Yosemite California Travel Guide
Yosemite Area California
Vacation in Yosemite Valley and see more natural wonders in a minute than you could in a full day pretty much anywhere else. The area surrounding the Yosemite is a wonder that will leave visitors wanting more. Views that cannot be equated with any other await and outdoor adventures for both the avid sportsman and the faint of heart that just want to take in the fresh air. Yosemite is a vacation destination for the nature lover in mind.
Yosemite covers an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 sq km). It is one of the most famous national parks in the U.S. and nearly 4 million people visit it per year to see its famous glacial carved valley, waterfalls and granite rock formations. Yosemite Valley the half Dome, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, the meadows, Sentinel Dome, the Merced River and beautiful white-flowering dogwood trees.
When European Americans first visited the area that would later become Yosemite National Park, a band of Native Americans called the Ahwahnechee lived in Yosemite Valley. The California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century greatly increased the number of non-indigenous people in the region. Tensions between Native Americans and white settlers escalated into the Mariposa War. As part of this conflict, settler James Savage led the Mariposa Battalion into Yosemite Valley in 1851, in pursuit of Ahwaneechees led by Chief Tenaya. Accounts from the battalion, especially from Dr. Lafayette Bunnell, popularized Yosemite Valley as a scenic wonder. The United States Army had jurisdiction over the national park from 1891 to 1914, followed by a brief period of civilian stewardship. In 1913, the U.S. Congress authorized the building of the O'Shaughnessy Dam in the northern portion of the park to provide water and hydroelectric power to San Francisco.
The Nature Center at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley is devoted to kids, with wildlife exhibits, nightlife display, and a number of other presentations. Bring the family to experience an exciting activities in Mariposa. Yosemite Zipline and Adventure Ranch offers a seven line progressive zipline course, aerial adventure course, and gold and mineral panning. Grab the sleds, toboggans, and inner tubes and head to the snow play areas at the Crane Flat Campground or just outside the South Entrance at Goat Meadow. Relatively gentle and clear slopes have been identified for hours of slipping and sliding. Walk to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall – about a quarter of a mile. Be prepared to get wet in spring when runoff is at its peak; in any season Yosemite impresses by the imposing height of one of the world’s most famous falls. Mirror Lake is only a half-mile walk up a slight grade. One of the best views of Half Dome is had from its banks. The hike around the lake is easy and rewarding. Tioga Road bisects the park and leads through Tuolumne Meadows, a beautiful sub-alpine meadow surrounded by soaring granite crags and polished domes. If your trip takes you out of the park to the east, the Tioga Road is lined with scenery and exhibits describing it. Be sure to stop at Olmsted Point for its remarkable view of Tenaya Canyon and the back side of Half Dome, and of Tenaya Lake, the deep-blue, icy-cold waters of which form Yosemite’s largest natural lake.