Majestic, 1,000 metre high rock walls flank a magnificent valley, the heart of the world famous Yosemite National Park located in California’s Sierra Nevada.
The first thing that strikes most visitors to the park is its spectacular waterfalls which are the highest on the entire North American Continent. They plunge down more than 700 metres. At Yosemite Falls, the water from Yosemite Creek falls from the elevated regions of the Sierra Nevada down into the valley below.
For several centuries, long before any white settlers reached the valleys of today’s park, the area that surrounded the Merced River was the sole domain of the Native American Indian. For almost 4,000 years, this was the hunting ground of the Awanitshi Indians.
In bygone times, the Indians called today’s Bridal Veil Fall, ‘Pohono’, The Spirit of the Wind. The name is most apt because the water is continuously forced away from the rock walls and the height of the waterfall is equivalent to around 62 storys.
In the northern more inaccessible sections of the park, the cold and clear water of the streams flow into the Tuolmne River. The source of the water that travels into the Merced River is a combination of several creeks that are located in the 3,000 metre high alpine regions of both the Cathedral and Clarke Mountain Ranges.
The park’s prehistoric Mammoth Trees are truly gigantic and their trunks can reach a diameter of nearly 10 metres and a height of up to 70. The mighty trees are real natural wonders and are even protected from fire by their 50 centimetre thick bark. Strong tan acids prevent insects from attacking the wood and it’s not uncommon to come across trees that are 1,000 years old.
Yosemite is a truly splendid example of enchanting natural scenery with all the magnificence and artistry of water, gentle, powerful and at its most captivating.