Manzanar National Historic Site is 6 mi. s. at 5001 US 395. Established in 1992, the historic site tells the stories of nearly 120,000 Japanese-Americans who were confined during World War II. Manzanar War Relocation Center was the first of 10 centers built for Japanese-Americans excluded from the West Coast. In operation 1942-45, the camp had a peak population of more than 10,000 and was the largest wartime “city” between Los Angeles and Reno. After the war all but three of the camp’s 800 buildings were sold for scrap lumber or relocated for other uses.
The historic high school auditorium now serves as the site’s visitor center and features extensive exhibits and audiovisual programs. The mess hall, two reconstructed barracks and a latrine feature interactive exhibits about daily life in Manzanar during World War II. Historic orchards, Japanese gardens, foundations and other evidence of the camp remain. Visitors may explore the site by car or on foot.