For today’s American Culture and History lesson, we’re going to learn about Yosemite and Hiking Half Dome.
All right, so let’s talk about Yosemite. Yosemite was listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1984 and actually it’s one of the most visited national parks in the United States.
According to National Geographic, over four million people come to see Yosemite each year. And if you think about the geography of California, it’s kind of a . . . I don’t even know what shape it is to be honest . . . but it’s located right next to Nevada a little bit inland, and it’s at the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. But what makes it so special? Well, other than the fact it’s stunning, there are a lot of things to do and see there. And one of them I mentioned in the beginning is hiking Half Dome. We’ll start with that and then from there we’ll talk a little bit about the Sequoias and some other fun things that you can see while you’re in Yosemite.
Half Dome is actually made of granite rock and these rock formations are all over Yosemite, it’s not just Half Dome (El Capitan is another one that’s very famous). And they were formed deep within the Earth’s surface and exposed over thousands of years by erosion and Ice Age glaciers. So you can still see the impact of these glaciers, you’ll see the kind of U-shaped canyons, a lot of jagged peaks, waterfalls.
There are actually two glaciers still in Yosemite that you can visit, although they say that the Lyell Glacier will disappear by the year 2020.
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