With its sculpted granite rock formations, its towering ancient sequoia trees, and its spectacular waterfalls, it's no wonder Yosemite is one of the most celebrated national parks in the world. Emerging from the park’s famous Tunnel View is a transformative experience, showcasing the jaw-dropping, iconic sight of El Capitan rising from the valley floor with Bridalveil Falls plummeting from the rock and Half Dome shining in the background. The park also features meadows and streams, historic buildings, and vast wilderness.

A First for Public Land

When Abraham Lincoln signed legislation in 1864 establishing a public trust to preserve parts of Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove, it was the first time the U.S. government had ever set aside land for the benefit of the public, although it was not the country's first national park. The land was originally managed by the state of California and did not become a national park until 1890, 18 years after Yellowstone was established.

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