Yosemite National Park is one of the most iconic places to visit in United States. The park became protected after Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant; “which after being passed set aside the land from being developed and guaranteed its preservation” (Wikipedia ‘Yosemite National Park’ 2015. Web. 22 May 2015). Yosemite was formed over 10 million years ago when the Sierra Nevada was uplifted resulting in landforms such as, Half Dome and El Capitan. Another factor of Yosemite’s extreme landforms is, because Yosemite was believed to have been sculpted by the erosion of glaciers. The amount of tourists visiting the park greatly increased after the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869. Today over 3.7 million people visit the park annually. The area of Yosemite is 1,168.681 sq miles; ‘nearly 95% of which designated for wilderness.’ (Web, Wikipedia ‘Yosemite National Park’)
Yosemite Wildlife: Many different species of wildlife and plants are found in Yosemite. ‘20% of California’s 7000 plant species occur in yosemite and there are more than 160 rare plant species, due to the parks unique rich soils’ (Wikipedia ‘Yosemite National Park’). Yosemite’s habitat is made up of mainly: redwoods, incense cedar, Douglas fir, white fir, ponderosa pine and sugar pine. In these highly diverse habitats wildlife species include: black bears, cougars, mountain kingsnakes, white headed woodpeckers, spotted owls, and mule deer. This list is just a condensed list and doesn’t even begin to cover insects, fish and birds (Web, Wikipedia ‘Yosemite National Park’)
Three day Yosemite Itinerary:
Day 1: Today is your first day in Yosemite; you come through the nostalgia inducing tunnel and see the incredible iconic views. You decide to visit El Capitan Meadow, which has great views of the towering mountain. Next you decide to go out for lunch; one good option is, ‘The Pizza Patio’ in Curry Village, which has a pub next door and even a little gift shop. There are many parking lots nearby Curry Village and free public transportation around the park. If you decide on a bike ride there is a bike shop in Curry Village3 and miles of flat scenic trails. Another option is an easy ? mile hike to Bridal Falls1 which is a 19 minute drive from the Pizza Patio2. Next you can visit the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, which gives an overview of the park’s geology, history, and other information.
Day 2: This is your second day in Yosemite and you decide to go out for breakfast, where do you go? The Ahwahnee Hotel is a historic landmark and offers meals on the pricier side throughout the day (reservations are recommended). After your breakfast, you decide to take a hike on the Vernal /Nevada Falls trail4 which has a few different length trails. After your hike you decide to visit Tuolumne Meadows5 which is about a 1.5 hour drive from Yosemite Valley; the trail itself is 2 miles and is sure to please.
Day 3: This is your last day in Yosemite; you want to do something exciting, how about rafting and a short hike later. For whitewater rafting there are a few rivers that run through Yosemite, including the Tuolumne River, Kings River and the Merced; depending on the season you may need choose accordly, because of fluctuating water levels6. Then you finish your day by hiking at Lower Mariposa Grove7; it includes the Grizzly Giant, one of the world’s oldest sequoia! You have your last dinner in Yosemite at the Mountain Room lodge8 or the Tuolumne Meadows Grill8.