The Park in a nutshell
3.027 square km of wild land with an impressive landscape in Central California, in the western part of the Sierra Nevada. Yosemite obtained first recognition in 1864 by Abraham Lincoln when he set aside the land in order to allow the public to enjoy Yosemite Valley's high waterfalls, deep cliffs, open meadows, and oak woodlands as well as the Mariposa Grove's massive and ancient giant sequoias. When it became a national park October 1, 1890 and it was expanded to include Tuolumne Meadows and the high country.
The park ranges from 2,000 feet above sea level to more than 13,000 feet and offers three major features:
1) alpine wilderness
2) groves of Giant Sequoias
3) Yosemite Valley
The 200 miles of roads give access to all of these features either by car or by free shuttle bus in some areas. To get to know the real Yosemite, however, you must leave your car and take a few steps on a trail. You don't have to walk far to discover the grandeur that can be found here and the values this special place offers. Millions of people have come to Yosemite and left refreshed and relaxed and perhaps a bit more knowledgeable about what they want out of life.