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    Yosemite

    National Park California

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  • Road Closures Due to El Portal Fire

    The Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and the El Portal Road is temporarily closed. There is no access to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road or Highway 120. Tioga Road is open and accessible via Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass Entrances. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. More »

  • Yosemite National Park is Open

    Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and Wawona/Mariposa Grove areas are open and accessible via Highways 140 and 41. Tioga Road is not accessible via Highways 140 and 41 due to a fire.

Yosemite Ranger Notes

About This Blog

Ranger-naturalists have been interpreting the natural and cultural resources of Yosemite for park visitors for nearly a century. In this blog, some of Yosemite's park rangers share recent observations from around Yosemite.

All posts are shown below, or you can view posts by topic.

The South Fork Merced River

July 15, 2014 Posted by: KL - Park Ranger (Wawona)

If you have ever spent time in Wawona, chances are you have fond memories of splashing around in one of the area’s many marvelous swimming holes, or spending a lazy afternoon reading a book with your feet in the water. Here in Wawona, we are lucky to be located along the South Fork Merced River, which not only offers many great places to swim, but also serves as the main source of our drinking water. This year, has been grim for the South Fork. With several exceptionally dry years in a row, the South Fork is currently extremely low.

 

The Hodgdon Cabin

August 16, 2013 Posted by: KL - Park Ranger (Wawona)

Wawona is home to the Pioneer Yosemite History Center, a collection of historic buildings that have been relocated from all over the park. Each building tells a different story about Yosemite’s history. A visit to the Pioneer Yosemite History Center provides the opportunity to look into the lives, homes, and workplaces of the people who shaped and were shaped by Yosemite in centuries past.

 

The Wildest Creature that John Muir Ever Saw

August 04, 2013 Posted by: JL - Park Ranger (Wawona)

"He is, without exception, the wildest animal I ever saw, --a fiery, sputtering little bolt of life." Imagine for a moment, if we had opportunity to spend the day with John Muir as our mountain guide. As Muir leads us into the upper montane forest, he excitedly speaks of searching out the “wildest animal I ever saw.” Would you be delighted or disappointed to discover that this creature is less than a foot in length and weighs just a few ounces?

 

Run With a Ranger on the Wawona Meadow Loop

August 04, 2013 Posted by: SS - Park Ranger (Wawona)

As I lace up my running shoes, the early morning air is crisp and clean with an aroma of pine and wet grass; it is the beginning of my day unfolding. The Wawona Meadow Loop is a 3.5-mile dirt road that encompasses one of few lower montane Sierra Nevada meadows: terrain gently rolling through ponderosa pine, incense-cedar, and California black oak woodland. Mountain dogwoods tightly crowd and overhang the path along one section I have dubbed “Dogwood Alley.” The dramatic blossoms in spring and the peach and rose-hued leaves in autumn lure me back to run this particular scenic loop regularly. Even in winter, the thin snow crunches underfoot and utter silence offers a cold meditative run for me in the low angle light of solstice.

 

Wawona - Try It

August 03, 2013 Posted by: JJ - Park Ranger (Wawona)

The early morning sun in Wawona tells me there’s something very special about this place. Hearing the flow of the South Fork of the Merced River is calming, smoothing, and refreshing. Sitting quietly in the Wawona Meadow and closing my eyes creates another dimension of Wawona. Wawona, Yosemite's Sleepy Hollow, is like no other place in the Sierra.

 

Wawona Meadow

June 21, 2013 Posted by: KL- Park Ranger (Wawona)

The Wawona Meadow has played many different roles throughout its history: a home to wildlife, a food preparation area for American Indians, a hotspot of biological diversity, and more recently, a pasture, a golf course, and an airstrip! Like all Sierra Nevada meadows, our meadow here in Wawona is important habitat for plant and animal communities, including some of Yosemite’s rarest birds. It also serves as a natural floodwater reservoir and filtration system.

 

Wawona’s Covered Bridge

June 14, 2013 Posted by: KL - Park Ranger (Wawona)

Over the South Fork of the Merced River in Wawona is a covered bridge. There are only a dozen covered bridges here in California, which is reason enough that this bridge is special. But Wawona’s covered bridge is special for a whole host of other reasons, especially for the story it tells of Wawona’s past, and the people who called this place home.

 

Galen Clark, Mariposa Grove Cabin

April 12, 2013 Posted by: DR - Museum Technician

Galen Clark was the first “Guardian” of Yosemite after the Yosemite Grant was signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1864. Clark persuaded lawmakers to protect the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias as well as Yosemite Valley for future generations.

 

Did You Know?

Vernal and Nevada Falls

In Yosemite Valley, dropping over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, the Merced River creates what is known as the “Giant Staircase.” Such exemplary stair-step river morphology is characterized by a large variability in river movement and flow, from quiet pools to the dramatic drops of the waterfalls themselves.