Yosemite, California. "It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter." —John Muir
Not just a great valley, but a shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra. (58 National Parks)
Yosemite is a park for all seasons and all moods. From relaxing serenity to extreme adventures, Yosemite is a park for everyone. This new widescreen music video is a bonus feature on Finley-Holiday's soon-to-be-released 3rd edition of Discovering Yosemite National Park DVD.
Yosemite National Park covers nearly 1,200 square miles of mountainous terrain in the Sierra Nevada of California. From high peaks and deep canyons to ancient forests and quiet meadows, the diversity of the world is on display here. At Yosemite you can see the tranquillity of the High Sierra, the power of glaciers, giant sequoia groves, thundering waterfalls, clear streams and much more. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is also home to hundreds of wildlife and plant species. Two Wild & Scenic Rivers, the Tuolumne and Merced rivers, begin in the park and flow west to the Central Valley. Visitors experience the park's 800 miles of hiking trails and 282 miles of road.
Visitors fall in love with the park's many waterfalls, specifically 2,425-foot Yosemite Falls that ranks as the tallest in North America, flowing down into the scenic Valley meadows. Hikers take notice of the enormous granite mountains from the 8,842-foot Half Dome to the 13,114-foot Mt. Lyell-Yosemite's tallest peak. Glaciers, which John Muir sought out in California as well as Alaska, add into the mix with the Maclure and Lyell still intact.
Animals: Yosemite supports more than 400 species of vertebrates, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Overall, the park's widespread coniferous forests--with a relatively mild climate and a mixture of plant species--provide a lush habitat for animals to live. Wildlife species typically found include mule deer, black bear, bobcat, gray fox, mountain king snake, Gilbert's skink, white-headed woodpecker, brown creeper, spotted owl, and a wide variety of bat species. Black bears in Yosemite are active both day and night. Most bears that rely on natural food sources are active during the day. However, those that get food from people are often active at night, when they can quietly sneak around and grab unattended food.
Plants: Move up or down in elevation and feel as though you are in another park. Vegetation changes from oak woodlands to chaparral scrublands to lower montane to upper montane to subalpine to alpine. Those who step into the alpine zone can see krummholz whitebark pines and perhaps a western juniper or mountain hemlock. Scientists study many individual plants, including the black oak, to understand its future challenges.
TRAVEL & TOURISM
Yosemite is open all year, though some areas of the park are inaccessible by car from approximately November through May due to snow.
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