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John Muir (–) was a Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. He helped save the Yosemite Valley and wilderness areas in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Muir felt that the livestock in the Yosemite area.
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Erosion acting upon different types of uplift-created joint and fracture systems is responsible for creating the valleys, canyons, domes , and other features we see today. These joints and fracture systems do not move, and are therefore not faults. Pillars and columns, such as Washington Column and Lost Arrow, are created by cross joints. Erosion acting on master joints is responsible for creating valleys and later canyons. Exfoliation caused by the tendency of crystals in plutonic rocks to expand at the surface acting on granitic rock with widely spaced joints is responsible for creating domes such as Half Dome and North Dome and inset arches like Royal Arches.

Yosemite Valley represents only one percent of the park area, but this is where most visitors arrive and stay. The Tunnel View is the first view of the Valley for many visitors and is extensively photographed.

El Capitan , a prominent granite cliff that looms over Yosemite Valley, is one of the most popular rock climbing destinations in the world because of its diverse range of climbing routes in addition to its year-round accessibility. The park has three groves of ancient giant sequoia Sequoiadendron giganteum trees; the Mariposa Grove trees , the Tuolumne Grove 25 trees , and the Merced Grove 20 trees.

Hydrologic processes, including glaciation , flooding, and fluvial geomorphic response, have been fundamental in creating landforms in the park. Yosemite is famous for its high concentration of waterfalls in a small area. Numerous sheer drops, glacial steps and hanging valleys in the park provide many places for waterfalls to exist, especially during April, May, and June the snowmelt season. Wapama Falls in Hetch Hetchy Valley is another notable waterfall. Hundreds of ephemeral waterfalls also exist in the park. All glaciers in the park are relatively small glaciers that occupy areas that are in almost permanent shade, such as north- and northeast-facing cirques.

Instead, they were formed during one of the neoglacial episodes that have occurred since the thawing of the Ice Age such as the Little Ice Age. Snow does not typically persist on the ground until November in the high country. It accumulates all winter and into March or early April. The combination of dry vegetation, low relative humidity, and thunderstorms results in frequent lightning-caused fires as well.

The wettest year was with The snowiest year was with The most snow in one month was The area of the park was astride a passive continental margin during the Precambrian and early Paleozoic. These rocks have since been metamorphosed. Heat generated from the Farallon Plate subducting below the North American Plate led to the creation of an island arc of volcanoes on the west coast of proto-North America between the late Devonian and Permian periods.

The first phase of regional plutonism started million years ago in the late Triassic and continued throughout the Jurassic to about million years before present BP.

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This was directly part of the creation of the Sierra Nevada Batholith, and the resulting rocks were mostly granitic in composition and emplaced about 6 miles 9. Starting 20 million years ago in the Cenozoic and lasting until 5 million years ago, a now-extinct extension of Cascade Range volcanoes erupted, bringing large amounts of igneous material in the area. These igneous deposits blanketed the region north of the Yosemite region. Volcanic activity persisted past 5 million years BP east of the current park borders in the Mono Lake and Long Valley areas.

Starting 10 million years ago, vertical movement along the Sierra fault started to uplift the Sierra Nevada. Subsequent tilting of the Sierra block and the resulting accelerated uplift of the Sierra Nevada increased the gradient of western-flowing streams. Additional uplift occurred when major faults developed to the east, especially the creation of Owens Valley from Basin and Range -associated extensional forces. Uplift of the Sierra accelerated again about two million years ago during the Pleistocene.

The uplifting and increased erosion exposed granitic rocks in the area to surface pressures, resulting in exfoliation responsible for the rounded shape of the many domes in the park and mass wasting following the numerous fracture joint planes cracks; especially vertical ones in the now solidified plutons. Numerous vertical joint planes controlled where and how fast erosion took place. Most of these long, linear and very deep cracks trend northeast or northwest and form parallel, often regularly spaced sets. They were created by uplift-associated pressure release and by the unloading of overlying rock via erosion.

A series of glaciations further modified the region starting about 2 to 3 million years ago and ending sometime around 10, BP. At least four major glaciations have occurred in the Sierra Nevada, locally called the Sherwin also called the pre-Tahoe , Tahoe, Tenaya, and Tioga. A Sherwin-age glacier was almost surely responsible for the major excavation and shaping of Yosemite Valley and other canyons in the area. Only the highest peaks, such as Mount Dana and Mount Conness, were not covered by glaciers. Retreating glaciers often left recessional moraines that impounded lakes such as the 5. With its scrubby sun-baked chaparral , stately groves of pine, fir, and sequoia, and expanses of alpine woodlands and meadows, Yosemite National Park preserves a Sierra Nevada landscape as it prevailed before Euro-American settlement.

