Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park Officials Considering Improvements to Tioga Road Trails

Tenaya Lake, copyright Kurt Repanshek
Finally, a non-controversial topic. Or is it? Yosemite National Park officials are launching a study into how they can improve eight of 12 trails that have trailheads along the Tioga Road.

Nation’s First Park Ranger Hears Crying Ghost

The Yosemite Valley Pioneer Cemetery is a small graveyard. Only 36 of the 45 souls buried there have headstones. In the northwest corner, underneath the shade of five evergreens, a large but otherwise unpretentious hunk of granite marks the grave of the man some consider to be the first park ranger, Galen Clark, who became the park’s first civilian guardian in 1867.

A Popular Overlook in Yosemite Gets a Makeover

View from Tunnel View overlook.
For the past 75 years, one of the most popular scenic overlooks in Yosemite National Park has lured visitors with its memory-making views of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, and Half Dome. During the height of the visitor season, an estimated 5,000-7,000 people stop at Tunnel View Overlook each day. The view hasn't changed, but the overlook itself has received a makeover.

Rockfalls Down Upon Curry Camp in Yosemite National Park Are Not Unusual

The most recent rockfalls from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park are not the first to shower Curry Camp and certainly won't be the last. With that in mind, geologists are taking a close look at Glacier Point to try to determine just how safe, or unsafe, its rock face is.
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Trails I've Hiked: Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

Most avid hikers know Half Dome. In fact, as the signature landmark for Yosemite, its image is recognized worldwide. It's even on the 2005 U.S. quarter. From mid-May to mid-October, visitors can attempt this extremely strenuous 16-mile hike.

The Lost Arrow Spire Highline in Yosemite National Park is a Slackliner’s Dream and an Acrophobe’s Nightmare

So, you think you’re ready for the Lost Arrow Spire Highline? Have a look at this videoclip and see if you still feel that way.

Trails I've Hiked: John Muir Trail, Lyell Fork drainage, Yosemite National Park

Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River, Kurt Repanshek photo
Woven tufts of gold knit the meadows together, thick pine forests give way to observation towers of granite and sky-scraping peaks, and a river runs through it. That's the setting the John Muir Trail wanders through in the High Sierra of Yosemite National Park.

Imagine the Impacts of Climate Change on the National Park System

Waterless Yosemite Fall, Kurt Repanshek photo
Imagine Yosemite National Park without Yosemite Fall. Or Glacier National Park without glaciers. Or Old Faithful becoming less faithful. Across the National Park System, the effects of climate change could be quite dramatic.
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Musings from Yosemite National Park

El Capitan, Kurt Repanshek photo
There arguably is no national park that better showcases geology than Yosemite National Park. Sure, Arches National Park offers more arches in one place than anywhere else on the planet, and Grand Canyon National Park has that incredible gouge. But stand before Half Dome or El Capitan and you can't help but marvel.

Rock Falls Close Curry Village Lodgings in Yosemite National Park

Two rock falls from the face of Glacier Point -- one described as perhaps the largest ever seen -- have closed the lodgings in Curry Village on the floor of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. While there were some injuries reported, fortunately no one was killed.

Yosemite National Park Staff Helped Locate and Investigate the Fossett Crash Site in the Sierra Nevadas

A year-long search for missing billionaire adventurer Steve Fossett was finally brought to a close with an accidental discovery by a man and his dog hiking in the Sierra Nevada wilderness. Yosemite staff played a key role in helping to locate and investigate the crash site.

Park History: Yosemite National Park

Older than Yellowstone National Park in terms of being set aside for the public's enjoyment, Yosemite National Park could fairly be called the elder statesman of the National Park System. And, no doubt, there are those who would say Yosemite's scenery is second to none in the system.

National Park Quiz 22: Angels and Saints

Quiz 10 on July 9 was “Speak of the Devil.” Fair is fair, so this week we’ll turn the focus in the heavenly direction and deal with angels, saints, and such. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write “The cognitive complexities of the term ‘saint’ render lexical disambiguation extraordinarily challenging” 100 times on the whiteboard.

Greening the National Parks: Environmental Achievement Awards Highlight Sustainable Design, Energy-Efficiency, and Recycling

To encourage eco-friendly operations, the National Park Service presents Environmental Achievement Awards each year to parks and concession companies that have excelled in incorporating high environmental standards into their operations. The 2007 awards were presented to Blue Ridge Parkway, Yosemite National Park, Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts, and Xanterra Parks & Resorts.

