Yosemite National Park spans the eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa, and Madera counties of California. The park covers an area of 761,268 acres and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain. Over 3.7 million people visit Yosemite each year - most spend their time in the seven square miles of Yosemite Valley. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness.
Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. First, Galen Clark and others lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development, ultimately leading to President Abraham Lincoln signing the Yosemite Grant in 1864. Later, John Muir led a successful movement to establish a larger national park encompassing not just the valley, but surrounding mountains and forests as well - paving the way for the United States national park system.
Photographer: Carol Highsmith
Date: June 2013
Location: Yosemite National Park, California
Image enhanced by Rebel Seed Studio