Yosemite National Park is without a doubt, one of America’s most beautiful and well-known parks. Due to the diversity of attractions the park offers, including high Sierra Peaks, the highest highway pass in California called the Tioga Pass, the Yosemite Valley, the Merced River, acres of high altitude backcountry, waterfalls, and some of the largest living things on earth in the sequoia groves tourists from all over the world visit. The most famous section in the park is Yosemite Valley, where El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and other places to explore nature’s beauty lie.
Yosemite Geography Yosemite National Park is located in the Central of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in California. The park is 1,189 square miles, comparable to the size of the United State’s state of Rhode Island. Lakes, ponds, streams, hiking trails, and roads are some of the many features that attract tourists. Nearly all the landforms in the Yosemite area are cut from a mass of intrusive igneous rock that formed below the surface of the earth. Some of the park’s landforms are metamorphosed volcanic and sedimentary rocks.
Erosion that acted upon different types of uplift is responsible for creating the valleys, canyons, domes and other features found in this national park. Some of the popular features Yosemite possess’ are Yosemite Valley—where the majority of visitors stay, the Tunnel View—which is the first view of the valley when visitors enter the park, El Capitan—a major granite cliff that oversees Yosemite Valley, and Sentinel Dome and Half Dome that offer a diverse range of climbing routes. Also found within the park are the breath-taking giant sequoia trees.
Perhaps the most remarkable sequoia in the park is the Grizzly Giant, believed to be more than 2,700 years old and the oldest known sequoia tree. Yosemite is known for its high concentration of waterfalls. Hanging valleys in the park offer a place for waterfalls to exist. During the snowmelt season, April, May, and June, waterfalls are able to flourish. Yosemite has a Mediterranean climate, which means most of the precipitation falls during the mild winter and the other seasons are considerably dry. Snow doesn’t stay on the ground until November, and then accumulates until March, when it begins to melt.
There is a large temperature range due to elevation diversity and global warming. History of Yosemite The Yosemite National Park is located in Sierra Nevada in the east-central part of California. The Park is widely spread area of 750,000 acre, with streams that are 1,600 miles long, hiking trails that are 800 miles and the roads that extend up to 350 miles. Yosemite Fall is the highest waterfall in North America, it is considered as the third of the highest waterfall on planet Earth. Another important factor of Yosemite Park would be the numerous of species it contains. Over 300 species of animals can be found in the park.
Yosemite is known for its spectacular attractions such as high Sierra Peaks, the highest highway pass in California, the Yosemite Valley, Merced River, and many acres of high altitude backcountry, some of the highest waterfall in the world. Plants are also really high at the Park. Some reaching altitudes from 2,000 feet to the peak of Mr. Lyell. 94. 5% of the park’s 747,956 acres is officially classified as wilderness. Moreover, that is one of the main reasons why the park is now protected by the state. One of the very first people to live in Yosemite would be the Paiute and the Sierra Miwok people.
They were in the area for a long time before the first white explorations were done in the region. This people were a band of Native Americans called the Ahwahneechee. During the mid 19th century, The California Gold Rush radically increased travel in the area. While the major Jim Savage of the United States Army led the Mariposa Battalion into the west end of Yosemite Park, Chief Tenaya gathered around 200 ahwahneechees as part of the Mariposa Wars. The discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada brought many gold seekers to the area. In 1855, James Mason Hutchings and Thomas Ayres along with two others were the first tourists in the area.
Much of the publicity about Yosemite Park was due to Hutchings and Ayers’s articles and magazine issues about the valley. Many of Ayres artwork was exhibited in New York City where many people were able to see it and admire it. During the years of 1855 and 1860, tourism increased dramatically in the valley. The Yosemite National Park has 3. 5 million tourists every year. According to the readings, tourists prefer to visit during the summer. In the early years, most visitors went to Yosemite via horseback and stagecoach. In addition, more trails were built creating more publicity to the park.
