Yosemite National Park Group Tours
This stunning park plays host to an incredible array of natural wonder and is a highlight of any America tour. There’s the famous distinct rock formations, the awe-inspiring canyons, striking waterfalls and serene lakes. This outdoors paradise could keep you entertained for weeks and it’s an ideal place to relax, revitalise and let yourself be awe-struck by the wonder and power of nature. Yosemite features in our Canyons to California trip, West Coast Adventure and The Full Coyote.
Yosemite Valley was originally called Ahwahnee and it had played host to the Ahwaanchee for thousands of years prior to settlers arriving to the area. The name Yosemite came from a mispronouncation of the original name, by the settlers and has stuck ever since!
The last stand of the Native Americans came in 1851 with the Mariposa Wars. These were caused by the order of the government to clear the valley to help with the California gold rush. The national army’s attempts to do were met with fierce resistance but eventually the Native Americans were defeated and relocated.
The first tourists came shortly after this – the original Coyote Trip perhaps… They were attracted by the beauty of the wilderness and it spawned a whole early series of travel journalists detailing their experiences; the influencers of their day. Galen Clark was one of the first settlers to establish a home in the valley and he set up Pioneer Village. This contained the first hotel along with other cabins and remains as a tourist landmark to this day.
As more and more people came to the valley- there became increasing concerns of the impact all these visitors would have on the landscape. It was Abraham Lincoln who ceded control of the land to the state of California after seeing the threat of continued expansion. The state appointed Galen Clark as guardian and he set about trying to manage the preservation alongside the tourism. The Yosemite Act of 1890 protected the natural resources and attempted to stop poaching and other destructive acts. It was the nature-loving president, Theodore Roosevelt who eventually made the park a National Park. He was persuaded of this after camping there in 1903 with the environmentalist, John Muir who had been influential in fighting for the park’s protection.
In the 20thcentury, campgrounds were set up alongside informational programmes to teach visitors about the surroundings. There were further protections granted with the Wilderness Act of 1964 which protected 89% of the park. In recent years, the National Park service has also worked to reintroduce many species back to Yosemite- such as Bighorn sheep and peregrine falcons. Yosemite is the third oldest National Park in the U.S and its beauty continues to astound and inspire in equal measure.
- If you are into hiking or love nature then you are in for an absolute treat as Yosemite is a hikers’ paradise! Even if it’s not your ideal pastime – there’s routes for all abilities and interests.
- Waterfalls are an incredible sight to be seen – the Horsetail Fall is seasonal and for a few weeks the sun sets in such a way as to make the water appear to be on fire!
- There’s a whole range of places where you can swim – from lakes, pools to rivers. It’s a great way to really absorb the nature.
From 1927 to 1977, Yosemite had a live-in artist, Ansel Adams, who photographed the park across all the seasons. You can still visit his gallery inside the park!
There are over 400 species in the park- including the rare Sierra Nevada red fox.
The park bid to host the Winter Olympics in 1932 and built a large ice skating rink and other facilities but lost out to Lake Placid.
- Camping offers a great way to really get under the skin of Yosemite and get a real understanding of what it must have been like to discover the park for the first time!
- Take binoculars- this is a great way to spot wildlife or brave climbers from afar!
- If you are into astrology then taking a star chart will mean you can really discover the stars in your eyes!
Wild Wilderness Destinations