Yosemite National Park
Not just a great valley, but a shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra. First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more. Yosemite National Park vividly illustrates the effects of glacial erosion of granitic bedrock, creating geologic features that are unique in the world. Repeated glaciations over millions of years have resulted in a concentration of distinctive landscape features, including soaring cliffs, domes, and free-falling waterfalls. These geologic features provide a scenic backdrop for mountain meadows and giant sequoia groves, resulting in a diverse landscape of exceptional natural and scenic beauty.
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The expansive park’s 747,956 acres or 1,169 square miles, nearly 95 percent of which are designated Wilderness, are home to hundreds of wildlife species, and over a thousand plant species.
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Hikers take notice of the enormous granite mountains from the 8,842-foot Half Dome to the 13,114-foot Mt. Lyell-Yosemite’s tallest peak.
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A cut through of a giant Red Wood tree in Calaveras.
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Visitors fall in love with the park’s many waterfalls, specifically 2,425-foot Yosemite Falls that ranks as the tallest in North America, flowing down into the scenic Valley meadows.
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Yosemite is a scientific laboratory of hydrology, geology and glaciology, amongst other sciences.
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Yosemite National Park map.