Fun Facts About Yosemite

The Native American people of Yosemite are called the Ahwahneechee (ah-wah-nē-chē) Indians. They did not live in teepees (only the Plains Indians did). Their homes were shaped like teepees, but made of incense-cedar bark.

The Ahwahneechees wove baskets so tight they could hold water in them after they coated them with pine pitch. They cooked in them by putting hot rocks in the baskets until the food boiled.

John Muir had a lot of wild adventures. One time he climbed a 100-foot tall Douglas fir tree during a windstorm and rode it for hours as it bent and swayed in the wind.

Galen Clark, the first Guardian of Yosemite, called shoes “cruel and silly instruments of torture, at once uncivilized, unhuman and unnecessary.” He hiked around Yosemite barefoot.

Over 3.5 million people visit Yosemite every year.

“I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it; and though fast rooted, they travel about as far as we do.” – John Muir

The bright red snow plant has no chlorophyll, which most plants use to produce food. It relies on fungus to break down nutrients in the soil so its roots can absorb them.

The Giant Sequoia Trees are the largest living things on earth, but their seeds are the size of a piece of oatmeal.

Yosemite’s black bears weigh between 150 and 500 pounds when they’re full grown, but weigh less than half a pound when they’re born. Their mother is asleep, hibernating, when they’re born.

Male deer (called bucks) lose their antlers after mating season in the fall and grow them again in the spring.

Some people mistake the Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel for a giant chipmunk. But our mascot really is a squirrel. He’s much larger than a chipmunk, rarely climbs trees, and instead of stripes on his face he has golden fur.