Through the years, Yosemite has been home to a number of people, from the Mono to Sierra Miwok, the Paiute and other Native American groups. The Ahwaneechee called the Yosemite Valley home for generations before the Europeans arrival in the mid-1800s. The area held a special mystery to it that beckoned many a traveler, but the rugged terrain meant that only a few would make it to the valley. That is, until a railroad was constructed in the area by 1907, this eased the journey and ultimately increased the number of people visiting the area. The once secluded spot that was home to the first occupants has now become one of the most frequented tourist attractions in the area. Following a battle between the natives and non-indigenous people, the valley was transferred from federal to state ownership.
Following what was considered excessive exploitation of the area, since it became more accessible, Naturalists such as John Muir spear-headed the establishment of Yosemite National Park in 1890. Today Yosemite is frequented for the park it houses; the park welcomes over 3.5 million people annually, who come to explore all that it has to offer. Yosemite National Park was the first area of land that was set aside by the US government for preservation and protection and covers 1,200 square miles. For a person wishing to explore the wilderness to the full, a visit to the park is a must as 94% of it is designated wilderness, with different species of flora and fauna. The Park spans the eastern portions of Mariposa, Tuolumne and Madera counties in the central eastern portion of California.
The park offers more than exploration, with interesting facts that will leave the visitors in awe. The park is home to Grizzly Giant, which is the name of the oldest Sequoia in the Park. The plant come from a seed the size of an oatmeal piece but grows up to become the biggest living things on the Planet. Black bears in the area weigh less than a pound at birth but grow to weigh between 150 and 500 pounds at maturity level. Also interesting to know is that when her baby is born, the mother bear is fast asleep during hibernation. On the other hand, the male deer in the park shed their antlers in the fall after the mating season only to grow them back in the spring. These are just a few of the amazing facts attached to the beautiful park.
“Ahwahnee” or “place of the gaping mouth” as the natives call the Yosemite Valley is truly an amazing place worth a visit. The park is considered the “crowned jewels of the national parks with reason”. Hikes can be enjoyed, with over 800 miles of trails available, in addition to other activities to be enjoyed while in the park include, rock climbing, rafting in the warmer months, driving destinations and skiing during the winter season at the valley. Though renowned for its granite cliffs and waterfalls, the park has a lot more to offer to its visitors, with breathtaking views all round.