Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

National Park · Northern California


Yosemite National Park is a national park spanning portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in Northern California. The park, which is managed by the National Park Service, covers an area of 747,956 acres and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. On average, about 4 million people visit Yosemite each year, and most spend the majority of their time in the seven square miles of Yosemite Valley.

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During the winter, Yosemite Valley transforms into a wonderland of revelry and pageantry steeped in traditions nearly a century old. Yosemite offers opportunities to ice-skate ski, snowboard, and snowshoe. In fact, Yosemite also has one of the few downhill ski areas within a national park; Badger Pass, open mid-December through March, is the oldest ski area in California.
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National Park Foundation15 places
Chinese immigrants played an important role in shaping the Yosemite that we know today. At the turn of the century, Chinese workers performed some of the most essential and backbreaking work in the park such as constructing two of the major roads. Visitors can hike Sing Peak, named after Tie Sing, a legendary Chinese cook as well as the greater legacy of Chinese immigrants in Yosemite Park.
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Dr. Clyde Wahrhaftig was an American geologist, professor, environmentalist, and LGBTQ+ leader. Wahrhaftig pushed for LGBTQ+ representation and inclusion in science and worked to create opportunities for people of color in geology. For over 50 years, Wahrhaftig worked with the U.S. Geological Survey, much of it spent working alongside his partner Dr. Allan Cox. In Yosemite National Park, Wahrhaftig mapped and interpreted the area’s past ice ages.
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National Park Foundation8 places
"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,” writes the National Park Service. In addition, Yosemite is internationally famous for the towering granite cliffs that provide some of the very best rock climbing in the world. Even if you don’t rock climb, the views of the cliffs are absolutely incredible!
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Cory Wharton-Malcolm: “Being out in nature is great for my mental health. The trees, wildlife, and natural scenery recharge me. Yosemite has so much to see: Half Dome, El Capitan, giant sequoia trees, stunning waterfalls. Go to reconnect with yourself and nature. Explore the trails, try climbing, and hike. Watch out for bears and other wildlife, and don’t forget sunscreen!”
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Yosemite helped inspire the national parks. As wildfires threaten its giant sequoias, Lillian Cunningham asks, on the "Field Trip" podcast, what it will take to correct past mistakes and ensure the survival of these ancient trees. Listen to the podcast now -- a perfect companion to your Yosemite adventure.
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Filled with hundreds of miles of hiking trails, two favorites include the Tuolomne Grove Nature Trail because you are rewarded with some massive Giant Sequoias, including the one you can walk through, and the Mist Trail as you have the opportunity to see two waterfalls. Make sure you set aside some time to spend exploring Yosemite Village. Grab some lunch and souvenirs at the gift shop (it is huge—perfect to stock up on everything from hot cocoa to wine to grilling supplies).
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One unique way to experience the vast, iconic landscape of Yosemite National Park is visiting in the winter months and taking advantages of all the winter activities available. While you can strap on some skis or snowshoes for a walk or lace up your skates for laps on the outdoor ice rink, you can also grab your sled or snow tube and enjoy family-friendly fun at Badger Pass. Yosemite Hospitality, an authorized concessioner, sells passes for winter visitors ready to ski, snowshoe, or sled.
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Granite walls. Falling water. Tall trees for miles. Yosemite National Park, 315 miles north of Los Angeles in the Sierra Nevada, is vast, gorgeous and — because it’s so popular — off-limits to most impulse visitors in summer. Rangers require that all day-trippers who drive in between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m., May 20 through Sept. 30, have advance reservations. (If you have overnight reservations, you’re covered.)
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With its towering granite cliffs, dramatic waterfalls and old-growth forests, it's no wonder that Yosemite is number one on this list. Throw in rock faces Half Dome and El Capitan, the Yosemite Valley and Yosemite Falls, the country's tallest waterfall, and we'd argue Yosemite is one of the best national parks in the country.
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Time Out8 places
To truly witness the changing of the seasons, little beats a visit to a national park blanketed in snow. The Yosemite National Park is one of those magical places and is the perfect spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Visitors can stay in the Yosemite Valley or in the huts that have not been cut off by the snowfall across the vast national park. More than the shifts in meteorology, it is the seasonal changes in the flora and fauna that exert its pull on winter visitors.
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Yosemite National Park boasts spectacular views, hiking trails, and family vacation opportunities. America’s first park land set aside and preserved for recreation and enjoyment, setting a precedent for all future American national parks, nearly 85% of the park is classified as wilderness. Don’t miss El Capitan, the world’s tallest granite monolith and one of the world’s top rock-climbing destinations, or Yosemite Falls - the largest waterfall in North America!
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Having just celebrated the 125th anniversary of its being made a national park, Yosemite National Park is a beautiful treasure in California made up of almost 750,000 acres (304,000ha). Known for its waterfalls, the land also features imposing granite cliffs, valleys, lush meadows and giant sequoias, plus lakes and rivers that combine to create a feast for the eyes. If you’re lucky, you might see some of the resident black bears, mountain lions, pikas and bats.
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Millions of people come to the Sierra Nevada wilderness each year to see jagged peaks, glaciers, lush meadows and some of the world’s tallest waterfalls. Spanning 1,200 square miles, Yosemite offers activities ranging from child-friendly to extreme. Massive granite slopes like Half Dome and El Capitan dominate the landscape, taunting rock-climbers. Paddlers dip into lakes and rivers, drivers cruise the dramatic Tioga Road, and day hikers walk by sequoias and canyons.
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Soak up the fresh air in Yosemite: There’s a reason Yosemite is one of the most famous national parks in the country. Not many places envelope you in pure, unabashed nature the way Yosemite does. It’s not unlike the Grand Canyon; no matter how many gorgeous photos you see, it’s somehow still not overrated. Yosemite’s underlying beauty is front-and-center during the winter, which makes it a premiere choice for camping.
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