Hiking up a steep and furrowed trail, breathing the clean alpine air, or laying in the Valley engulfed by an expansive starry sky pouring between towering granite walls; we are made to feel immensely small, but also so integrally connected to the vast network of life and physical earth that exists so much beyond the importance of the things we buy and sell. Here, we feel more like denizens of a vast and inspiring planet than consumers.
Thank you all so much for sharing with us yesterday what you are thankful for about Yosemite. We hope you join us and #OptOutside today (and every day!)
MISSING PERSON: Gerardo Cruz Hernandez
If you were in the area of Glacier Point on Wednesday, November 22 OR have any information about Gerardo, please call 209/379-1992.
Gerardo is a Hispanic male who is 18 years old, 5 ft 7 in tall, and weighs 120 pounds. He has a tattoo on his right wrist. He was last seen wearing white “Nike Air Force 1” sneakers. Gerardo was last seen in the morning on 11/22/2017 in Santa Barbara, and his vehicle was found in the evening on 11/22/2017 at Glacier Point.
Don't take this park for granite. It ROCKS!
One of the reasons Yosemite is so unique is the vast ocean of glacially carved granite that make up the valleys, domes, and monoliths that Yosemite is so famous for. The granite features are why Yosemite is held in such high esteem as a destination for rock climbers, and they are what creates the striking sheer faces that feature so prominently in the collective imagination of Yosemite in the art and writing it has inspired.
Can you imagine the texture of cold granite on your hands? The way it smells after a rain? #Yosemite#NationalPark
It is the peak of rut, or mating season, for California mule deer. Love is in the air, and antlers are locked as bucks fight each other to establish dominance. The one on the left won this round!
Give deer their space, to respect them in their habitat, and to protect yourself. They are defensive and will kick! The 'rule of thumb' can help: if you can hold your hand out at arms length and cover up the deer with your thumb; you are probably far enough away.
Yosemite is golden, glittering, and radiant after yesterday's rain. This jewelry of sunlight, granite, and water; however, is a beauty that can never be appraised.
“Our national heritage is richer than just scenic features; the realization is coming that perhaps our greatest national heritage is nature itself, with all its complexity and its abundance of life, which, when combined with great scenic beauty as it is in the national parks, becomes of unlimited value.”
— George Wright, Joseph Dixon, and Ben Thompson, Fauna of the National Parks of the United States (1933).
Today's storm has brought new energy to the valley. Yosemite Falls has come alive, and is coursing down the granite once more. Rainy weather keeps most people indoors. Those who do venture out into the storm are met by the engulfing sound of water hitting every surface, and a blanketing solitude which can inspire everything from introspection to inspiration. It can certainly be worth getting your shoes wet!
A resident mule deer enjoyed one last sunny afternoon in Yosemite Valley before the storm arrived today. Yosemite is beautiful in all kinds of weather, but keep up to date on conditions in the park and come prepared: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/weathermap.htm
And call 209/372-0200 (then 1, 1) at any time to check the status of park roads.
The biggest threat that bears face in Yosemite today is vehicle collisions. 27 bears have been hit by vehicles in the park in 2017 alone, including FOUR in the last three weeks (at least three of the four bears died).
Bears are not the only victims. Mule deer, endangered great gray owls, amphibians and reptiles, and swarms of migrating butterflies are all casualties on Yosemite's roads. Drive the speed limit when visiting Yosemite, and keep scanning the roadsides ahead of you, especially at dusk and dawn and when night driving. Your cautious driving could save a life! #KeepBearsWild
The Tioga Road closed this morning due to icy conditions. Here's proof of how chilly it's been! A winter storm warning is in effect Wednesday through early Friday morning, with over two feet of snow forecast for the higher elevations of Yosemite. Tire chains may be required, depending on snow level. If traveling in Yosemite the next few days, check road conditions before driving: 209/372-0200 (then 1, 1).
