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Yosemite National Park

About The Park

Yosemite National Park with 748,542 acres of land was established in 1890. The most popular destination in Yosemite is a Yosemite Valley where the most famous sites of the park are concentrated such as Half Dome and EL Capitan.

Yosemite National park is one of California’s and America’s most important national reserves. Yosemite National park gets close to 4 million visitors per year.

Yosemite Valley’s seven square miles consist of a main loop that most tour buses follow stopping at the main points of interest. Yosemite National park’s visitors center is located in the Yosemite Village along with shops, restaurants, the Yosemite Museum, the Indian Village, and the Ansel Adams Gallery. Tours of the valley can be taken at the visitors center. Tours from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park generally stop at the Yosemite launch which is a short distance from the Yosemite Village.

One of America’s favorites, Yosemite Park is located in California close to the border with the state of Nevada in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Yosemite park has taken millions of years to be created and it is constantly evolving. Yosemite Park is the result of a Glacier Tanya sliding down hill as it melted and carving the granite stone that formed a “V” shaped valley into a “U” shaped valley.

Today, natural forces are still chipping away at the shape of Yosemite National Park. Floods, land & rock slides, fires, and man are influencing the trajectory of Yosemite park. Even the famous Yosemite valley is the result of generations of Native Americans burning to promote the growth of grass for the manufacture of ornaments such as basket weaving.

Many of the trees in Yosemite park valley are not native. And to top it all off, the Yosemite park valley used to have a lake which was drained by the blasting of a natural damn by an early white settler.

But don’t frown, Yosemite park will keep on transforming long after we are all gone and there is nothing we can do to stop it.

a close up of a rock mountain
a group of people sitting in the snow

Yosemite Valley

Situated in the center part of the Sierra Nevada’s Mountain rage and rises up to 4000 feet above sea level, Yosemite Valley stretches up to 7 miles long and is roughly around 1 mile wide. Half Dome and the Bridalveil Falls are just two things that catch anybodies eye from the tunnel view of Yosemite Valley, which is located off Highway 41.

Yosemite Valley accommodates some of the world’s highest waterfalls which also cascade of granite cliffs toward the Yosemite Valley floor, such as Ribbon Falls, Nevada Falls, Vernal Falls, Bridalveil Falls and Yosemite Falls.

a canyon with a mountain in the background

Yosemite El Capitan

Located in the heart of Yosemite and El Capitan is one of nature’s most impressive monuments standing 2900 ft. over the valley floor.

a man standing on top of a mountain

Half Dome

Half Dome is one of the most amazing sights in a Yosemite tour. Half Dome is one of the most difficult Yosemite rock-climbing challenges in the world. It takes climbers over 7 hours to conquer the 2,000 ft. face.

a tree with a mountain in the background

Giant Sequoias

Giant Sequoia trees are the largest of a living things on the planet and a must-see on a Yosemite tour. Giant Sequoias are neither the tallest nor the widest trees alive, but they are by volume the biggest.

giant sequoia yosemite

Yosemite Falls

Located in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, is the highest waterfall in North America and the world’s fifth tallest. The water drops down at total distance of 2425 feet or 739 meters from the top of the Yosemite Falls to the ground. Depending on how much snow fell during the wintertime the water in the Yosemite Falls flows from winter through early to mid-summer. The Yosemite Falls is at its height in spring, when the melted snow plunges over the cliffs into Yosemite Valley and is usually dry during summertime, beginning in August. In winter time Yosemite Falls are especially spectacular when the cliffs are covered by snow, ice, and frost.

a stone building that has a rocky cliff

Yosemite California

Yosemite California is the location of one of America’s most famous and impressive national parks. Yosemite California was signed into law by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War in 1864 as the nation’s first state park.It was not until 1890, due in large part to John Muir’s efforts, that Yosemite California was reassigned to the National Park Service has America’s second national park, after Yellowstone.

Yosemite California attracts close to four million visitors every year. When visiting Yosemite California a tour guide can provide valuable Yosemite information allowing you to focus on the best parts of the park and giving you a more comprehensive understanding of Yosemite California.

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Yosemity, Yosemiti, Yosemity, Yosemitie

Yosemity, Yosemiti, Yosimity, Yosemitie, Yosimite and also incorrectly pronounced Yoh-seh-mait and correctly pronounced Yoh-seh-mee-teh, means in Miwok language some of them are killers.

