Some facts about Yosemite National Park are that it was established on Oct. 1, 1890, by President Benjamin Harrison, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, it encompasses 747,956 acres of land, and it has more than 800 miles of hiking trails. Iconic natural attractions within the park include the 620-foot-high Bridalveil Fall and El Capitan, which is the world’s largest exposed granite monolith.
Yosemite National Park is home to many giant sequoia trees, which may live to be older than 3,000 years. It is also home to many native species of plants and animals, which live within five of the park’s seven continental life zones. Mule deer and marmots live in the heights, chaparral in the near desert, dogwood in the mid-elevation forests, Jeffrey pine in the mile-high forest and dwarf willow in the mountains.
In 1864 before it became a national park, President Abraham Lincoln designated the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove a state of California public trust, making these the first natural wonders protected by the U.S. government. Scottish naturalist John Muir wrote many articles about the region, which contributed to its eventual National Park designation. He also led President Theodore Roosevelt on a camping trip in Yosemite in 1903, leading to its expansion.