Corbitt's National Parks
               National Park


1890: National Park

1984: Wilderness

1984: World Heritage Site

Size: 761,266 acres

2008 visitors: 3,431,514

Stamp: ?

Rating (1-5): Unrated

About the Site

One of the first National Parks ever created, Yosemite comprises what may be the most beautiful 700,000 acres in the United States. Granite peaks rise above green meadows in summer, and the snowfall in this, the middle of the Sierra Nevada, makes a dramatic scene in winter. There are beautiful valleys, high-country meadows, spectacular waterfalls, and sparkling lakes. The elevations in the park range from 2,000 feet to more than 13,000 feet above sea level, which means visitors will find an outstanding variety of plant and animal life.

Yosemite represents the best, and possibly the worst, of what the National Park Service offers. The fantastic beauty is well-known; unfortunately, the crush of humanity at the park in summertime is also well-known. The Park Service has taken steps to address this -- a bus system runs through the most popular parts of Yosemite Valley, and this helps relieve the congestion and traffic pollution. This is the place made famous by John Muir and Ansel Adams, and should not be missed.

What You're Going to See

Most organized activity centers around Yosemite Valley. It has a visitors center and modern conveniences found in most small towns. The valley is open year-round and has the famous features of Half Dome, Bridalveil Fall, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. These falls are most active in spring, when melting snowpack feeds the rivers.

A large grove of giant sequoia stand near the south entrance. Yosemite has four entrances, all leading to different parts of the park. Near the south entrance of Wawona is the Pioneer Yosemite History Center.

There is plenty to do at Yosemite, including rock climbing, hang gliding, hiking, horse riding, swimming, fishing, camping, auto and bus touring, rafting, bicycling, bird- and wildlife-watching, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating.

Personal Observations

I haven't been there yet, but I've got to take the family camping there someday.

Getting There

From Manteca, take Highway 120 east for 112 miles. It leads directly into the Park.

From Merced, take Highway 140 northeast for 78 miles. It leads directly into the Park.

From Fresno, take Highway 41 north for 90 miles. Yes, you guessed it, it leads directly into the Park.

Nearby Attractions

A few miles east of Yosemite is Devils Postpile National Monument. To the southeast, you'll find Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Giant Sequoia National Monument, Manzanar National Historic Site, and Death Valley National Park.