Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but also deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, & more.
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While the Empire Fire is burning across 6,340 acres, most of it is burning slowly, creeping along the forest floor. With cooler temperatures, rain, and snow the fires in Yosemite are reaching the end of their season. It's not uncommon for fires to continue at ground level until the first heavy snowfall of the season.
The plants and animals of Yosemite are adapted to living with fire. Nutrients released from burned vegetation enriches the soil, helping new plants to grow. A forest with trees and plants with multiple ages provide different homes for wildlife, diversifies the forest, and makes it more resilient to fire and pests. Next spring new plants and wildflowers will be springing up where the fires burned! We can't wait to see what appears! #Yosemite#NationalPark#YosemiteNationalPark#wildfire
Tioga Road (continuation of Hwy 120 through the park) has reopened. Snow is still possible today and tonight, so call 209/372-0200 (then 1,1) to double check on its status before attempting to use the road. Watch for icy spots!
The Tioga Road is closed between Crane Flat and Lee Vining due to winter storm conditions. Call 209-372-0200 (press 1 then 1) for current road conditions in the park.
If you are planning on travelling through the park before the Tioga Road closes for the season, be aware that temporary closures such as this one happen frequently in the autumn season. Please be aware of weather forecasts and have alternate driving routes planned.
How fitting that on the eve of the autumnal equinox, Yosemite National Park received its first snow of the season! The tops of the valley walls got a little dusting while several inches of snow fell in Tuolumne Meadows.
Fifty people from 15 countries became naturalized U.S. citizens today at Glacier Point! This event marked the 10th naturalization ceremony conducted in Yosemite National Park under an agreement with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Department of Homeland Security. Countries of origin included the United Kingdom, Australia, Bulgaria, Zambia, China, India, and Mexico.
The ceremony featured speakers from Yosemite National Park and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Yosemite Mounted Patrol, the singing of the national anthem, and apple pie for the newly naturalized citizens. Naturalization ceremonies are taking place in national parks across the country this week in honor of Constitution Week and Citizenship Day. September 17 commemorates the formation and signing of the constitution of the United States on September 17, 1787. This day is a day to celebrate all U.S. Citizens. #Yosemite#NationalPark#YosemiteNationalPark#GlacierPoint#Citizenship#ConstitutionDay
"I have never seen a river that I could not love. Moving water has a fascinating vitality. It has power and grace and associations. It has a thousand colors and a thousand shapes, yet it follows laws so definite that the tiniest streamlet is an exact replica of a great river." - Roderick Haig-Brown
Ahhh, the life of a yellow-bellied marmot - spending your summer days in Yosemite's highcountry, sunning yourself on boulders, and feasting on fruits and vegetation in preparation for a winter underground.
If you could be an animal in Yosemite for one day, which creature would you choose?
Did you know there are 26 species of lupines found in Yosemite National Park? From early spring in the foothills to late summer in alpine regions, you're bound to run into the lupinus genus of flower sometime, somewhere! Where in Yosemite have you seen lupines?
The sunset painted the storm clouds above Tenaya Lake in fiery shades of pinks, oranges, and yellows! While there are still several actual fires burning in and outside the park, air quality levels have improved significantly through much of the region. If you are planning to visit the park, please continue to check air quality conditions. Fire and air quality updates can be found on the park website (link in bio) by searching for "Fire Information."
Ready for another look #InsideYosemite? While hiking in the park you may see Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR) volunteers. PSAR is not just about preventing illnesses and injuries, but also providing directions, suggesting hikes, and more. Over Labor Day weekend they reached over 5000 visitors!
Steve Corsetti is a tireless PSAR volunteer who takes initiative to organize groups to cover busy trails where their help truly makes a difference. Hiking incidents (such as running out of water, injuries, or getting lost) significantly decrease when Steve and his colleagues are around. Sometimes talking to over 1000 people per day, Steve is upbeat and genuinely interested in helping visitors in any way that he can. Literally thousands of visitors have benefited from Steve's passion for enhancing the visitor experience. Thank you Steve! #Yosemite#NationalPark#YosemiteNationalPark#volunteers#volunteering#safety#safetyfirst#hiking
"Like gushing fount the fragrant breeze!
Makes music with the whisp'ring trees..."
- Fannie Bruce Cook, From "Fancy's Etchings," 1892.
