This article was first published in 2014, the 150th anniversary of Yosemite. When Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite grant in 1864, he couldn’t have known the effect it would have on the American landscape. The grant, designating the area a protected wilderness, was one of the first steps along the road to establishing the USA’s renowned National Park idea, which preserves the integrity of the country’s most valuable regions of natural beauty. To this day the land is protected, and Yosemite has become an icon of the rugged majesty of the wilderness North America.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of this momentous occasion, we’re sharing with you some of the very best images from our adventures in the famous park. Check them out in the content gallery below! Many of these pictures come from Exodus’ Adam Roberts, who took them on our Western Explorer trip. Here’s what he had to say about Yosemite: “Seeing the vast expanse of Yosemite Valley and the surrounding highlands from Glacier Point simply left me in awe that such a beautiful place could exist. The fact that it is protected land seems commonplace to us nowadays, but perhaps the landscape would look very different had the Yosemite Grant Act not been passed 150 years ago to protect the habitat and enable people to visit the region in a sustainable manner. Even more of a privilege was to trek the iconic trail up to Vernal and Nevada Falls. The combination of deep forest colours, abundant water and bright sunlight created magical scenes along the whole route that I’ll never forget. There are a lot of contrasting faces to California and it is no wonder that Yosemite remains their pride and joy.” Want to see this awe-inspiring epitome of the Wild West for yourself?
Mules at Nevada Falls preparing to descend the John Muir Trail.View from the top of Nevada Falls.Rainbow shining across the Mist Trail.Climbing to Vernal falls on the Mist Trail.Vernal & Nevada Falls as seen from Glacier Point lookout.
The Yosemite Valley at Sunset, as seen from Tunnel View.Autumn in Yosemite Valley.Spring flooding in the valley. Feeling inspired?