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National Park in California, U.S..

The name "Yosemite" comes from the Miwok word for the Indians that lived in the Yosemite Valley - the yo'hem-iteh. (Another source says it's Indian for Grizzly - let me double-check.)

Yosemite includes nearly 1,200 square miles of the western Sierra Nevada. There are 840 miles of hiking trails in the park. The most famous areas include Yosemite Valley, Tuolomne Meadows and Wawona. Famous goals for the tourists include Glacier Point, Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Fall and Mariposa Grove.

The land was set aside in 1864 and the park was created in 1890, mostly thanks to John Muir who fought for it for many years.

Some of the world's highest waterfalls and the world's biggest trees can be found in the Yosemite. There are over 80 different species of mammals and 250 species of birds.

Ansel Adams has taken hundreds and hundreds of famous photographs from the Yosemite Valley.

The park has 196 miles of roads and 4.1 million visitors every year. The huge impact of all this on the unique environment in the Yosemite, has led to changes in the last years. Car accessibility will be decreased in the close future.

While it is packed full of drooling tourons, Yosemite is truly the Mecca of rock climbing. From bouldering to aid climbing, from sport climbing to trad climbing, many of the best routes in the world are here. If you are interested in trying rock climbing there is no better place. Every great climber has made a pilgrimage here. The modern techniques and standards of difficulty were forged here. Yosemite is rivaled only by Chamonix for quality and diversity of climbing as well as historical significance. An excellent introduction to the history of climbing in Yosemite is the book "Camp 4" by Steve Roper.

It must also be said that if you are not a rock climber you really should stay away. Bears really do destroy cars constantly and the park is quite dangerous both because of the risk of falling off clifs and drowning as well as attacks by psycho killers. Every year many people die there. Stay away. Go to Yellowstone or Disneyland.

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