Yosemite National Park, which exists in the beautiful California, has been around since the 1800s and continues to attract a multitude of people every year. Here MusicSnake Magazine presents fifteen facts about Yosemite NP.

Yosemite Was Once Glacial

The park has mostly agreeable temperatures in present day, making it a popular vacation spot year round. Up until 250,000 years ago, however, Yosemite was an icy place covered in glaciers.

Sheep Were a Threat to Yosemite.In the 1800s, sheepherders used to set meadows in the park ablaze in hopes that it would aid the growth of edible plant matter for their sheep. John Muir referred to them as “hoofed locusts” and brought attention to the devastation this were causing.

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.

Yosemite National Park is The Same Size as Rhode Island

Over 1,000 square miles, this national park is just about equal to the size of the entire state of Rhode Island. Though Yosemite Valley is the most frequented area of the park, it only takes up 1% of the property.

Roosevelt and Muir, 1903

Roosevelt’s Camping Trip. Back in 1903, President Roosevelt asked Muir to take him on a camping expedition. After spending some time in the park and talking with Muir, he decided to sign a law to bring Yosemite Valley under federal rule.

Taller than Niagara. Yosemite’s Ribbon falls has a vertical drop that is nine times the size of Niagara Falls.

It Used to Feature a Fire Waterfall

In the 1870s, a man who owned a hotel in the park used to end his nights by kicking the burning embers from his dying fire over a cliff. Visitors below loved watching this and began paying him to continue doing it. This was continued on by different people all the way up until 1968 when the man-made attraction was banned.

The Largest Granite Monolith on Earth. This is El Capitan, the big stone wall that draws in rock climbers from across the world. This breathtaking structure is 4,000 feet tall.

The Hippie Riot. Back in the 1960s, the national park turned into a highly popular hangout destination for California’s flower children. The complaints grew, including reports that there were “more hippies than bears”, who, similar to bears, foraged off of visitors to the park. This situation escalated until horseback riding park rangers came to try to put a stop to it. This ended in tear gas, rock throwing, and batons being used. Seven people were hurt and 138 arrested.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.