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Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park California National Park

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NameYosemite National Park
AddressPO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Brief DescriptionOne of the most spectacular and most visited national parks in North America
CategoryNational Park
DescriptionFor tens of thousands of years, humans have changed, and have been changed by, this place we now call Yosemite. The Ahwahneechee lived here for generations, followed by the arrival of Europeans in the mid-1800s. The rugged terrain challenged many early travelers, with just a few—only 650 from the mid-1850s to mid-1860s—making the journey to Yosemite Valley by horseback or stagecoach. Today, 3.5 million people enter the park’s gates to explore Yosemite Valley and the surrounding areas of the park every year. The vast majority head straight for the seven square mile (18 km2) Yosemite Valley, however there's much to see beyond the valley and the areas adjacent to the park as well.

The park covers an area of 761,268 acres (3,080.74 km2) and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. Most of the park is designated as a wilderness area. Although not the first national park it's become one of the most famous and attracts visitors from around the world.

Yosemite has a wide range of plants and animals. One great way to explore the park is on a "photo safari." Two companies; Evergreen Lodge ( and Y Explore ( offer a variety of customized experiences all year around.

The elevation above sea level in the park ranges from 2,127 to 13,114 feet (648 to 3,997 m) and contains five major vegetation zones: chaparral/oak woodland, lower montane, upper montane, subalpine, and alpine. Of California's 7,000 plant species, about 50% occur in the Sierra Nevada and more than 20% within Yosemite. There is suitable habitat or documentation for more than 160 rare plants in the park, with rare local geologic formations and unique soils characterizing the restricted ranges many of these plants occupy.

The geology of the Yosemite area is characterized by granitic rocks and remnants of older rock. About 10 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada was uplifted and then tilted to form its relatively gentle western slopes and the more dramatic eastern slopes. The uplift increased the steepness of stream and river beds, resulting in formation of deep, narrow canyons. About 1 million years ago, snow and ice accumulated, forming glaciers at the higher alpine meadows that moved down the river valleys. Ice thickness in Yosemite Valley may have reached 4,000 feet (1,200 m) during the early glacial episode. The downslope movement of the ice masses cut and sculpted the U-shaped valley that attracts so many visitors to its scenic vistas today.

Yosemite National Park offers some of the most stunning vistas found anywhere on Earth and offers activities throughout the year.

Contact the National Park Services or for more informaiton.
Phone 1(209) 372-0200
Handicapped AccessibleNo
Social LinksTwitter Facebook 
Last Updated12/12/2011
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Yosemite National Park - Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

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