By Wendy VanHatten

“It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.”

John Muir, conservationist



John Muir was right. Entering Yosemite Valley is like entering a temple. Spectacular granite formations line the walls as crystal clear streams and peaceful meadows carpet the floor. Add decorations of jaw-dropping waterfalls, ancient giant sequoias, and a few bears…you have the makings of Nature’s temple.

Powerful glaciers, molten rock from volcanic eruptions, and millions of years of erosion combined to create not just a great valley, but a showcase in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. First protected in 1864 with the Yosemite Grant Act, this grant marked the first California State Park. In 1906, this area became what we know today as Yosemite National park.

Now, 150 years later, this wonderland of geological formations and biological diversity, the park spans almost 1,2000 square miles.

Did you know more than three million visitors come each year? Some come for the more than 840 miles of hiking trails and some come to climb El Capitan, the world’s largest block of granite with its 3,300 foot rock face.

more later…stay tuned