18 Stunning Pictures Of Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park celebrates its 123rd birthday today.

Sadly, because of the federal government shutdown, Yosemite and other National parks across the country are now closed to day visitors. Overnight campers will be tossed out over the next several days as well.

To pay tribute to Yosemite’s special day in history, in spite of the bad news, we’ve rounded up some breathtaking photos that highlight the park’s stunning granite cliffs, waterfalls, and giant sequoia trees.

On Oct. 1, 1890, Congress set aside 1,500 square miles of California land to create Yosemite National Park.

By the early 20th century, Yosemite was a popular summer vacation spot.

Even Navy men returning from World War II enjoyed the peace and beauty of their surroundings as they rested and recovered at a converted hospital located in the park.

Yosemite is located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada range in eastern California.

It contains thousands of lakes and ponds.

Each year, Yosemite receives about 4 million visitors.

One of the biggest draws is Half Dome, a granite rock formation that rises more than 4,700 feet above the floor of Yosemite Valley.

As much as 95 per cent of the park's annual visitors come to see these historic landmarks, which has led to overcrowding.

Visitors can find less crowded, pristine areas by venturing off the park's extensive trail system to the backcountry.

The park is known for its granite cliffs and cascading waterfalls. Seen here is Vernal Falls.

Yosemite is the nation's third most visited National Park.

Yosemite might be closed, but you can still hike the Appalachian Trail.

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