Along much of Yosemite's western boundary, habitats are dominated by mixed coniferous forests of ponderosa pine , sugar pine , incense cedar , white fir , Douglas fir , and a few stands of giant sequoia, interspersed by areas of black oak and canyon live oak. A relatively high diversity of wildlife species is supported by these habitats, because of relatively mild, lower-elevation climate and the mixture of habitat types and plant species.

Wildlife species typically found in these habitats include black bear , coyote , raccoon, mountain kingsnake , Gilbert's skink , white-headed woodpecker , bobcat, river otter , gray fox , red fox , brown creeper , two species of skunk, cougar , spotted owl , and a wide variety of bat species.


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Going higher in elevation, the coniferous forests become purer stands of red fir , western white pine , Jeffrey pine , lodgepole pine , and the occasional foxtail pine. Fewer wildlife species tend to be found in these habitats, because of their higher elevation and lower complexity.

Species likely to be found include golden-mantled ground squirrel , chickaree , fisher , Steller's jay , hermit thrush , and northern goshawk. Reptiles are not common, but include rubber boa , western fence lizard , and northern alligator lizard. As the landscape rises, trees become smaller and more sparse, with stands broken by areas of exposed granite. These include lodgepole pine, whitebark pine , and mountain hemlock that, at highest elevations, give way to vast expanses of granite as treeline is reached. The climate in these habitats is harsh and the growing season is short, but species such as pika , yellow-bellied marmot , white-tailed jackrabbit , Clark's nutcracker , and black rosy finch are adapted to these conditions.

Also, the treeless alpine habitats are the areas favored by Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. This species, however, is now found in the Yosemite area only around Tioga Pass, where a small, reintroduced population exists. At a variety of elevations, meadows provide important, productive habitat for wildlife. Animals come to feed on the green grasses and use the flowing and standing water found in many meadows. Predators, in turn, are attracted to these areas. The interface between meadow and forest is also favored by many animal species because of the proximity of open areas for foraging and cover for protection.

Species that are highly dependent upon meadow habitat include great grey owl , willow flycatcher , Yosemite toad , and mountain beaver.

John Muir’s Yosemite

Despite the richness of high-quality habitats in Yosemite, the brown bear , California condor , and least Bell's vireo have become extinct in the park within historical time, [72] and another 37 species currently have special status under either California or federal endangered species legislation. The most serious current threats to Yosemite's wildlife and the ecosystems they occupy include loss of a natural fire regime, exotic species , air pollution, habitat fragmentation , and climate change.

On a more local basis, factors such as road kills and the availability of human food have affected some wildlife species. The black bears of Yosemite were once famous for breaking into parked cars to steal food.

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They were also an encouraged tourist sight for many years at the park's garbage dumps, where bears congregated to eat park visitors' garbage and tourists gathered to photograph the bears. Increasing encounters between bears and humans and increasing damage to property led to an aggressive campaign to discourage bears from relying on human food or interacting with people and their property. The open-air dumps were closed; all trash receptacles were replaced with bear-proof receptacles; all campgrounds were equipped with bear-proof food lockers so that people would not leave food in their vehicles, which were easy targets for the powerful and resourceful bears.

Because bears who show aggression towards people usually are eventually destroyed, park personnel have continued to come up with innovative ways to have bears associate humans and their property with unpleasant experiences, such as being hit with rubber bullets. Today, about 30 bears a year are captured and ear-tagged and their DNA is sampled so that, when bear damage occurs, rangers can ascertain which bear is causing the problem. Increasing ozone pollution is causing tissue damage to the massive giant sequoia trees in the park, making them more vulnerable to insect infestation and disease.

Since the cones of these trees require fire-touched soil to germinate , historic fire suppression has reduced these trees' ability to reproduce. The current policy of setting prescribed fires is expected to help the germination issue. Yosemite National Park has documented more than non-native plant species within park boundaries.

These non-native plants were introduced into Yosemite following the migration of early Euro-American settlers in the late s. Natural and human-caused disturbances, such as wildland fires and construction activities, have contributed to a rapid increase in the spread of non-native plants. A number of these species aggressively invade and displace the native plant communities, resulting in impacts on the park's resources. Non-native plants can bring about significant changes in park ecosystems by altering the native plant communities and the processes that support them. Some non-native species may cause an increase in the fire frequency of an area or increase the available nitrogen in the soil that may allow more non-native plants to become established.

