Yosemite National Park is located in California, 500km north of Los Angeles and 300km east of San Francisco, in the heart of the Sierra Nevada. It is one of the jewels of the American natural parks.
The national park has an area of about 3000 km² (but tourists are concentrated in only 1% of the Yosemite valley) and includes one of the most beautiful alpine valleys in the world. There Yosemite Valley it is 13 km long and only 1600 m wide. Steep granite walls with a height of 1000 m rise on both sides of the valley. Between nine waterfalls that go down to the valley, five of them have a height of more than 300 m.
Yosemite has less than 320 km of paved roads but over 1300 km of hiking trails. More than 95% of the park is designated as Wilderness. This is a fascinating place for walking and hiking. The place is also ideal for climbing vertical granite walls.
Yosemite National Park also contains an impressive one giant sequoia forest, a ski resort and a passage to the eastern California desert. The Tioga Pass it is located at an altitude of 3031 m and is generally closed in winter. Just beyond the pass is the mono lake with its unusual limestone deposits and the well-preserved ghost town of bodie.
A bit of history
The Ahwahneechee Indian tribe has lived peacefully for 4000 years in Yosemite Valley. But the gold rush in 1851 and, more generally, the colonization of the American West led to the exile of this tribe. After several and long conflicts between miners and Indians, the latter had to flee and seek refuge in a nearby tribe.
In the late 1870s, the famous naturalist John Muir (who gave his name to the beautiful redwood forest of the Muir woods north of San Francisco) worked to protect and safeguard this extraordinary region and managed to win the trust of the United States Congress. It is now considered the founding father of national parks. Thus, in 1890, a bill for the conservation of Yosemite was adopted, which officially became a national park in 1890.
Visit of the park
The park boasts a extremely rich flora and fauna: more than 1000 species of plants and 400 of animals of all kinds. Remember, it is strictly forbidden to feed them, it would damage their balance. And be careful not to leave the food in the vehicle: in fact, the bears they don't hesitate to break through the glass if they smell it.
Yosemite Park is undoubtedly the pearl of the American West. On 3000 km², between 600 m and 4000 m of altitude, you can contemplate a landscape composed of sequoias, cliffs, waterfalls and a river, the Favor.
Yosemite Park is large and is divided into several sectors:
Yosemite Valley: this is where all the services are located (hotels, restaurants, campsites, shops…) but it is also the starting point for a multitude of walks, which allow you to see the impressive waterfalls of the park.
Glacier Point Road: you go up a little altitude along this road. Its main interest is the viewpoint on the Half dome which reveals all its majesty. But this area is full of small hikes that deserve the detour, such as climbing to the top of the Sentinel Dome, be on the edge of the Taft Point, or for the more ambitious, up to Yosemite Valley from Panorama Trail.
Tioga Road: undoubtedly the most beautiful street in Yosemite! Very pleasant i lakes and meadows overlooking the Tioga Road which allows you to cross the Sierra Nevada.
You see: for those who want to see beautiful specimens of sequoie giganti, a nice trail runs through the forest of Mariposa Grove.