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Yosemite National Park Travel

Updated on October 22, 2011

Yosemite National Park is a national park in east California, United States. The park is spread over almost 800 000 acres of land. In 1984, it was designated as a World Heritage Site. The park is globally acknowledged for its granite cliffs, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and the different types of wildlife found there. It was first petitioned to be a protected place by people like Galen Clark and John Muir.

The park’s elevation range runs from 2000 feet to almost 14000 feet and has five major vegetation zones; oak woodland, lower montane, upper montane, subalpine, and alpine.

History

Yosemite is distinguished by granite rocks and miscellany of older rocks. Almost ten million years ago the Sierra Nevada was uplifted through plate movements and formed the western and eastern slopes in California. Development in ice movement helped make the U shaped valley that is a favorite of many travelers

El Capitan
El Capitan

Popular Spots/Attractions

The Yosemite Valley only represent about one percent of park area. However, this particular area is a tourist favorite.

  • El Capitan is a granite cliff that looms over the Yosemite Valley and is known to be popular rock climbing destination for many tourists. This cliff offers a range of climbing spots that vary according to rock climbing experience. It is also one of the few cliffs that is accessible throughout the year.
  • Some Granite domes found here are Sentinel Dome and Half Dome, and these rise 3000 to 5000 feet respectively above the valley floor.
  • Some beautiful areas include: Tuolumne Meadows, Dana Meadows, the Clark Range, the Cathedral Range, and the Kuna Crest. Mount Lyell and Mount Conness are known to be the highest peak of this scenic and beautiful valley.

Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake
  • This park also contains some of the oldest and long lived trees, such as the Mariposa Grove, Tuolumne Grove and Merced Grove. These groves are all species of the ancient Giant Sequoia.
  • The mirror lake is a beautiful spot where many tourists like to go for picnics. The park is filled with almost 3000 lakes and has many streams. The park also has some very beautiful water falls, such as Yosemite Falls that are the highest in North America, Ribbon Falls and the most famous Bridalveil Falls that can be seen from the Tunnel View viewpoint.
  • There are many small glaciers in the park, most of the large ones have melted due to climate change but there is one popular glacier, known as the Lyell Glacier.

Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park
Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park

Climate

Most of the parks climate is Mediterranean meaning the precipitation usually occurs during the gentle winters. Also, most of the year round, the weather is dry.

Daily temperatures can rise from 25 to 53 °F. In January, the temperatures are above 25 degrees Fahrenheit but lower than 48 degrees Fahrenheit. July temperatures range from 40 degrees to almost 89 degrees Fahrenheit. The highest temperature to be record was 116 degrees and lowest is -6 degrees. 

American Black Bear
American Black Bear
Wild Bobcat
Wild Bobcat

Habitat

The park is home to numerous animals, some mammals, some fish, amphibians, reptiles and various types of flowers and plants.

  • American Black Bear
  • Bobcat
  • Gray Fox
  • Mule deer
  • Mountain King snake
  • Gilbert's Skink
  • White-headed Woodpecker
  • Brown Creeper
  • Spotted Owl
  • Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel

Chipmunk at Yosemite.
Chipmunk at Yosemite.
A lizard.
A lizard.
  • Chickaree
  • Fisher
  • Steller's Jay
  • Hermit Thrush
  • Rubber Boa
  • Western fence lizard
  • Northern Alligator Lizard and
  • Northern Goshawk

Some high altitude animals include:

  • Marmots
  • White Tailed Jack Rabbits
  • Black Rosy Finch

Yosemite Pine trees.
Yosemite Pine trees.

These are some examples of the different species of trees that are found here:

  • Red Fir
  • Western White Pine
  • Jeffrey Pine
  • Lodgepole Pine

Tourist Activities

The park is closed during the winters, although the valley remains open all year. There is automobile transport for people who wish access the park on wheels, there are many hiking areas.

Tourists that visit learn about the culture and history of the park. Due to increasing black bear attacks, the park only allows overnight trips to those who have a wilderness permit.

Rock climbing at Yosemite.
Rock climbing at Yosemite.

Rock climbing is also available for anyone who is tested. Besides that there are snow bound activities such as skiing and sledging.

There are also bikes available for rent so people can go biking. Moreover, the park is accessible via automobile, and there is only a $20 admission fee for the automobile. Although, now people are encouraged to use the public transport available.

The Yosemite Park is a quite a beautiful and scenic area and anyone can go and spend some time with pure and clean nature.

Yosemite National Park, Video Tour

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