Yosemite-16

  • California
  • Established October 1, 1890
  • 1,200 square miles

“No temple made with hands can compare to Yosemite,” wrote John Muir. It is impossible—or at least inadvisable—to speak to Yosemite without mentioning John Muir. In fact, it is inadvisable to speak of the national park system as a whole without mentioning John Muir, the visionary who imagined the national park system and persuaded Teddy Roosevelt to make the system a reality.

To anyone who knows the history of Yosemite at all, to look at Yosemite Valley is to look into John Muir’s heart, and his legacy. In his 1868 description of being at the brink of Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, Muir wrote, “The noble walls—sculptured into endless variety of domes and gables, spires and abattlements and plain mural precipices—all a-tremble with the thunder tones of the falling water. The level bottom seemed to be dressed like a garden—sunny meadows here and there, and groves of pine and oak; the river of Mercy sweeping in majesty through the midst of them and flashing back the sunbeams. The great Tissiack, or Half Dome, rising at the upper end of the valley to a height of nearly a mile, is nobly proportioned and life-like, the most impressive of all the rocks, holding the eye in devout admiration, calling it back again and again from falls or meadows, or even the mountains beyond.”

Muir spent decades of his life fighting, ultimately successfully, to preserve Yosemite, and also fighting, ultimately unsuccessfully, to save Hetch Hetchy Valley from being dammed. In the early 1900s, he camped with President Theodore Roosevelt in Yosemite, spending hours discussing the valley with him. As America’s National Parks Reports, “The outing made an indelible impression on the president and catalyzed his implementation of Muir’s vision of an entire system of national parks. Roosevelt not only expanded Yosemite, he also doubled the number of national parks during his tenure as chief executive from five to ten and dedicated more federal resources to the growing inventory of parks.”

Yosemite Valley is what most people think of when they think of Yosemite. The high waterfall, the resistant-to-erosion granite walls, the lush valley. But there’s a lot more to Yosemite than that. In fact, Yosemite Valley comprises less than one percent of the park’s total land. There are so many other hiking trails, waterfalls, valleys, rock formations, and lakes—and all along the way, plenty of wildlife.

What We Reveal

Yosemite National Park is one of the parks that National Parks Revealed knows best and so we can really help you more deeply explore Yosemite’s mystery. We work with excellent private guides who will show you the famous sites and, if you want, take you a little ways off the beaten paths. We can also arrange for horseback writing, lunch at the best restaurants inside the park, and even a special private conversation with John Muir! We will put together an itinerary that reflects your group’s interests, with just the right combination of relaxation and adventure. As always, we will arrange for you to stay at the best accommodations in the area.