and relocated to Manzanar and other camps had to leave behind most of their possessions and their homes, which were often lost when they were interned. These and other heart-breaking facts are well explained throughout the excellent National Park exhibits in the Visitor Center.
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There are few places more jaw-droppingly beautiful than Inyo National Forest, which is located in the Eastern Sierras. The hiking and backpacking are some of the best in the world. The John Muir Wilderness hosts especially spectacular hikes.