Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California, USA
Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, glaciers, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness. Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. First, Galen Clark and others lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development, ultimately leading to President Abraham Lincoln’s signing the Yosemite Grant in 1864. Later, John Muir led a successful movement to establish a larger national park encompassing not just the valley, but surrounding mountains and forests as well—paving the way for the United States national park system.
Yosemite National Park is a national park spanning portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in Northern California.The park, which is managed by the National Park Service, covers an area of 747,956 acres and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. On average, about 4 million people visit Yosemite each year, and most spend the majority of their time in the seven square miles of Yosemite Valley. The park set a visitation record in 2016, surpassing 5 million visitors for the first time in its history.
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