This October, 1,169 square miles of some of the world’s most spectacular rock formations, waterfalls and ancient trees will be celebrated as California’s Yosemite National Park turns 125.
Geologically, Yosemite is much older than that—by about 10 million years. Vertical uplift along the Sierra-Nevada created the mountains. Beginning a couple of million years ago, glaciers as deep as 4,000 feet began sculpting the canyons, and grinding and polishing the granite. Over these rocks spill thundering curtains of tall, narrow waterfalls, including 2,425-foot Yosemite Falls, the highest in North America.