Yosemite National Park   15 comments

Yosemite NP 00Where Is It: Yosemite National Park is 195 miles east of San Francisco. Driving time is 4-5 hours.

The Birth: Act of Congress of 30 June 1864 (13 Stat. 325) granted Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Big Tree Grove to the state of California (regranted to the US government in 1906). Establishment of Yosemite National Park as a forest reservation on 1 October 1890 (26 Stat. 650) excluding Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove. Boundary adjustments were made in 1905. Park extension in 1929 of 4,846.47ha and further extensions in 1930, 1931, 1932, 1937, 1938 and 1984. Designated as a World Heritage site in 1984.

It Happened Here: From PBS’s “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” here is how Yosemite got it’s name.

Size: 747,956 acres

# Visitors: 3,691,191 in 2013. July has heaviest attendance; January the lightest.

Plants: From the Park’s website:

The combination of climate, topography, moisture, and soils influence the distribution of plant communities across an elevation gradient from 1,800 feet (549 m) to over 13,000 feet (3,900 m). Vegetation zones range from scrub and chaparral communities at lower elevations, to subalpine forests and alpine meadows at the higher elevations. There are 800 miles of trails in Yosemite, which provide access for exploring the different vegetation zones.

Animals: From the Park’s website:

Overall, the park’s widespread coniferous forests–with a relatively mild climate and a mixture of plant species–provide a lush habitat for animals to live. Wildlife species typically found include bobcat, gray fox, mountain kingsnake, Gilbert’s skink, white-headed woodpecker, brown creeper, spotted owl, and a wide variety of bat species. Large snags are important as bat roosting sites.

At higher elevations, fewer wildlife species tend to be found due, in part, to the lower complexity of the forest. Species likely to be found include golden-mantled ground squirrel, chickaree, marten, Steller’s jay, hermit thrush, and northern goshawk. Reptiles are not common but include rubber boa, western fence lizard, and alligator lizard.

Fees: $20 for a 7-day pass for a passenger car.

Staying There: Don’t expect to stay at Yosemite without a reservation. Camping is a very popular, traditional way to visit the Park … go to the Park’s website for current information.

For a review of The Yosemite Lodge – a hotel at the base of Yosemite Falls – here’s a review from Jason’s Travels.

Contact Info: Call the Park at 209/372-0200 (then dial 3 then 5). The public information office is open from 9 am to 5 pm Pacific time (closed for lunch). If the ranger is already on the line, you’ll be returned to the main menu. If the ranger is not there, you can leave a message and we will return your call.



National Park Service: Yosemite National Park

National Parks Traveler: Yosemite National Park

NationalGeographic.com: Yosemite Climbing

Terragalleria.com: Yosemite National Park


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