August 17, 2009

Our National Parks, Part I

In honor of Ken Burn's documentary, "The National Parks, America's Best Idea," coming this fall, we're highlighting a few of our nation's topographic treasures.

This week: Yosemite National Park (Courtesy of National Geographic Traveler)
Location:Located in the Sierra Nevada range of California, the park is 195 miles east of San Francisco and 276 miles north of Los Angeles.

Vital Stats
Nearest airports: Fresno-Yosemite International, located 2.5 hours north on Highway 41. The San Francisco International airport is four hours east of Yosemite.

Established: Yosemite National Park was established in October 1890. Prior to the National Park Service (NPS), Yosemite was managed by the state and local congress. After the formation of the NPS, Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove were reinstated in 1906 back to the federal government to be included in the management of the NPS.

Size: 761,266 acres
Park website:
Snapshot: Recognized as a World Heritage site in 1984, Yosemite National Park covers over 745,000 acres of pristine wilderness filled with staggering cliffs, lakes, rivers, meadows, and a wealth of biological diversity. A haven to nature enthusiasts, artists, and families alike, the park is home to 800 miles of hiking trails, the tallest waterfall in the United States and the renowned giant sequoia groves.

Did You Know?
Towering more than 350 stories above Yosemite Valley, El Capitan is the largest exposed granite monolith in the world. By late August, Yosemite Falls are usually dry because the natural wonder relies solely on snowmelt. The peak flow is in late May and the falls return around October when the snow reappears. The park’s giant sequoia trees can live to be over 3,000 years old.

Scenic Drive
Approximately 48 miles in length, the Tioga Road is the most popular drive in Yosemite National Park. The road is the highest in the region, peaking at 9,945 feet at the Tioga Pass. The route winds through high peeks, meadows and creeks, allowing travelers to get a special view of the abundant wildlife in the park. Detour off of the main road to paths less traveled, including White Wolf, Siesta Lake, and the Red Fir Forest.

You can explore, navigate, and create custom maps of 25 of America's National Parks with our digital mapping software, on sale for a limited time here:

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