As tourist explore and visited the park, word spread around about how beautiful the park was therefore more tourist would go visit. Wawona was an Indian encampment what is now the southwestern part of the park. The Mariposa Grove of Gian Sequoia was discovered by the settler Galen Clark in 1857. In 1879, the Wawona Hotel was built for the tourists visiting. As the number of tourists increased, more trails and hotels were built to accommodate those visitors. The Yosemite Park has a great history behind it as to how it came to be what it is now. Also, it contains many species within which has been hard to conserve of not going extinct.
As more toursist came to the park, more problems aroused within the valley debating who would get to keep what or whose property it was. Since Yosemite had plenty of gold which meant a better way of life for those who were able to obtain some of it, the competition increased and therefore more visitors came to the land. Yosemite National Park is a beautiful place to visit with the family or friends since it has such a great history within of struggles and fights put up to conserve the land as it is. Biology of Yosemite The biology of Yosemite is very diverse.
During a trip to Yosemite, it is interesting to learn how many different species of animals choose Yosemite as their habitat. Encounters are likely because Yosemite National Park supports more than 400 species of animals counting reptiles, amphibians, fish, mammals, and birds. The high diversity of species is because of diverse habitats in Yosemite that are very much intact. The park’s rich habitats range from thick foothill chaparral to expanses of alpine rock to conifer forests. (Kaiser 81) Animals feel very much at home; the Sierra Nevada red fox, for instance, hunts in open alpine habitat and hides at night into the forest for safety.
In Yosemite meadows; Animals come to feed on the green grasses and use the flowing and standing water found in the many meadows. Predators evidently are attracted to these areas. The surface between meadow and forest is also favored by many animal species because of the closeness of open areas for gathering food, and cover for protection. Overall, the park’s widespread coniferous forests, with a relatively mild climate and a mixture of plant species provide a great habitat for animals to live.
Wildlife species typically found include: bobcat, gray fox, mountain king snake, Gilbert’s skink, white-headed woodpecker, brown creeper, spotted owl, and a wide variety of bat species. At higher elevations, fewer wildlife species tend to be found due, in part, to the lower complexity of the forest. Species likely to be found include golden-mantled ground squirrel, chickaree, marten, Stiller’s jay, hermit thrush, and northern goshawk. Reptiles are not common but include rubber boa, western fence lizard, and alligator lizard. Above tree line, the climate becomes harsh with a short growing season.
Species such as pika, yellow-bellied marmot, white-tailed hare, Clark’s nutcracker, and rosy finch are adapted to these conditions. Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are found in the Yosemite area only around Tioga Pass. (Kaiser 97) With development and an increase in domestic travel after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, visits to the Park are increasing. The Park sees 3. 5 million visitors annually. Thirty years ago, 80 percent of Yosemite’s visitors stayed overnight; now, it’s 80 percent day-use. Roads and facilities have been increased to keep pace with growing amount of visitors.
Development continues to intrude on park boundaries, bringing new housing projects and commercial construction and thousands more people. The newly opened Chukchansi Casino, one of the state’s largest, is just 30 miles down the road, advertising with billboards throughout the area: “Now, Yosemite has a night life. ” And with the recently approved Silvertip Resort Village, a 47-acre commercial and residential complex slated to go up in the tiny park border town of Fish Camp. (Kaiser 90) Noise pollution from vehicles and campsites compete with the Park’s natural noises.
Buildings, roads, and parking lots have marred the aesthetic beauty of the Valley, while visitors are often stuck in traffic hoping to find a parking spot. Visitors, destroying natural habitats, have eroded areas of riverbanks close to campsites. The importance of tourism to the local economy can be illustrated by the impact of the catastrophic 1997 floods that temporarily closed the Park. This caused Eroded riverbanks near campsites locally severe economic losses to the areas around the Park. In the most heavily impacted area, Mariposa County, 1997 personal income was reduced by an estimated US$1,159 per capita, a 6. % decline.