Do you want to become a part of the legacy of passionate people through history who have been protectors and guardians of Yosemite? Do you want your office to be 1,200 square miles of wilderness punctuated by waterfalls, granite cliffs, vibrant wild flora and fauna, and billions of stars?
Yosemite seasonal jobs for the summer of 2018 are being posted online at www.usajobs.gov now through the end of January. Applicants may create a profile on the website in advance to save time once the hiring process begins (highly recommended). Yosemite National Park welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds across our nation to apply!
Open positions include wilderness, interpretation, traffic, and protection rangers; custodial services, forestry technicians, utility systems operators, administrative assistants, biological science technicians, and more.
While many of the most famous photographs of Yosemite are taken from meadows and clearings in the Valley facing East, upwards towards the formidable faces of Half Dome and El Capitan; there is something moving about the view West, towards the winding roads that bring everyone into (and out of) the Valley. Leaving Yosemite Valley is often an emotional affair; whether you were here for a day, a week, or much longer, working or living in the park.
[A poem written by a seasonal ranger after her first six months working in Yosemite.] Back over the winding forest road,
that pours through vistas raw and bold,
but this time with a heavy chest weighed down with memory and love.
Back over the mountains steep and dark,
Their snow-capped splendor gray and cold,
this time knowing the depth of the earth and starry sky above.
Not once before have I felt so small,
so tumbling in the current strong,
a part of something so immense: the granite walls that stole my heart.
The time slipped by like waterfalls,
like shooting stars across the sky
And though for once I want to stay, in reverence, from you I part.
Yosemite, you gave me life,
and beauty like I've never known.
Though you slip away in the rear view mirror, I promise some day I'll come home.
Something about Yosemite inspires artistic and creative inspiration in everyone who spends enough time here; perhaps as we try to capture, process, and express the inspiration we feel here. Photography, paintings, poetry, writing, music - What has Yosemite inspired you to create?
Every day, Yosemite gifts us with sights so beautiful that they almost don't seem real. These fleeting moments -- A sunset casting beams of light over the valley walls, a rainbow in a waterfall made entirely from moonlight, a cloud sweeping across Half Dome illuminated by the late afternoon sun -- plant themselves like seeds in the hearts of those lucky enough to witness them, and grow, relentlessly; into emotion, dedication, and sometimes, action, to protect and preserve these gifts for future generations.
What has Yosemite inspired in you?
Two Yosemite native species silhouetted against the autumn trickle of Yosemite Falls: the California sister butterfly, rests on a California black oak, (an incredibly important tree for wildlife). Her back wing looks like she may have barely escaped some sort of harrowing adventure—a fleeting reminder that every living being faces immense challenges that we may never completely understand.
Ever wonder about those employees that fly high above the park assisting with fire operations, rescue missions, and other emergency situations? For this look #InsideYosemite, meet our assistant helicopter foreman, Andrew “Boots” Davenport, who supervises firefighters and handcrews assigned to the park’s helicopter at any given time. Known for demonstrating incredible commitment to his job, he helps to ensure the safety of his co-workers, local community, park visitors, and national firefighting community and often can be found assisting with rescue operations. His positive attitude, willingness to collaborate, and commitment to the program are recognized by his peers, management throughout the park, Pacific West Region and nationally. Boots has a personable leadership style and a natural talent to spontaneously generate crew cohesion. He can read and respond to team dynamics in the midst of emergency environments resulting in a strong foundation of trust among all who work with him. A mentor and trainer to many, Boots enjoys the challenges of his job and the learning opportunities that occur on a daily basis. We are so lucky he’s part of our Yosemite team! #InsideYosemite#Yosemite#NationalPark
The air is crisp, the clouds are heavy. Dry leaves and grasses crunch underfoot. Squirrels hoard away all the acorns that the bears and mule deer haven't eaten. The Valley seems to inhale and hold its breath for a moment before a much anticipated autumn storm.
Why are all the trees dying?
