A natural wonder hewn by glaciers from the granite slopes of the western Sierra Nevada, Yosemite Valley reveals the power and beauty of nature's hand. Here, in the sublime "Incomparable Valley" of naturalist John Muir, alpine forests frame the legendary sites of Half Dome, El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite Falls, and other massive stone clefts. These marvels of rock and water have inspired writers, artists, and photographers ever since the American discovery of the valley by gold miners of the Mariposa Battalion acting as militia in l850. Within four years, Americans who realized the commercial value of Yosemite Valley began developing lodging facilities and promoting it as a tourist destination. Concerned Californians encouraged President Lincoln to grant the valley and the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees to the State of California for the formation of a state park. This led to the creation of Yosemite National Park in l890.
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