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An Introduction To Yosemite Valley

Whilst God created California, Yosemite National Park became his crown jewel. Home to some of the most striking panorama you could yearn to witness, Yosemite is the realm of wilderness. Language alone cannot wholly portray the natural splendour and spectacular surroundings illustrated on this magnificent canvas.

In excess of seven miles and in parts a mile broad, Yosemite Valley is the centrepiece of the Park. Almost vertical cliffs loom in excess of three thousand feet, commanding the backdrop, and serve to frame the unspoiled landscape. Serrated peaks pierce the sky while rushing waterfalls afford an audible backdrop as they crash to pools beneath.

The woody, lush meadows accommodate a rich assortment of wildlife and natural phenomenon. Deer roam unbound on the verdant, grassland while dense forest provides cover for coyote as they track prey. General precautions should be practised however, as black bears have been known to make sudden appearances.

Yosemite National Park is open all year round, though winter months attract fewer visitors and the Park may look a little more isolated. During harsher climate, waterfalls often freeze and access about the Park may be compromised as snow blankets the terrain and paths become perilous.

Glaciers scraping along the Merced River sculpted Yosemite Valley into the canyon of today. Softer granite eroded, exposing the harder rock beneath to create the sheer cliff faces, some of which are merely seven degrees from vertical. In 1864 Yosemite became the first national park in the country - acknowledgement of its magnificent elegance - covering an area of 1200 square miles.

The three major roads of the Park all lead to Yosemite Valley, the busiest section of the Park. Here you will discover Yosemite Village, home of the chief shopping quarter and the informative visitor centre, open daily throughout the year.

Intended for the more adventurous, numerous footpaths permit an ascent en route to the zenith of the valley. For the less experienced, the Mist Trail is a moderately comfortable ramble of two to three hours escorting you alongside Vernal Fall, a celebrated spectacle during spring and the thawing of the winter snow.

Upper Yosemite Fall is a particularly demanding route but offers greater reward. The seven mile round trip grants several wonderful sights of the valley and the mammoth, granite cliff sides, however anticipate various aching bones approaching the conclusion of the climb.

For the most impressive viewpoint of the valley head for Glacier Point and its 3200 foot summit. Access is obtained via a steep trail and rewards the hiker by means of a most breathtaking scene. However, for the less active, frequent buses are at hand.

About the author:
Steven Cronin writes articles, poetry and short stories predominantly concerning travel as well as issues that influence the world in which we live. For further literature visit