It's that time of the year when the mule deer bucks are sporting their antlers for fall! Over the winter/spring, male mule deer shed their antlers and begin growing a new set. Antlers are a fast growing bone that can grow up to 1/4 inch per day! It's one of the fastest growing tissues of any mammal.
Antlers are primarily for attracting females. A large, symmetrical set of antlers shows a doe (a female deer) that the buck is strong and healthy. Contrary to popular belief, an antler battle is the last thing two bucks want to do since it can lead to injury and fewer opportunities to mate.
Well...look who decided to show up! Smoky conditions have changed dramatically in the last week due to fire behavior and weather patterns. While there is still haze lingering in the Valley from ongoing fires, air quality has improved and is now in the 'moderate' range.
Conditions are constantly changing, however, so if you plan to visit the park soon, stay tuned on air quality and check out the views on our webcams on our website.
Photo 1: Half Dome, Sunday Sept 10th
Photo 2: "Half Dome", Tuesday Sept. 5th
Are you ready? It's that time of year when we see more and more afternoon storms roll over Yosemite National Park. If you're going for a hike or on a backpacking trip into the wilderness, be prepared! Wear wool or synthetic layers (not cotton), wear sturdy hiking shoes with good grip for that slick Yosemite granite, and bring a rain jacket!
For accurate weather forecasts in specific parts of the park, visit nps.gov/yose and search 'weather map'. Conditions vary greatly throughout the park!
If you bring your pup to Yosemite, please protect your pet, other people, and park wildlife by always having them on leash and only taking them to designated areas. Where are those?
Pets are allowed on paved bike paths (such as the one to Mirror Lake) in Yosemite Valley, on the Cook's Meadow Loop, on the lower Yosemite Fall Trail, on the Bridalveil Fall Trail, and in campgrounds except walk-in campgrounds (like Camp 4) and group sites.
There's still a splash of color in the Fen near Happy Isles! Check out this woodland skipper! These bright orange, small butterflies are common throughout the western United States. While taking a stroll through open woodland areas, keep any eye out for a flutter, the butterflies are still about!
What colorful critters have you seen in Yosemite lately?
What happens when a young bear is given food by humans? She becomes food-conditioned, or stops foraging for natural food and instead looks to people for handouts. She seeks out human populated areas in her search for food. Eventually she becomes habituated. Bears can lose their natural fear of humans and sometimes present aggressive behavior. In a park with 4 to 5 million visitors every year, an aggressive bear is likely to be euthanized to protect people. -
White 23 (the yearling bear in the photo) was fed at the beginning of the year. The Yosemite Bear Team tries to counteract this by scaring White 23 with noisemakers, non-lethal projectiles (like clear paintballs from a paintball gun), and by chasing her out of developed areas and away from trails. The intent is not to harm the bear, but to scare the bear and restore her natural fear of people. By providing a negative experience, rangers hope that the bear’s behavior changes before irreparable damage or confrontation occurs.
Please remember: It is never cute or cool to feed wildlife. Bears are perfectly capable of finding their own sustainable, naturally occurring food. Do your part to help #KeepWildlifeWild. - Stay at least 50 yards away from bears, to ensure both the animal’s and your safety. Never let a bear approach you. Either back away and give the animal space (in a natural area) or raise your arms and make as much noise as possible by yelling very loudly (in a developed area). - Always let a ranger know you have seen a bear by calling and leaving a message on the Save-A-Bear Hotline 209/372-0322.
What makes the smoke settle in the valley? When air gets cold, it becomes more dense. The cold air flows down canyons and other low spots (like Yosemite Valley), carrying the smoke particles with it. When the air warms up and conditions are right, the rising warm air carries the smoke particles upward.
For a smoke forecast visit: https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/2017/CentralSierraFires#Area2/.
For more information about the fires happening in Yosemite visit our fire information blog here: https://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm.
"The beauty and charm of the wilderness are his for the asking, for the edges of the wilderness lie close beside the beaten roads of the present travel." - Theodore Roosevelt
On September 3rd, 1964, the Wilderness Act was signed into law, setting aside 9.1 million acres of land as areas "where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain". Fifty-three years later, about 110 million acres of US federal lands are protected wilderness, 704,624 of which are within Yosemite. Have you experienced their beauty and charm? #WildernessAct
Mountain heather (Phyllodoce breweri) takes a morning stretch at Gaylor Lakes. How do you like to start your day in Yosemite?
We're expecting a busy Labor Day weekend! If you're visiting the park:
- Arrive early as parking is expected to fill by 9 am. Expect traffic delays at entrance stations and in Yosemite Valley.
