Yosemite is one of the best known and first national parks in the United States. Every year millions of hikers, climbers and nature lovers visit the 3000m² area. The park can be divided into four geographical zones: the high mountains, the granite cliffs, the redwood forests and the valley. Each of these zones is home to its own specific diversity of fauna and flora, views, history… Yosemite National Park has an unprecedented (bio)diversity, which is related to its varied geological appearance. The different conditions mean that the entire area can be divided into four geographical zones, each with its own identity. From immense granite cliffs and enormous sequoias to tiny flowers and rodents: big and small have each conquered their own territory here, making Yosemite one of the most diverse areas of the Sierra Nevada.
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A variety of rounded granite peaks, rugged peaks and vast meadows characterize the view of the ‘High Sierra’, or the high mountains of Yosemite. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails offer adventure, the opportunity for solitude, and inspiration for those who want to explore this glacial landscape and witness the ever-changing mountain ecosystems.
The landscape here was shaped by glaciers that scraped the rocks on their way through the canyons, resulting in a number of famous views. For example, the power of the glaciers created the ‘Lembert Dome’, a roche moutonnée. Cathedral Peak’s sharp summit managed to escape glacial forces due to its height. As the climate warmed, all the glaciers gradually melted, leaving behind huge boulders in the strangest places in the landscape.
The region experiences large climate fluctuations throughout the year, and the local fauna and flora have adapted extremely well to this. The pika, for example, has a special winter coat to withstand the cold temperatures. In summer it hides from the sun in piles of boulders, where it is also protected from predators. The summer months are also used to collect a food supply for the winter. Marmots store as much fat as possible in their own bodies in the summer to survive hibernation under the snow. The nutcracker (a songbird) buries seeds in the summer, which allows it to survive in the winter, but at the same time ensures the survival of the trees in question.
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The immense cliffs of the Yosemite Valley and the Hetch Hetchy Valley have captured the imagination for centuries. They are a challenge for body and mind, especially for those who are adventurous. When an 1868 guidebook stated that the summit of Half Dome shall never be trodden by man