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article imageYosemite celebrates its 120th birthday

By Ken Wightman     Oct 2, 2010 in Travel
Yosemite Ntl Park - Yosemite National Park, the third national park created in the United States after Yellowstone and Sequoia national parks, celebrated its 120th birthday yesterday --- Friday, October 1st.
It was 1890 when Yosemite was carved from the rugged central Sierra Nevada Mountain Range 190 miles (306 km) east of San Franciso. Today, despite attracting almost four million visitors annually, the park retains much of its breathtaking wilderness character earning it a World Heritage Site designation.
But the park's history reaches even farther back into time as two areas within it, Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, have been preserved since 1864. That year Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove were set aside to be held “…for public use, resort, and recreation . . . for all time.” Administered first by California, these areas were ceded to the federal government by the state in 1906 and merged into the national park.
If you look carefully you can see skilled rock climbers on a ledge in the middle of this picture.
If you look carefully you can see skilled rock climbers on a ledge in the middle of this picture.
Today Yosemite is one of the world's greatest rock climbing regions with hundreds of climbers converging on the area to tackle the challenges offered by the huge expanses of high, flat rock walls. The Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite is one of the finest rock climbing destinations in the U.S. with immense granite domes and glacier-cut rock faces.
The park got its name, Yosemite, through an error in translation. Yosemite was thought to mean Grizzly Bear in the local native language, but it doesn't. A more accurate interpretation is "those who kill." Yosemite was the name given to the fierce Ahwahnee tribe led by Chief Tenay. The chief and his followers were greatly feared by the surrounding native people.
According to the National Park Service, no special events are planned marking the milestone and yet newspapers around the world are carrying stories and millions are smiling at their personal memories from their visit to one of the world's treasures.
Yosemite National Park attracts almost 4 million visitors a year and yet retains a great deal of its...
Yosemite National Park attracts almost 4 million visitors a year and yet retains a great deal of its wilderness character.
This year a very late winter and cool wet spring fed waterfalls throughout the park keeping many of ...
This year a very late winter and cool wet spring fed waterfalls throughout the park keeping many of them spectacular to see almost into summer.
More about Yosemite, 120, Rock climbing
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