Yosemite National ParkPosted in North America | April 13, 2010 | Comment Now
Yosemite National Park is located in Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in east-central California in the USA. The national park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, sequoia groves and rich biological diversity. The national park with an area of 1200 square miles, is the third most visited national park in the country. The park was established in 1890. Mariposa is the nearest city to Yosemite National Park. National Park Service is the governing body of the park. The park is divided into 5 sections, namely, Yosemite Valley, Wawona/Mariposa Grove/ Glacier Point, Tuolumne Meadows, Hetch Hetchy and Crane Flat/White Wolf.
Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada. The park elevation ranges from 610 to 4,000 metres. The park area touches the western slopes of Sierra Nevada mountains.
Yosemite National Park mainly experiences a Mediterranean type of climate. Rainfall varies with elevation (36 inches at 1,200 metres to 50 inches at 2,600 metres). Summer is dry with occasional thunderstorms while spring and fall are variable. Snowfall occurs in winter and it continues till March-April.
The park contains five major vegetation zones, namely, chaparral/oak woodland, lower montane, upper montane, subalpine and alpine. About 20 per cent of California’s 7,000 plant species occur within Yosemite. The park features Coniferous forest and giant sequoia trees.
Bighorn sheep, bobcat, gray fox, mountain beaver, mountain lion, black bear and bat are found here.
Great gray owls, white-headed woodpeckers and many other species are spotted here.
- Hiking (the park has over 1,300 km of trails)
- Rock climbing (El Capitan is a popular site)
- Guided snow-shoe walk
- Downhill skiing at Badger Pass Ski Area (from mid-December to April)
- Bicycling trails
- Rafting on the Merced River
- Horse riding
Reaching Yoshemite National Park:
- By road:
The park has four major entrances (State Route 120 from Oakdale in west, State Route 140 from Mariposa and Merced, State Route 41 from Fresno and Los Angeles/Southern California in north and State Route 120 from Lee Vining in the east).
- By air:
Fresno-Yosemite International, Fresno; Merced Airport, Merced; Modesto City-County Airport, Modesto are airports closely located to the park. Bay Area airports like San Francisco International, Oakland International and San Jose International, Sacramento International airport, Reno/Tahoe International are other entry points.
- By rail:
Amtrak serves Yosemite through a motorcoach bus that meets its San Joaquins trains in Merced.
- Get around:
Park entrance fees are $20 for private vehicles and $10 for individuals arriving on foot, bicycle and motorcycle. All entrance fees are valid for seven days. Also, Yosemite Annual Pass is available for $40 (valid for one year).
- Yosemite Valley (famous for meadows, valley, waterfalls and rock formations)
- Half Dome granite monolith
- Yosemite Falls
- Bridalveil Fall
- Nevada Fall
- Vernal Fall
- Tunnel View
- Mariposa Grove (of giant sequoias)
- Glacier Point and Badger Pass
- Washburn Point
- Tuolumne Meadows
- Crane Flat
- Hetch Hetchy Valley
- The Ahwahnee
- Yosemite Lodge at the Falls
- Curry Village
- Housekeeping Camp
- White Wolf
- Tuolumne Meadows
- The Redwoods in Yosemite