Capturing the Canyons: Yosemite National Park
Located in the Sierra-Nevadas in Northern California, Yosemite National Park is known for its impressive waterfalls, glacier-made canyons, and towering monoliths of granite. Most visitors stay in the Yosemite Valley, a seven-square mile area, which is only 1% of the area of the park.
Today, seven tribes who have descended from the first ancient peoples reside in the area of Yosemite. The main tribe before the arrival of explorers and settlers in the mid-1800s were the Ahwahneechee tribe. Violent skirmishes between the Ahwahneechee and the European explorers caused the Ahwahneechee to be driven out of the area. European and American settlers, surveyors, artists, and writers soon populated the area, bringing it to national attention.
Of course, Half Dome is perhaps the most famous landmark in the park, which climb thrills extreme mountaineers. Other famous sites include Yosemite Falls and El Capitan. Activities in Yosemite include biking, hiking, driving designated scenic routes, and water sports such as swimming, kayaking, and rafting. This wilderness and terrain of Yosemite truly is unique, diverse, and wonderful.
Fast Facts about Yosemite:
Year established as a National Park: 1890
Visitors in 2014 (last recorded year available): 3,882,642
Size: 1,168 square miles
Waterfall with highest vertical drop in North America: Ribbon Falls, at 1,612 ft.
Fun fact #1: There are 840 miles of hiking trails in Yosemite National Park!
Fun fact #2: In 1918, Clare Marie Hodges became the first female NPS ranger, carrying out her duties in Yosemite.
Learn more about Yosemite National Park at the National Park Service website!
Learn more about the Capturing the Canyons: Artists in the National Parks exhibition!
Top image: Damon Joyce, National Park Service Photo