The county was also estimated to have lost US$1. 67 million in county occupancy and sales tax revenues, and 956 jobs, a significant number in a county of fewer than 16,000 residents. Also, The Ahwahneechee indigenous Indians have not received any compensation in the form of money or land for their loss of the Yosemite area in 1851. (Kaiser 105) Geology of Yosemite The geology of Yosemite National Park is a very beautiful place that been evolving for many of years. The geology of Yosemite is mainly consisting of rocks and waterfalls. The main rocks are granitic rocks and metamorphic rocks.
Ice Ages were the main causes for Yosemite Park or should I say California because the Ice Ages brought glaciers that carved out California. In Yosemite Park, it shows how the glacial have move and creating Yosemite Lake too. It created a lot of homes for the animals that are living in the park and became big attractions for visitors all around the world. The volcano in Yosemite Park erupted and the lava cause to make igneous rocks because of the cooling and solidification of the lava. Also the lava formed other rocks like granite and tonality are all form of plutonic rock, but also referred to as granitic rocks (Yosemite National Park).
Plutonic rocks are compress with five minerals (Yosemite National Park). The plutonic rocks were formed by magma and are form deep within the Earth. When a volcano erupts, some lava reaches the Earth surface and the lava starts to cool or solidify, but there are a few volcanic igneous rocks in Yosemite. The volcanic rocks in Yosemite Park include basalt and latte lava flows and outside has the same, but some called ash-flow and more (Yosemite National Park). The tectonic in North America cause the ocean to decrease lowers forming California.
It was change in plate motion, the oceanic plate was sub ducted beneath the Sierra Nevada and was consumed into the seduction zone (Huber). The Pacific plate became a fault, which made the San Andreas Fault. It is when a tectonic plate slide past each other along a strike-slip faults (Huber). So, when seduction happen, California land start to rise up from the ocean forming island, then finally connect to North America. As water started to decrease in California, volcanoes again became active. Yosemite was buried by lava creating more land for California.
The Earth is made up of 20 massive plates that float on the surface of the planet and the Pacific plate is the largest. Activities The sculpture of the Yosemite Park was by glaciers because the northern hemisphere was covered in ice. The glacier made a u-shaped valley and a lot of lakes. For California final shaping and sculpting was during the Pleistocene Epoch time. The glaciers melt and the water moved across the land and started to make how California looks today. A lot of environment was getting destroyed and use for resource. People didn’t want everything destroy, so they manage to save some environment and made them national parks.
One of them is Yosemite National Park. People come and visit or camp to go site seeing in the park. There are many activities the park offer. One of them is hiking in the park. They offer tour guides that take you on hiking trips that can last a full day. People can stay overnight and continue they’re hiking and see great sites. Also you can bring your bike and take a trail and then a short hike (Yosemite National Park Vacation). More activities are offer in Yosemite Park like is rock climbing. They have trainers that teach you how to rock climb and teach you about all the gears you need. They also offer classes for beginners and train you.
The trainers can take you, where you want to go and guide you to climb the rocks. There is a lot of winter activities, you can ski or snowboard (Yosemite National Park Vacation). They also offer school for skiing and have shuttle that take you up the mountain and go downhill schilling. They have cross-country, snow tubing, and back country ski tours. Yosemite Park has about 13 campgrounds and you can do the traditional and camp outside in a RV camping area. You can stay in the wilderness and camp outside in a tent or stay in a cabin. They also offer a lot of place to stay like a hotel, village, and lodge.
You can even camp out on the High Sierra camping ground (Yosemite National Park Vacation). Conclusion Yosemite Park is a beautiful and wonderful place to visit. You can plan your visit, by visiting the website and also letting you know about the parks and some facts. There are many things to see like the park attractions, natural features, plants, and animals (Yosemite National Park Vacation). It is fun for the family and the waterfalls draw most of the visitors. One of the awareness in the park is the black bear. The weather tends to vary depending on where you are in the park.
Courtney from Study Moose
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