1. Get Deals:

Yosemite National Park

Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of central California, Yosemite National Park boasts spectacular mountain and valley scenery ranging from alpine wilderness to the glacially formed Yosemite Valley. Known as the ‘Crown Jewel’ of the National Park System, Yosemite has been molded by earthquakes, glaciers, and other forces over millions of years. Some highlights of the park are the waterfalls and cliffs, giant sequoias in the Mariposa Grove, deep alpine lakes, and the large alpine meadows of Tuolumne. Roughly the size of the state of Rhode Island, this mountain destination offers wide open wilderness, as well as the amenities and services of a year-round family and group vacation destination.

Things to Do

Yosemite National Park is not only valued as a national treasure for its beauty but also offers a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities. Tucked into the western slopes of the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Yosemite National Park is a landmark and one of the most popular tourist attractions out there. nown for its epic waterfalls, beautiful forests, and shear wonder, Yosemite is visited by three and a half million people a year. What better way to enjoy what Yosemite Nation Park has to offer than to sleep underneath the stars in one of the many fine camping sites available? Most of the camp sites include fire rings to roast marshmallows while telling stories, picnic tables to enjoy meals with the whole family, and a food locker to store away what’s left.

Rock climbing has become a common hobby these days and this park is home to some of the best rock climbing in the country. You don't have to be a seasoned pro, just someone interested to learn and group lessons are available as well so you can try something new with your family and friends.

The area is a trout fishermen’s paradise. The crystal clear waters brings fishermen from all over the country to visit and test their luck in the water. Get with a guide and learn to fly fish, something every should try once so you can say you've done it.

Biking is one of the healthiest and most enjoyable ways of seeing this area. Enjoy the landscape while biking along miles and miles of paved trails and bike ways. These trails are not very difficult and could be biked by just about anyone who wants to see Yosemite. You can rent bikes there and remember to wear your helmet!

The park rangers here offer a area wide variety of park pours designed to show you all of the sites, and fill you in on the background and history of what you are seeing. All of Yosemite’s park tours are on a bus lead by a park ranger who knows about the geology and history of the area. The tours vary in length, some even lasting the whole day, but give good insight knowledge while showing you everything you came to see.

Whitewater rafting is a popular summer activity on the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers for beginners and experts alike. Both rivers are designated Wild & Scenic Rivers and may be the best way to explore the beauty of the Yosemite Valley. Trips range from mild scenic floats to exhilarating class rapids.

Area History

Like most all national parks in the western half of the United States, started its life as a part of a vast Indian Territory. Yosemite was populated by many indigenous peoples during the decades before it was discovered; it was the Ahwahneechee tribe that populated it when the first white men came to valley. The Gold Rush brought many Americans across the country to California, and with that the land was no longer populated by Indians.

In 1851, Jim McDougall, Governor of California at the time, appointed Jim Savage to head a small group of soldiers called the Mariposa Battalion. One day on the hunt for some rouge Indians that raided one of their towns, Savage and the Mariposa Battalion where walking through the woods of the Sierra when they stumbled across a majestic valley. Unbeknownst to them at the time, they had become the first white men to look upon the vast Yosemite Valley. Lafayette Bunnell, the company physician, wrote a book about their discoveries called simply The Discovery of Yosemite and is also credited with naming the Valley.

Throughout the rest 1850’s and into the 1860’s, Yosemite Valley began getting attention as a tourist attraction by some of the prominent citizens of the day. This led to Galen Clark, known for his role in the discovery of the mariposa Grove Giant Sequoia, getting the government involved in stopping the industrialization of the area. A bill was written up, and passed both houses of the Congress. On June 30th, 1864, in the middle of the Civil War mind you, President Abe Lincoln signed the bill, and Yosemite National Park was born. With the signing of that bill, the first national park was created.

Another prominent man in the life of Yosemite was John Muir, a naturalist who wrote articles about Yosemite. Muir was the first to come up with the theory that the valley was created by giant glaciers, much to the disdain of the scientific community, who came down with heavy criticism on Muir’s theories.

Muir was fed up with the damage that over grazing, and logging was doing to the valley, he and Century Magazine editor lobbied Congress to for an act to section of Yosemite, and preserve its natural beauty.

The act was delivered, but it excluded the valley and the grove. It took a meeting with President Theodore Roosevelt at Glacier Point to get Congress to make Yosemite a National Park. In 1906, Roosevelt signed the papers, and Yosemite was safe.

Throughout the years, Yosemite gained popularity and became one of the two most historical and famous (The other, of course, being Yellowstone) national parks in the United States. With its vast sects of protected lands that hold protected animals, it looks like Yosemite will be around for future generations to cherish, as it has been since it was discovered.