Yosemite National Park



In Yosemite, there are many sights to see. In this article we will be going over what you can do while you are there to get the ultimate travel experience. The ticket prices to get into Yosemite are $35 per vehicle. All park entrances are open all day, except for Hetch Hetchy Valley. You might also want to reserve a park spot in case it gets very busy. More details can be found on their official website: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/fees.htm
Yosemite National Park is one of the oldest American national parks and a popular tourist attraction located in Central California. Before the California Gold Rush of 1849 brought gold-panning hopefuls and tourists to Yosemite, the main residents of the area were Native Americans. Due to the significant damage to the ecosystem of Yosemite Valley caused by tourists, environmental activists campaigned for better protection from industrial misuse. This led to President Abraham Lincoln signing the “Yosemite Grant”, declaring Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove a public trust of California in 1864. From 1909 to 1910, attempts to use Hetch Hetchy Valley’s water resources for San Francisco were made, and unfortunately this valley, located in the northwest region of the park, was flooded in 1913 in order to provide San Francisco with a steady water supply. A dam was built, a highly controversial decision that drastically changed the area’s ecosystem forever. Three years later, in 1916, the National Park Service was established, leading to better wildlife protection and a greater park experience. Yosemite became an officially recognized national park on October 1, 1980. Today, over 3 million people visit the wonders of Yosemite National Park annually and partake in the wonders of its ancient sequoia groves, majestic mountains, extraordinary waterfalls, and more.
There are plenty of interesting and fun sites to see in Yosemite such as waterfalls, mountains, and much more! There is one mountain called Glacier Point. This mountain is one of the most popular viewpoints in all of Yosemite! Glacier Point offers stunning views of the valley and other areas of Yosemite, like Half Dome Peak. Glacier Point has an altitude of 7215 feet! Another cool attraction is called Yosemite Falls. It is one of the tallest waterfalls in North America, standing at 2425 feet tall! It flows November through July, with its peak flow in May. The waterfall is actually made up of 3 separate waterfalls: Upper Yosemite Falls, the Middle Cascades, and Lower Yosemite Falls. One cool hike you can do is the Lower Yosemite Falls hike. This hike is only half a mile but it has stunning views of the waterfall. Half Dome is another cool rock formation in Yosemite. It is a very well-known mountain made of granite. What makes this special is that one side is a sheer cliff while the other is all smooth, making its dome shape.
Most people go to Yosemite to see Half Dome or El Capitan, but some choose to observe the trees or deer and other wildlife. Some species of trees in Yosemite are California black oak, ponderosa pine, incense-cedar, and white fir. Fun fact: The white fir’s leaves are edible! Yeah! Natives used them for tea. I have tried them myself and they taste like citrus! In February of 1969, a famous sequoia tree called the Wawona tree fell. The origin of its name is unknown, but some say that the name Wawona was a Miwok word for “Big Tree”. Most of the wildlife in the forests of Yosemite consist of trees but there are also countless animals, notably the American black bear, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, mule deer, bobcat, and coyote.
Hiking is a popular activity at Yosemite. There are lots of hiking trails to choose from, the most in-demand ones being as Yosemite Valley Trail, Glacier Point Road Trail,
Wawona and Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Trail, Crane Flat and White Wolf Trail, and Tuolumne Meadows Trail. When hiking, remember to stay on trails. Taking shortcuts destroys the trails, which is both dangerous and illegal. Also remember to carry and drink plenty of water to prevent major dehydration. Another great way to experience Yosemite is auto touring. Some popular auto touring trails are the Wawona/Mariposa Grove Tour, which is about an hour’s drive, the Glacier Point tour, which is also about an hour’s drive, and the Tioga Pass tour, which is about a 1.75 hour drive. A more eco-friendly way to view Yosemite is biking. To rent a bike inside the park, download the Yosemite Bike Share app and visit one of the Yosemite Bike Share stations, located at the Yosemite Village Parking Area and in the Yosemite Village. Remember to ride safely and wear a helmet. Like hiking, remember to stay on roads and bike paths. When you’re done riding, simply return the bike to the station where you picked it up. Rafting along the Merced River is another popular activity during summer, so go there to raft. Kayaking is a popular way to enjoy the waters of Tenaya Lake. All lakes and reservoirs are open for fishing year-round, so feel free to try your hand at catching fish.
From its breathtaking mountains to its graceful waterfalls, Yosemite National Park is an awe-inspiring natural wonder you simply cannot miss! However, if it is too late to make plans to go now, consider taking a trip to this beautiful area over summer break.