Yosemite has long been revered, both by Native Americans and settlers to the area, who saw in equal measure the stunning beauty of the land and animal life around them. And theres’s plenty of land to explore in Yosemite National Park’s impressive 759,210 acres of land, making it the 18th largest national park in the U.S.
Today, millions of visitors a year stream into the park to catch a glimpse of the incredible vistas, culture and wildlife captured in stories, legends and most famously, the photographs of Ansel Adams. With the incredible granite walls surrounding Yosemite Valley, visitors to the park feel like ants among giants. With elevations of up to 9,500 feet, Yosemite’s soaring peaks are matched only in beauty by the endless rolling forests and lush plains filled with boisterous plants and trees of all shapes, sizes and colors. It’s incredible to think that 3,951,393 people visit the park annually. It is the 3rd most popular park in the National Park Service, welcoming 5.7 visitors per acre of the park.
It is easy to get lost in the geographic marvels of the park, but visitors also come to experience the incredible diversity of animal life, ranging from the elusive big horned sheep and red fox, to the more commonly sighted brown and black bears. With over 40 species of protected animals roaming the park, Yosemite is truly one of the few places where rare and endangered species are protected. To get out and see these natural marvels, Yosemite Park has a variety of outdoors opportunities, ranging from roadside vistas of the valley to the grueling 14-mile hike up to the top of Half Dome.
At night, lodging and eating options are numerous, ranging from tenting in the backwoods to staying at a 4 star resort nestled in the center of the valley.