Yosemite Valley, located in the heart of California, astonishes over 3 million tourists each year with its natural beauty and its history dating back to the Ice Age, 2.5 million years ago. Today, Yosemite Valley came to be known worldwide for its imposing rocks, majestic waterfalls, and giant sequoias offering an exceptional picturesque backdrop.
Soon after the melting of the last glaciers, about 10,000 years ago, Yosemite Valley began to take shape when huge bulldozers of ice were scraping rocks from the cliffs, leading to the formation of Lake Yosemite, which was later occupied by sediments becoming a marshy meadow. The first inhabitants of Yosemite were Native Americans and one of the latest tribes in the area called Yosemite Valley "Ahwahnee" or "place of the gaping mouth,"
Indeed, as I stood there agape with wonder, surrounded by massive granite cliffs and giant sequoias, I realized I was witnessing one of the most scenic treasures of the world. Back in 1855, when the first visitors arrived at the Yosemite Valley, they must have felt the same, because immediately after that, the grandeur of this place attracted more tourists increasingly in search of inspiration. On October 1, 1890, the U.S. Congress set aside more than 1,500 square miles of reserved forest lands, soon to be known as Yosemite National Park. Later on, in 1984, the park became World Heritage Site.
Yosemite National Park vividly illustrates the effects of glacial erosion of granitic rock, creating geologic features that are unique in the world. Of an exceptional natural beauty, Yosemite Valley includes five of the highest waterfalls in the world and giant sequoia that can reach the age of 3,000 years, and are among the greatest creations on Earth.