Many non-native species, such as yellow star thistle Centaurea solstitialis , are able to produce a long tap root that allows them to out-compete the native plants for available water. Bull thistle Cirsium vulgare , common mullein Verbascum thapsus , and Klamath weed Hypericum perforatum have been identified as noxious pests in Yosemite since the s. Additional species that have been recognized more recently as aggressive and requiring control are yellow star thistle Centaurea solstitialis , sweet clover Melilot spp. Forest fires seasonally clear the park of dead vegetation, making way for new growth.

During late July and early August, , sections of the park, including the Valley, were temporarily closed due to the Ferguson Fire raging at its western boundary. Yosemite Valley is open year-round and numerous activities are available through the National Park Service , Yosemite Conservancy, and Aramark at Yosemite, including nature walks, photography and art classes, stargazing programs, tours, bike rentals, rafting, mule and horseback rides, and rock climbing classes.

Many people enjoy short walks and longer hikes to waterfalls in Yosemite Valley, or walks among giant sequoias in the Mariposa, Tuolumne, or Merced Groves. Others like to drive or take a tour bus to Glacier Point summer—fall to see views of Yosemite Valley and the high country, or drive along the scenic Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows May—October and go for a walk or hike.

Most park visitors stay just for the day, and visit only those locations within Yosemite Valley that are easily accessible by automobile. A free shuttle bus system operates year-round in the valley, and park rangers encourage people to use this system since parking within the valley during the summer is often nearly impossible to find.

In addition to exploring the natural features of the park, visitors can also learn about the natural and cultural history of Yosemite Valley at a number of facilities in the valley: There are also two National Historic Landmarks: Camp 4 was added to the National Register of Historic Places in Park rangers encourage visitors to experience portions of the park in addition to Yosemite Valley. Between late spring and early fall, much of the park can be accessed for multiple-day backpacking trips.

All overnight trips into the back country require a wilderness permit [85] and most require approved bear-resistant food storage. Travels in Alaska Modern Library Classics. Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

I read this book because I feel I owe John Muir a debt of gratitude. His all-encompassing, almost mystical and always infectious appreciation for wilderness helped start a movement to conserve wild places for the enjoyment of all. One of those places is Yosemite. I had the opportunity to visit recently and picked up a copy of this book. Pictures from another recent visitor thanks Stephanie prompted me to pull this out and read it.

It was published in and the style is certainly dated, but it was an enjoyable read mostly because it launched me right back to the days spent wandering in awe through the remarkable valley though, it would seem we experienced slightly more visitors in those few days than Mr. Muir might have encountered in his life. And in those details, he found infinity. On Yosemite Falls which the drought had shut off when we visited: After being flung down the canyon wall on top of an avalanche: This was a fine experience.

Valley of the Yosemite - Wikipedia

He must sing, though the heavens fall. When writing about the glaciers, he said this about South Dome: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Great book by Muirif you like this book you will also want to read the following 99 cent similar books: Until I read Yosemite I did not fully appreciate his contributions. His descriptions of the mountains, waterfalls and valleys it's wildlife and flowers was so vivid that I could almost feel the mist from the waterfalls on my face.

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Muir is one of the beautiful nature writers, ascribing a kind of personification and vivification to the natural world that draws us closer to it. The child of a devout Christian home, his writing occasionally comes forth with beautiful expressions of praise, much like reading some of the Psalms in the Old Testament. This is wonderful reading for those who love the outdoors.

Wonderful book for those who love nature and the wild world outside of the city. In John Muir I have found a kindred spirit. Both an adventure and an awestruck love of nature in his description of one the most inspiring places in the USA. One person found this helpful. Have you ever looked at something so beautiful that you simply could not find the words sufficient to describe it? These books are old, but the author's descriptions and his feelings about them are so perfect that you would swear you are standing next to him. At my feet lay the Great Central Valley of California, level and flowery, like a lake of pure sunshine Rafting along the Merced River is popular during summer.

Fishing, swimming, and boating area all enjoyable summer activities. Looking for a unique way to visit Yosemite? Strap on some skis, snowshoes, or hit the slopes for some downhill adventure! Yosemite National Park California. Info Alerts Maps Calendar Reserve. Alerts In Effect Dismiss. Ranger and Interpretive Programs. Yosemite Guide - Plan Your Visit!

Contact the Park Mailing Address: Camping Camping is extremely popular in Yosemite. Hiking One of the best ways to experience Yosemite is by taking a hike. Tours Looking for a guided tour? Ranger and Interpretive Programs Yosemite offers a range of informative and inspiring walks and talks to learn about Yosemite.

The Yosemite Guide contains information about trip planning, activities, scheduled events, and hours of operations for different facilities Places to Go So many places to go and so little time! Art and Photography Yosemite's epic scenery freely lends itself to the artist's eye like only a few places can. Auto Touring Sightseeing in Yosemite by car?