Posts Tagged ‘waterfall’


Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

We entered Yosemite on Tioga Pass road. We entered Yosemite valley.

El Capitan loomed over the valley. We

headed for the high country and checked out Tuolumne meadows and Dana meadows.

We meandered our way over to the giant sequoia groves. There are 3 groves. The Mariposa grove with about 200 trees takes several hours to view all the giant trees. The other two groves, Tuolumne and Merced have only 25 and 20 trees. The trees are so big in diameter and so tall that you hardly see the top of them.

Two large rivers, Tuolumne and Merced begin in the park along the Sierra Crest. Yosemite has numerous waterfalls. Each one seems more stunning than the last one. There are several that are well known. Yosemite falls at 2425 feet (739 meters) is the highest falls in North America. Ribbon Falls has the highest single drop 1612 feet (492 meters). Bridalveil and Wapama are a couple more famous falls.

There are several glaciers in the park. The largest is Lyell glacier. The glaciers keep from melting by staying in the permanent shadow of mountains.

Yosemite enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Most of the precipitation falls in winter and snow lasts from early November until early april.

The first settlers were Paiute. Sierra Miwok, Ahwaneechee Indians. the california gold rush brought Europeans to the area. By 1853 after several battles with the Ahwaneechee the chief of the Ahwaneechee Chief Tenaya was killed and his village was burned.

James Hutchings and Charles Ayres were the first tourists to Yellowstone in 1855. Hutchings wrote articles and books which brought photographers Thomas Wee and Ansel Adams in 1859. A settler Galen Clark discovered the Mariposa grove of Giant Sequoia in 1857 and the Wawona Hotel was built in 1879. It was named after a local Indian camp.

One large Sequoia had a tunnel cut through it in 1881. It became the famous tunnel tree. It was a novelty and people drove buggies and cars through it for photo momentos. A heavy load of snow in 1969 caused the tree to fall. The age of the tree was estimated to be 2300 years.

Concerns of local citizens that loggers wanted to cut the trees brought about the Yosemite grant signed by President Abraham Lincoln in June 1864.This made the area a park. The area was officially proclamed the first National park in 1872.

John Muir came to the area and was the first to thearize that the major landmarks in the valley were formed by glaciers.

The National Park service was formed in 1916 and the park was transferred to them. All weather roads were built and soon cars enterd the valley. Today increased tourism has caused concerns and legislation has been proposed that would limit vehicle traffic in the summer to those staying at the lodge. Day use would be restricted to site seeing buses or walking.

The first dam, O Shaughnessy, was built in 1913. Today 3200 lakes and 2 reservoirs call the park home. Most of the lakes were formed during the glacier days of the last Ice age.

The park is a place of wonder and awe and should continue for many more generations.

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