Tioga & Glacier Point Roads Closed for the Winter
The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) and Glacier Point Road are closed due to snow; they usually reopen late May or June. You can check on current road conditions by calling 209/372-0200 (press 1 then 1). More »
Oral history passed down by local American Indians says the people of the Yosemite area were created here and have been here since the beginning of time. Seven present-day tribes descend from the people who first called this area home. As Europeans arrived in the mid-1800s, violent disruption ensued that displaced the native populations. Early white settlers arrived and hosted writers, artists, and photographers who spread the fame of "the Incomparable Valley" throughout the world. Park pioneers, like Galen Clark, then spoke of Yosemite's need for protection, and that environmental philosophy was advocated by the scientists of the time and later enforced by the park's first nature guides. Early on, women helped make Yosemite what it has become--as influential concessionaires, adventurers, and NPS employees who went beyond the time's traditional roles.
Did You Know?
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.