Yosemite: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)


Last year, Yosemite National Park celebrated its 125th birthday. The huge park was established in 1890 and remains a highly popular destination for travelers from all over the world. Here is part one of our list of facts about it.

Number Fifteen: Yosemite Was Originally Smaller

When the park was first established, it did not include certain parts. Among the parts that later became considered the property of Yosemite are El Capitan and the well known Yosemite Falls.

Number Fourteen: It’s Not America’s First National Park

Many people might assume this since it’s one of the most well-known parks in the United States. However, Yosemite did not officially become a national park until nearly two decades after Yellowstone. Sequoia also came before Yosemite.

Number Thirteen: ‘Switzerland of the West’

Don Tressider, the president of the park, visited the winter Olympics in Switzerland in 1928. After this, he was inspired to make the park the “Switzerland of the West”, and had an 800-foot snow slide, area for ice skating, and even a ski jump installed. Unfortunately, his dreams of hosting the Winter Olympics there never came true.

Number Twelve: John Muir Helped Establish the Park

This famous naturalist writer first saw Yosemite Valley in 1868 and wrote extensively on its natural beauty in published newspaper and magazine articles. His contributions raised awareness of the place and helped it become the well known and revered traveling destination it is today.

Number Eleven: It Once Hosted a Military Hospital

Back in 1942, a fancy hotel in the park, called Ahwahnee Hotel, was converted into a hospital for treating military members in psychiatry, in the hopes that the scenic setting would aid patients suffering from shell shock. On the contrary, the towering rock structures caused claustrophobia.

Number Ten: Groves of the Biggest Living Things

Yosemite has three groves dedicated to Sequoia trees, which are the largest living things on earth. Some grow up to 300 feet or more, and can exist for up to 3,000 years.

Number Nine: 840 Miles of Hiking Trails

The park has so many hiking trails, that hiking them all in succession would take up to 12 days while walking at average speed. We hope you enjoyed part one of this list. Check back soon for part two!