The Yosemite Valley was called “awahni” by the Southern Miwok which means “place like gaping mouth,” describing the shape of the valley. Those Miwok who lived in the valley were called “awahnichi,” or people who lived in awahni.

Yosemity, Yosemiti, Yosemity, Yosemitie – Variations

The park was named Yosemite by white travelers, who heard the neighboring Miwoks refer to residents of Yosemite as “Yohemite” or “Yohometuk.” There are a number of theories as to why this name was given to them.Perhaps the native people were whispering or shouting the word when they saw new comers there, and the new comers had never known the meaning. Perhaps they were referring to the grizzly bears in the valley. The awahni had a reputation as violent people Regardless of how you spell Yosemite, Yosemity, Yosemiti, Yosemity, Yosemitie, Yosimitie the spectacular scenery on your tours through this incredible national park will amaze you forever.

a close up of a rock mountain

Yosemite's Seasons

Summer (June - September)

Visiting Yosemite national park during the summer will guarantee access to the entire park via car, as the weather warm and snow has completely melted. The average high of Yosemite summer is 87 degrees Fahrenheit.  Because the climate ranges from warm to hot and rain is rare, this is the ideal time for outdoor Yosemite camping. However, you will likely have a difficult time obtaining Yosemite national park reservations (see above for details) since this is the most popular season to visit Yosemite.

If you are interested in seeing waterfalls, then plan on early summer (May through June) and you’ll catch the end of peak run off. By August many waterfalls are down to a trickle or are completely dry. Summer is also the ideal time of the year to enjoy the many wildflowers that Yosemite national park has to offer. In Yosemite Valley and Wawona visitors can witness the blooming of redbuds, Sierra onions, lupine, Mariposa lilies, pentstemons, and flowering dogwoods. Not to be outdone, Tolumne Meadows boasts of the following flowers: little elephant’s heads, gentian, pentstemon, yarrow, and shooting stars.


Winter (December - March)

If you are looking for a solitary and peaceful getaway, then winter is an ideal time to visit Yosemite. Driving conditions may present a bit of a challenge but planning ahead should alleviate any potential problems.

Climate in Yosemite during the winter is snowy and cold, ranging from 28°F to 53°F, limiting backpacking options. Backpacking during the winter usually requires the use of skis or snowshoes and some trails may be closed in extreme snowfall. Badger Pass, Crane Flat and Mariposa Grove are popular trails for winter hikers because the roads along these hikes are well maintained.

During the winter, visitors can enjoy downhill and cross-country skiing at Badger Pass. To get the early-bird special rate for season passes, make sure to purchase your pass by October 31st. Ski and snowboard lessons are available at Badger, as are Ski and Stay Packages. Shuttles to Badger Pass are available from Oakhurst.

In addition to enjoying skiing, winter visitors can visit Yosemite’s waterfalls and hike the Yosemite Valley trails. Yosemite Falls is flowing during the winter once there has been some snow and rain.

Fall (October & November)

Visiting Yosemite in the fall months will permit visitors to enjoy the park with reduced crowds. Typically, all areas of the park remain open through October but short-term road closures may occur due to snow.

Temperature during these months may range drastically, from 34 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit, with weather running the gamut from heat to snow.  Due to the extreme variance in weather, visitors should be come prepared with snow chains for their car if visiting Yosemite in the fall.

Fall is the best time to visit Yosemite if you are interested in viewing the autumn leaves. Yosemite offers a variety of deciduous trees including big leaf maples, black oaks and Pacific dogwoods, all of which are at their peak in October.

Yosemite in the fall may not be the best time to visit its waterfalls since water levels are usually low during this season.

 


Spring (April & May)

Yosemite in the spring is the perfect time to enjoy Yosemite’s waterfalls, which are at their peak in April and May. The weather during these months can vary from sunny and warm to the occasional snowstorm. Spring temperature in Yosemite can range between 39°F to 69°F. Warm spring temperatures melt the snow, causing the Yosemite waterfalls to gush with water.

Tioga and Glacier Point Roads typically are closed during the spring months, but Yosemite Valley and Wawona remain accessible year-round. Springtime visitors should come prepared with snow chains for their vehicle, as there still exists the possibility of needing them.

During the spring, visitors can witness the blooming of California poppies, dogwood and redbud flowers. Hiking trails are typically still snow-covered through May but there are snow-free hikes in Yosemite Valley, Wawona and Hetch Hetchy. Backpacking options are still limited throughout the spring.

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