National Park Quiz 19: Trails

You’ll have fun with this week’s quiz, even if you don’t stride or ride the national park trails. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you remove the meadow muffins from our favorite hiking trail.

National Park Quiz 18: A Potpourri of National Park Trivia

While past quizzes have focused on specific genre involving the National Park System, this week's quiz is a more wide-open, undefined quiz of national park trivia. Answers are at the end.

The Economist Warns that America’s National Park System is in Deep, Deep Trouble

Is the National Park System primed for decline? One of the world’s most respected international periodicals thinks so. The Economist blames shifting public interests and anti-development environmentalists for falling attendance and warns that public support for national parks may quickly erode.

National Park Quiz 16: Waterfalls

A waterfall is defined as a steep descent of water from a height. Whatever you call these falling waters, they delight the senses. This week’s quiz will see how much you know about waterfalls in the national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, you’ll be assigned plunge pool cleaning duties.

MSNBC’s Top 10 National Park Lodges List Draws Curmudgeonly, but Gentle Criticism

MSNBC has compiled a Top 10 National Park Lodges list for the purpose of helping us choose where to “sleep in style on a summer escape to our nation's national parks.” They might want to re-state that. Two of the lodges aren’t in the United States and another is said to be in a park that, technically speaking, doesn’t exist yet.

National Park Quiz 15: Ring of Fire

This week’s quiz tests your knowledge of geologic features and processes in the national parks that lie within the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that rings the Pacific Basin. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we'll make you write "convergent boundary" 100 times on the whiteboard.

Traveler's Picks for Where to Get Wet in the National Park System

We definitely are in the dog days of summer. In Great Smoky Mountains National Park the temperature's been well into the 90s, and with the high humidity, well, you really do need to find a place to cool off. With that understood, here are Traveler's Top Picks for where to get wet in the National Park System.*

Telegraph Fire Closing in On Yosemite National Park

Firefighters are continuing to struggle with the so-called Telegraph Fire that's burning to the west of Yosemite National Park. While on Monday the fire was estimated to be burning 25-30 miles west of the park, it now is reported to be about 15 miles from the park's western boundary.

"Telegraph Fire" Having Minimal Impacts on Yosemite National Park

A wildfire burning west of Yosemite National Park has forced operations in the Yosemite Valley to run off of generators, and smoke is cutting visibility in some areas of the park. However, everything remains open in the park and all roads leading to it remain open.

There’s a New National Park Service Website for Visitors with Disabilities or Special Needs

The National Park Service has launched a website for visitors with disabilities or other special needs. It’s a great new way to find information about accessible trails, vistas, programs, activities, and educational opportunities at the national parks.

Florine and Hirayama Regain the Nose Route Speed-Climb Record at Yosemite National Park

Two fiercely competitive speed-climbers have regained the Nose Route record the Huber brothers wrested from them on El Capitan last October. The new record for the Nose, a big-wall climb that normally takes three or more days to complete, is two hours, 43 minutes, and 33 seconds. While admirers rave, critics grumble.

“10 Best National Parks”? National Geographic, You Have Got to be Kidding!

National Geographic might be considered a gold standard authority on national parks. Why, then, is a hilariously flawed “10 Best National Parks” list included in a recently published National Geographic book? Is NG testing us to see if we’re paying attention?

National Park Quiz 8: Firsts

There is a first time for everything -- every innovation, every event, every development, every activity, every you-name-it. The storied history of the National Park System is loaded with firsts. Take this week's quiz and see if you can be the first to answer all the questions correctly. Answers are at the end. No peeking!

New Movie “To the Limit” Shows Record Speed-Climb of El Capitan Nose Route at Yosemite National Park

On October 8, 2007, the Huber brothers set a new speed-climbing record of two hours, 45 minutes, and 45 seconds for El Capitan’s Nose route, one of the world’s most difficult big wall climbs. The event was captured on film, and you won’t believe your eyes.

Park History: Director Hartzog and the Automobile

How's that saying go, the more things change, the more they stay the same? That certainly seems to be the truth in the case of national parks jammed with automobiles.
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