Yosemite National Park is a 1,200-square-mile area that has been preserved in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was designated a national park on October 1, 1890, making it the country's third-oldest park. Yosemite stretches along the western side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is home to some of the most beautiful scenery and panoramic vistas in the world. Known for its waterfalls, forests, mountain glades and meadows, Yosemite National Park has many activities to keep the the millions of visitors that come to it each year quite busy.
El Capitan is one feature of Yosemite that garners attention from rock climbers from around the globe, since it is the biggest granite rock in the world at 3,000 feet high. For rock climbers, the greatest challenge is to climb up the sheer granite face.
The weather in general at Yosemite National Park is unpredictable due to the nature of the terrain, with the Sierra Nevada Mountains capable of causing quick changes.
Yosemite is home to three separate groves of giant sequoia trees, the largest living things on the planet, with some reaching 300 feet in height and living for 3,000 years.
Hikers will find that Yosemite has a wide array of trails with easy hikes, such as the half-mile-long Bridalveil Falls Trail, and tougher ones, like the popular 17-mile-long Half Dome Trail.
Yosemite is home to a diverse wildlife population, with such animals such as California bighorn sheep, cougars, black bears, coyotes, mule deer, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and great gray owls.