- Be aware that Highway 41 is closed between Wawona and Oakhurst due to the Railroad Fire (Wawona is open and accessible from inside the park). The Glacier Point Road is also closed due to the Empire Fire. - Drink plenty of water during your visit as it will be hot, dry, and smoky. Depending on fire activity and weather patterns, smoke may be found in multiple areas in the park, as seen in the pictures above (Tunnel View in Yosemite Valley, Grant Lake on the east side of the park, Olmsted Point looking east towards Tenaya Lake, Olmsted Point looking south towards Half Dome and Clouds Rest, and Kuna Crest seen from Mono Pass)
Did you know that the Sierra Nevada has the world's greatest diversity of chipmunks? In Yosemite alone there are eight different species. And what's more, they all look very, very similar! So how do you tell chipmunks apart? While referencing a handy guidebook, pay attention to range and elevation as they can be important clues. This little guy is a long-eared chipmunk, usually found at elevations between 3,000 and 7,000 feet.
"Thy spreading groves--thy witching fairy nooks--
Where nymph-like pine trees gird the flower-edged brooks,
All, all, so beautiful! we gaze--admire--
And feel the grandeur of each dome inspire..."
- Excerpt from "Yo Semite" by Jean Bruce Washburn, 1872.
Highway 41 is closed between Oakhurst and Yosemite. There is no access to Yosemite via Highway 41 from Fish Camp, Oakhurst, or Fresno due to the Railroad Fire that began around 1 p.m. today. From Oakhurst, use Highway 49 to Mariposa, then Highway 140 into Yosemite. Wawona can still be accessed from within the park.
Glacier Point Road is closed until further notice for visitor safety and fire operations due to the Empire Fire.
For more information about the Empire Fire and other fires in Yosemite, including smoke impacts, visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm
Yosemite National Park has added two new shuttle buses! Our fleet of 27 buses serve 3.7 million visitors a year in Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, and Glacier Point. These shuttle buses help alleviate traffic congestion throughout the park, cut down on fuel emissions, and provide visitors with easy transportation to popular destinations.
These ravens know a good place when they see one! These two birds were spotted hanging out at the peak of Clouds Rest. Ravens are just one member of the crow family or "corvids" that live in Yosemite National Park. Highly adaptable and very intelligent, corvids are capable of surviving in many different habitats.
If you listen closely you may hear the caw of a raven, the rough chatter of a Steller's jay, maybe even the shrill call of a Clark's nutcracker! There are a few others hanging around too, like the California scrub jay!
What's your favorite experience with a clever corvid? #Yosemite#YosemiteNationalPark #NationalPark#ravens#raven#bird#hiking
Snow still sits pretty in Yosemite's (very) high country, filling basins and fueling waterways. That's right! Temperatures are in the high 90's in Yosemite Valley, but over a mile higher, snow persists.
In Yosemite National Park, we are proud of our rangers who work tirelessly to preserve and protect the park and its visitors. In honor of their excellent work, we've asked our staff to nominate co-workers who embody stewardship, public service, and love for Yosemite. First up... Park Ranger Kristen Loyd is a key member of the Visitor and Resource Protection Division. As a Yosemite Valley shift supervisor, she is described as supportive, thoughtful, dedicated, and motivating. "Kristen is genuinely interested in employees' welfare and morale, always optimistic and cheerful, and doesn't shrink away from tough choices." Thank you, Kristen!
How many famous women can you name in Yosemite's history?
In observance of Women’s Equality Day, we're sharing the stories of a few of Yosemite's influential women. Slide through the images to learn more about these incredible people! #WomensEqualityDay
Happy Founder's Day from Yosemite National Park! The National Park Service is 101 years old today. That's 101 years of preserving and protecting these lands while providing for the enjoyment of visitors to national parks!
Keeping in with our mission, today we released 50 red-legged frogs into Yosemite Valley. This frog has been absent from the park for over 40 years, after nonnative, predatory bullfrogs moved in and eradicated the species from the park. With support from the Yosemite Conservancy and the San Francisco Zoo, which raised the frogs from eggs, students from nearbyl schools were able to partake in this fun and educational occasion! Swipe through to see the fun!
- @yosemiteconservancy@sanfranciscozoo@nationalparkservice #Yosemite#NationalPark#YosemiteNationalPark#frogs#FoundersDay#NPS101#Parks101