33 Interesting And Iconic Facts About Yosemite National Park!

Sridevi Tolety
Jan 24, 2024 By Sridevi Tolety
Originally Published on Dec 19, 2021
Edited by Lara Simpson
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Yosemite National Park got its name from the Indigenous word 'uzumate,' which means grizzly bear.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.9 Min

The Indigenous tribe living in the Yosemite valley were called Yosemites by other tribes as they lived in an area where grizzly bears were prevalent. The Yosemites were skilled at killing these bears.

The United States holds the honor of establishing the first national park globally. There are around 63 national parks in the United States, which are protected areas operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior. Then-President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill creating the first national park called Yellowstone in 1872, and the bill to create Yosemite National Park was signed in 1890. Yosemite is the nation's 3rd park, but it was the first to ignite the concept of national parks.

If you found our article interesting, please find more exciting works on facts about Olympic National Park and Zion National Park facts.

Yosemite National Park History

Yosemite has the credit of being the only national park to bid to host the Winter Olympics. It is also called a climber's playground, and climbers have been drawn towards its rock formations since the 1880s.

Going 10 million years into history, the Sierra Nevada was elevated and then tilted, giving us the gentle western and more substantial eastern slopes. This uplift also made the riverbeds steeper, which formed deep and narrow canyons.

The first building within the park system is the Yosemite Museum, designed by Herbert Maier and completed in 1925. It served as an academic site that made other parks do the identical style of thing. Thanks to this initiative, all parks nationwide have museums.

Yosemite Valley is one of the few places within California where you'll be able to see a rainbow during the night. It is world-famous for its lunar rainbows or moonbows. If the sky is clear and the moon is full, it is busy during the spring and early summer as it can produce enough light through a waterfall's mist to make a rainbow. This magnificent national park takes up 748,836 acres of space. The mountains increase in height at one foot every 1000 years.

Yosemite National Park Animals

Yosemite park is widely known for its waterfalls, wilderness areas, deep valleys, mounting granite monoliths, ancient wildlife, and giant sequoias. Giant Sequoias are the most prominent living things on earth. There are around 500 giant sequoias in the national park, and it is said that a giant sequoia has a life of 3,000 years. They grow about 30 ft (9.14 m) in diameter and over 250 ft (76 m) tall. Giant sequoias are one of the three longest-lived tree species, with the oldest tree within the park being the Grizzly Giant, located within the Mariposa Grove.

The park's diverse landscape supports around 400 species. If one looks around, you can see one in every of the park's many amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals looking back. One such animal spotted here is the rare Sierra Nevada red fox, roaming the high elevations of California's Sierra Nevada.

There are also around 300 to 500 black bears in the park. You can also find the Sierra Mountain Kingsnake, which is red, cream, and black.

Out of 7000 plant species in California, about 20% are found in this national park. The area is a dramatic and eye-catching place for hikers to explore. Over 800 miles (1287.48 km) of trails are spread over the national park to be explored by nature lovers. With the exploration of trails, visitors will encounter a minimum of some of the various lizards, turtles, and snakes which inhabit the realm. Hikers who visit the park for their hiking trails will also love the 14 miles (22.5 km) long and 4800 ft (1463 m) elevation of nature that the Half Dome offers for them to explore.

Yosemite National Park Geography

Yosemite experiences a Mediterranean climate, which is warm, temperate, and mild, while during the winter season, there is heavy rainfall. On average, the precipitation in January is around 7 in (17.7 cm), whereas summers are arid and sunny, with average precipitation in August being around 0.2 in (0.5 cm).

The ideal time to visit the famous Yosemite falls is in spring (May and June) because the snowmelt is at its peak during this time. The waterfalls usually dry up by August but are filled later due to heavy rainfall. Several visitors worldwide come to witness the beauty of Yosemite falls from May through October. Around 3.5 million people from across the globe visit Yosemite every year.

Fires have constantly been occurring within the Yosemite Valley. Research had shown that about 16,000 acres (64.7 sq km) of Yosemite's land ended up being burned annually before fire suspension was put in place.

Yosemite's granite cliffs glow like fire at sunset. Sunlight plays amazing tricks at Yosemite, illuminating El Capitan and Half Dome in brilliant reds and oranges. Horsetail Fall is known for appearing to air fire when it reflects the orange glow of sunset in mid-to-late February. This rare phenomenon is called Firefall. It can be mistaken for lava spilling from a volcano. Thousands of individuals flock to Yosemite to witness this beautiful sight, which only lasts for some minutes before the sun moves.

The Frazil ice is a natural event in the Yosemite falls when the temperatures turn flowing water into slushy running water. Approximately one million years ago, a glacier point had reached a thickness of 4,000 ft (1219 m). These glaciers formed at high elevations started to maneuver down the river valleys. The downward movement of the large pieces of ice made the valley cut into a U-shape. The exchange between the glaciers and the underlying granite rocks is the primary reason to create the unique landforms within the park. These prominent landforms one can witness here include the jagged peaks, lakes, rounded domes, moraines, waterfalls, and granite spires.

Yosemite was declared a Heritage Site in 1984 by UNESCO.

Hotels Near Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is accessible to visitors 24 hours a day, seven days per week. James Hutchings and his wife Elvira opened the Hutchings Hotel in 1864 and offered the earliest of travelers a warm bed to put heads down. The hotel was operative for over ten years, and the hotel was what cemented their connection to the park.

The Ahwahnee Hotel is the most famous hotel in Yosemite, which was once a naval hospital in World War II. The place now known as Yosemite was once called 'Ahwahnee' by the Indigenous people who lived there. The word 'Ahwahnee' means "big mouth."

There are particular camping areas called High Sierra campsites, which offer meals, clean water, bathroom access, and canvas tents. The only available option to reserve these campsites is by entering a lottery. The first snack bar/kiosk in Yosemite to open was a store and bakery in 1884.

Few other hotels near Yosemite valley are Yosemite valley lodge and Yosemite view lodge, Curry village, and Yosemite Westgate Lodge.

When was Yosemite National Park founded?

Yosemite National Park was first discovered in the year 1889. It is the third national park in the United States designated by an Act of Congress on 1st October 1890.

John Muir discovered that this beautiful vast grassland surrounding Yosemite Valley lacked government protection and was also destroyed by domestic sheep grazing. After Muir's constant efforts to protect Yosemite, the US government agreed to set aside the land around the Yosemite valley as Yosemite national park.

Who founded Yosemite National Park?

Yosemite National Park was first discovered by John Muir, a Scottish naturalist, writer, and advocate of forest conservation, in the year 1889. The literary works of John Muir raised awareness of the unique charm of the realm. His works advocated the creation of the park in 1890, which is why Muir is often referred to as the 'father of national parks.'

Yosemite National Park is a must-visit for every individual who loves hiking, waterfalls, greenery, wildlife, and adventures. Its dramatic scenery is an experience that words cannot describe. A visit to Yosemite Valley would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for every person who visits it.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for' 33 Interesting And Iconic Facts About Yosemite National Park!' then why not take a look at Acadia National Park facts or Glacier National Park facts.

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Written by Sridevi Tolety

Bachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

Sridevi Tolety picture

Sridevi ToletyBachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.

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