The size of Yosemite National Park is approximately 761,266 acres or 308,073 hectares. A World Heritage site, it is visited by more than 3 million every year. It is in the Tuolumne, Madera and Mariposa counties in California.
Elevation Range and Plant Species
The elevation range varies, from 2,000 ft up to 13,114 feet (610 to 4,000 m). The species are also extensive; there are nearly 2,000 plant species and trees. It is also the home of the famous Giant Sequoia trees. 160 of the plants are rarely found outside the park.
Cliffs and Sequoia Groves
Some of the most popular destinations in the park are its cliffs. Popular among rock climbers are the El Capitan cliff, the Half Dome and the Sentinel Rock. The Sentinel is 4,800 ft high and the Half Dome 3,000 ft. The size of Yosemite National Park also provides room for the sequoia groves.
They are the Tuolumne Grove (25 trees), the Mariposa Grove (200 trees) and the Merced Grove (20 trees). These trees can grow to several hundred feet high. They also live for thousands of years.
Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls
Among the most prominent river systems in the park are the Tuolumne and Merced River systems. The canyons are 4,000 ft (900 to 1,000 m) deep. The Tuolumne River drains the whole northern portion of Yosemite Park. This is about 1,800 sq km (680 sq mi). In contrast, the Merced River drains an area 511 sq mi (1,300 sq km).
The size of Yosemite National Park allows room for 3,000 lakes each more than 100 sq m. There are also a couple of reservoirs and streams totaling 1,700 mi (2,700 km). There are also meadow habitats with elevations 3,000 to 11,000 ft (about 900 to 3,400 m).
There are also numerous waterfalls in the park, most of which are packed in one section. They are found along glacier steps and hanging valleys. The highest is the Yosemite Falls at 2,425 ft (738 m). It is situated in Yosemite Valley. It is also the highest waterfall in America.
Another well known waterfall is Ribbon Falls which has a drop of 1,612 ft (491 m). Another popular waterfall is Bridalveil Fall which can be viewed from the Tunnel View east of the Wawona Tunnel. The size of Yosemite National Park provides space for dozens of ephemeral waterfalls. The biggest glacier in Yosemite Park is Lyell Glacier.
There are over 800 miles (1,300 km) of hiking trails available. They are divided among the Yosemite Valley, the Tuolumne Meadows, the Hetch Hetchy, the Crane Flat/White Wolf, Glacier Point and the Wawona/Mariposa Grove. There are also 12 miles of bicycle paths.
There are 225,510 acres or 91,260 hectares in the forests. There are also 250 species of reptiles, birds, fish and other animals in the park. The American Black Bear, Bobcat, White headed Woodpecker are just among the animals to be seen there.
Although the size of Yosemite National Park is immense, most people go to Yosemite Valley only, where most of the attractions are. It is only 18 sq km.