Yosemite’s splendor by the numbers

CC BY 2.0 Mark J. Miller

Yosemite National Park is so visually stunning that the facts behind the beauty can sometimes seem moot – but these impressive numbers bear noting.

When I think of Yosemite I smell big trees and clean air, I hear water rushing and wind rustling; Ansel Adams’ photographs hijack my brain and majestic sweeps of monochromatic cliffs and clouds fill my reverie. It is a place of such singular grandeur that it can be almost overwhelming. But behind all of that natural beauty are a lot of numbers that are really quite impressive. I was struck by some of these recently when I was reading through the Complete Guide to Yosemite at Live Once Live Wild and thought I’d share. Consider the following:

747,956: The number of acres that comprise the park in total. I'm not sure most people realize how big it is!

95: The percentage of Yosemite National Park considered to be wilderness area.

225,510: The number of acres of old-growth forest within the park – which is amazing given that much of California’s oldest trees were logged beginning in the 1850s.

3,000: The age in years that a giant sequoia can live to; there are around 500 mature ones in Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove. This is one of the nation's true treasures.

250: How many species of vertebrates – including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals – supported by the park’s habitats.

8: How many miles the valley itself is long.

3,000: The height in feet of El Capitan (pictured above), the largest granite monolith in the world.

2,425: The height in feet of Yosemite Falls, the park’s biggest waterfall; it is among the 20 highest waterfalls in the world.

13,114: In feet, the height of Mount Lyell, the highest point in Yosemite National Park.

1600: The length of streams in miles.

800: The length of hiking trails in miles.

4 million: The number of people who usually visit Yosemite each year.

5 million: The number of people who visited Yosemite in 2016.

1984: The year that Yosemite was designated a World Heritage Site – and is it any wonder??

For more information, see the Complete Guide to Yosemite.

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