Yosemite National Park, in east central California, was established in 1890 and covers 1,188.9 sq miles. Located in the Sierra Nevada range, the park is famous for its spectacular scenery. Most notable is the magnificent Yosemite Valley, a narrow gorge about 7 mies long and 1 mile wide, through which passes the Merced River. Glaciers carved out the valley and rounded the great precipices of granite that rise about 4,000 ft. from the valley floor.
In addition to the attractions of Yosemite Valley, the park contains many lofty peaks of the Sierra Nevada, including Mount Lyell (13,114 ft). Also in the park are notable stands of giant sequoia in the Mariposa, Tuolumne, and Merced groves.
Yosemite has a great diversity of vegetation and wildlife. Forests of pine, fir, and cedar give way to alpine meadows at high altitudes; approximately 1,300 varieties of flowering plants and 31 species of trees are found in the park. Animal life includes about 60 species of mammals, of which bear and deer are most common, and some 220 species of birds.
Information from "Yosemite National Park," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 98 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
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