Almost 2,000 sq miles, Yosemite National Park is one of the oldest protected lands in the U.S. Here are 9 fun facts for your Thursday afternoon about this pristine park in northern California.
1. Male deer (bucks) in Yosemite Park shed their antlers every fall after mating season. They grow them back in the spring.
2. Giant Sequoias which grow in Yosemite National Park are the biggest living things on the planet. However, the seed for the Giant Sequoia is only the size of a piece of oatmeal. Grizzly Giant is the name of the oldest Sequoia in Yosemite Park.
3. The American Indians who live in Yosemite are called the Ahwahneechee Indians. Their traditional homes look like teepees, but are actually made of incense-cedar bark.
4. Yosemite National Park is visited by over 3.5 million people every year. Summer is by far the busiest season at Yosemite.
5. Though Half Dome and El Capitan are Yosemite’s most well known summits, Mt. Lyell is actually Yosemite’s highest peak.
6. Yosemite National Park covers nearly 1,200 square miles. However, only a tiny fraction of that land is traversed by visitors. The vast majority of the park is largely untouched and uninhabited by humans.
7. California has approximately 7,000 known plant species. Yosemite contains twenty percent of those species.
8. Galen Clark was the first designated Guardian of Yosemite. He used to hike through the park barefoot and was quoted as saying that shoes are “cruel and silly instruments of torture, at once uncivilized, unhuman and unnecessary.”
9. Black bears found in Yosemite weigh between 150 and 500 pounds when full grown, but when they are born, they weigh less than half a pound. The mother black bear is fast asleep during hibernation when her baby is born.