Rising temperatures, below-average rainfall, and increased competition for water as a result of fire suppression have interacted to weaken trees, creating ideal conditions for native bark beetles to increase activity. Simultaneously, warming temperatures and milder winters during the drought have increased native bark beetle populations.
Tree mortality is a natural process that often benefits a healthy forest ecosystem. However, the recent tree mortality event is unprecedented, with an estimated 2.4 million dead trees in Yosemite and 102 million dead trees throughout the Sierra Nevada. Learn more:https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hazardtrees.htm.
Like the grand finale at a fireworks show; Yosemite Valley is decked out in gold and red today as clouds roll in, harbingers of one of our first winter storms. The changing of seasons in Yosemite is an awe-inspiring affair.
We have expanded and improved the Yosemite Museum’s web catalog to enhance your ability to experience a wide variety of historically significant items. You are invited to explore more than 2,000 catalog records for objects and images from the Yosemite Museum collection. These records include American Indian basketry, historic objects related to John Muir, and photographs taken by Carleton Watkins and George Fiske.
Visit the National Park Service Museum Collection’s Web Catalog atmuseum.nps.gov and select Yosemite National Park to browse items from the Yosemite Museum’s collection. #Yosemite#NationalPark
“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house." - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Anyone else feeling this way this weekend? Here's to sunny skies no matter where you are!
We recently honored volunteers and volunteer groups who exemplified outstanding service in Yosemite National Park at our annual volunteer awards ceremony. Congratulations to the nine 2017 recipients who worked to restore habitats and landscapes, assisted with preventive search and rescue, provided information to visitors and much more!
Volunteers are an integral part of helping keep national parks running. Each year, around 12,400 volunteers donate over 167,000 hours of work in Yosemite.
Some autumn color is coming to Yosemite Valley and peaking in many higher elevations in the park as dogwoods, oaks, and other deciduous trees prepare to lose their leaves for the winter. #Yosemite#NationalPark#FallColor
Residual smoke from the Empire Fire is still visible along the Glacier Point Road, adding silver to the purple evening light on the Clark Range. Visibility and air quality is still good in most areas of the park, including Yosemite Valley.
The high snow pack from last winter continues to affect Yosemite Valley, even in early fall. Mirror Lake, which usually dries up by August, still has water, providing a tranquil foreground for Half Dome and Ahwiyah Point.
The bright red berries of the mountain dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) are ripening in Yosemite Valley. While not very palatable to humans, dogwood berries are commonly eaten by birds and other animals. #YosemiteNationalPark#fall#autumn
"Before many years... these hundreds will become thousands and in a century the whole number of visitors will be counted by millions. An injury to the scenery so slight that it may be unheeded by any visitor now, will be one multiplied by these millions." - Frederick Law Olmsted, 1865.
If you ever visit Olmsted Point, you may wonder how it got its name. It was named for Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. and his son, Frederick Olmsted, Jr. Olmsted Sr. was one of the fathers of American landscape design and the first chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Yosemite Grant. At the time, Yosemite saw few visitors, but Olmsted (correctly) predicted that many people would want to see Yosemite's wonders in the future.
Share one way you help protect Yosemite National Park for present and future generations! #Yosemite#NationalPark
On this day in 1890, Yosemite became the third national park in the United States, preserving thousands of square miles of wilderness.
In the original legislation, the act dictated that the park "shall provide for the preservation from injury all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within said reservation, and their retention in their natural condition." Today, the park attracts millions of people around the world drawn to these "natural curiosities and wonders," such as towering granite cliffs, waterfalls, lush meadows, and vast forests.
Which of Yosemite's famous wonders is your favorite?
Happy National Public Lands Day! What better way to celebrate our nation's public lands than to roll up our sleeves and help restore them? Across the US today, hundreds of thousands of people volunteered in trail maintenance projects, community clean ups, invasive species removal, and so much more! A big thank you to those who participated in Yosemite Facelift today and this week, and to volunteers who help take care of the park year-round! #Facelift#NPLD