Yosemite National Park An Amazing Green Travel & Ecotourism Destination
Yosemite one of the first national parks in the United States and have kept it one of the country's most popular natural retreats for over a century.
America’s National Parks protect some of the nation’s greatest natural treasures, they also suffer from destructive tourism. Yosemite gets a lot of visitors-almost 4 million annually-that the Yosemite Valley has congested zones and air pollution. So what’s it doing on Natural Home’s list? We simply couldn’t write off the National Park system, which though beleaguered and underfunded, gets into the ecotourism game.
Concerning the size of Rhode Island, Yosemite is 95 % wilderness. The remaining 5 percent (Yosemite Valley) may be the domain of cars, RVs, hotels, gift shops, and campsites. To counteract the harm, the park enhanced its traffic-reducing shuttle system with eighteen hybrid buses, removed the parking area at Lower Yosemite Falls, and it is greening its concessions and guest services.
The future of Yosemite National Park
Conserving Yosemite is certainly not new – Abraham Lincoln signed an action that set aside a grant for that preservation of part of what’s now the park. But he couldn’t have predicted this wilderness escape’s popularity with tourists would put its eco-balance at such potential risk.
- According to the National Park Service, a lot more than 3.5 million people currently visit Yosemite each year, up from 2 million annual tourists in 1976, resulting in increased traffic congestion; at peak times, some park roads experience congested zones up to two miles long.In reaction, the National Park Service has unveiled its Centennial Initiative 2016 that will assist both tourist and conservationist interests.
- The program has two areas of focus: relocating numerous park services based in the overrun Yosemite Valley to more remote areas in order to return the valley to the natural state and restore its native ecosystem, and lowering the effects of tourism by encouraging people to use public transportation – including quieter, more fuel-efficient and lower-emissions hybrid shuttle buses, that are now the only vehicles allowed in certain areas.
- Three million dollars was approved in 2008 with the Initiative’s Centennial Challenge (which calls for $100 million each year to be made available to parks for use to generate matching funds from private sources, as well as for which each park annually will submit projects for approval) to rehabilitate the park’s Tunnel View Overlook, that has long suffered from heavy traffic and encroaching vegetation.
Attractions of Yosemite National Park
- North America’s highest waterfall, Yosemite Falls, is three falls in a single. Water from the top drops nearly 2,500 feet. At the end of summer, the falls basically dry up; visit in spring for thundering waters.
- For hikers or photographers, 3,200-foot Glacier Point doesn’t disappoint. Came from here, view the impressive granite Half Dome, mountain peaks and waterfalls, plus a spectacular sunset. (hiking & walking guide)
- In the sunshine, see Yosemite from the water. Bring or rent a raft and hang off along the Merced River. Access depends upon water levels. (paddling sports guide)
- Within the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias (a.k.a. Sierra redwoods) close to the park’s south entrance, trunks run as wide as 30 feet on trees near to 2,000 years old.
- Hit the Wawona settlement for any peek into the past. Begin with the 1879 Wawona Hotel and cross the covered bridge to more historic buildings, together with a blacksmith shop and jail.
Splurge on the room or cottage in the Ahwahnee Hotel, a 1920s mountain lodge and National Historic Landmark. For Victorian grandeur, try the Wawona Hotel, outside the south entrance contributing to a half-hour drive from the Badger Pass Ski Area. The more Yosemite Lodge, next to Yosemite Falls, is well-liked by families. Groups can bed down in the summer-camp-style Housekeeping Camp units across the Merced River, and hikers can use to stay at the High Sierra Camps, accommodations with canvas tents and family-style dining. Observe that the latter’s shower and restroom amenities are susceptible to water availability.
Best time to visit here
Yosemite is open year-round, and every season offers a different experience. Spring’s snowmelt creates spectacular waterfalls, which dry out as summer wears on, bringing hot, arid weather – as well as an abundance of wildflowers. Autumn weather swings between Indian summer days and snowfalls, by November – when some areas become inaccessible by car until May – you will have the park’s white-coated vistas (almost) all to yourself. Bring skis for downhill and cross-country runs at Badger Pass.
The nearest commercial airport is Fresno Yosemite Airport terminal, (current temps./delays) an hour’s drive on Highway 41 in the park’s south entrance. Car rental agencies serve this airport, there is however no public transportation. Alternately, Bay area International Airport (current temps./delays) is with all major car rental agencies with public transportation to Yosemite. It is 2.5 hours towards the park’s Big Oak Flat entrance on Highway 120.
Almost all the park is accessible by car, but because of congestion, visitors are encouraged to use free park shuttles between sights. Some more remote areas are available only by foot or saddle.