Fun Facts

  • President Abraham Lincoln named Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove as the United States’ first public reserve.
  • John Muir was one of the pioneers of promoting the protection of this area. He founded the Sierra Club to accomplish his goals.
  • Half Dome was created due to the interaction of the glaciers with the underlying rocks making it a good example of an exfoliation dome.
  • While popular, hiking Half Dome is quite challenging at the end since hikers need to ascend the final 400 feet via cables.
  • El Capitan is the world’s largest granite monolith (over 3000 ft. above the valley floor) and a favorite for rock climbing experts.
  • Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America and third largest worldwide with a 2425 ft. drop. During winter, you can see an ice cone on top of the falls.
  • Despite its name, Mirror Lake is more of a pond. You can watch reflections of Half Dome and Mt. Watkins on its surface during spring as long as the water level is high.
  • The meadows and wetlands are the perfect place to catch a glimpse of Yosemite’s flora and fauna.
  • The Mariposa Grove’s Giant Sequoias are the largest known living things on the plant. They are also some of the oldest with most being 3000 years old.
  • While Yosemite is spread across 760,000 acres (1200 sq. miles), most visitors only move around 7 sq. miles of the Yosemite Valley.
  • The black bears that live in Yosemite aren’t as black as you think. Their coats have shades of brown, red and white.

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