Redwood National and State Parks
The Redwood National and State Parks are old-growth temperate rainforests located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park and Californias Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks, the combined RNSP contain 139,000 acres. Located entirely within Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, the four parks, protect 45% of all remaining coast redwood old-growth forests and these trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on Earth. In addition to the forests, the parks preserve other indigenous flora, grassland prairie, cultural resources, portions of rivers and other streams. In 1850, old-growth redwood forest covered more than 2,000,000 acres of the California coast, the northern portion of that area, originally inhabited by Native Americans, attracted many lumbermen and others turned gold miners when a minor gold rush brought them to the region. Failing in efforts to strike it rich in gold, these men turned toward harvesting the giant trees for booming development in San Francisco, after many decades of unrestricted clear-cut logging, serious efforts toward conservation began.
Redwood National Park was created in 1968, by which time nearly 90% of the redwood trees had been logged. The ecosystem of the RNSP preserves a number of threatened species such as the tidewater goby, Chinook salmon, northern spotted owl. Modern day native groups such as the Yurok, Karok and Wiyot all have ties to the region. Archaeological study shows they arrived in the area as far back as 3,000 years ago, an 1852 census determined that the Yurok were the most numerous, with 55 villages and an estimated population of 2,500. They used the abundant redwood, which with its grain was easily split into planks, as a building material for boats, houses. For buildings, the planks would be erected side by side in a trench, with the upper portions bound with leather strapping. Redwood boards were used to form a sloping roof. Previous to Jedediah Smith in 1828, no other explorer of European descent is known to have investigated the inland region away from the immediate coast. The discovery of gold along the Trinity River in 1850 led to a secondary rush in California.
This brought miners into the area and many stayed on at the coast after failing to strike it rich and this quickly led to conflicts wherein native peoples were placed under great strain, if not forcibly removed or massacred. By 1895, only one third of the Yurok in one group of villages remained, by 1919, the miners logged redwoods for building, when this minor gold rush ended, some of them turned again to logging, cutting down the giant redwood trees. Representative John E. Raker, of California, became the first politician to introduce legislation for the creation of a national park
Kings Canyon National Park
Kings Canyon National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of Fresno, California. The park was established in 1940 and covers 461,901 acres and it incorporated General Grant National Park, established in 1890 to protect the General Grant Grove of giant sequoias. The park is north of and contiguous with Sequoia National Park and they were designated the UNESCO Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976. Humans have inhabited the area for thousands of years, the first Native Americans in the area were Paiute peoples, who moved into the region from their ancestral home east of Mono Lake. The Paiute Nation people used deer and other animals for food. They created trade routes that extended down the slope of the Sierra into the Owens Valley. Kings Canyon had been known to white settlers since the mid-19th century, United States Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes fought to create the Kings Canyon National Park. He hired Ansel Adams to photograph and document this among other parks, the bill combined the General Grant Grove with the backcountry beyond Zumwalt Meadow.
Kings Canyons future was in doubt for nearly fifty years, some wanted to build a dam at the western end of the valley, while others wanted to preserve it as a park. The debate was settled in 1965, when the valley, along with Tehipite Valley, was added to the park, Kings Canyon National Park consists of two sections. The parks Giant Sequoia forests are part of 202,430 acres of old-growth forests shared by Sequoia and this section of the park is mostly mixed conifer forest, and is readily accessible via paved highways. Both the South and Middle Forks of the Kings Rivers have extensive glacial canyons, one portion of the South Fork canyon, known as the Kings Canyon, gives the entire park its name. Kings Canyon, with a depth of 8,200 feet, is one of the deepest canyons in the United States. The canyon was carved by glaciers out of granite, the Kings Canyon, and its developed area, Cedar Grove, is the only portion of the main part of the park that is accessible by motor vehicle. Both the Kings Canyon and its Middle Fork twin, Tehipite Valley, are deeply incised, U-shaped glacial gorges with relatively flat floors and towering granite cliffs thousands of feet high.
In addition, the canyon has several systems, one of which is Boyden Cave. To the east of the canyons are the peaks of the Sierra Crest, which attain an elevation of 14,248 feet NAVD88 at the summit of North Palisade. This is classic high Sierra country, barren ridges and glacially scoured lake-filled basins
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Overall administration is by the National Park Service, coordinating with state, county and university agencies. The Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area preserves one of the best examples of a Mediterranean climate ecosystem in the world and it protects one of the highest densities of archaeological resources in any mountain range in the world. The Santa Monica Mountains NRA contains 156,671 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains of the Transverse Ranges between the Pacific Ocean and inland valleys and its southeastern slopes are part of the headwaters of the Los Angeles River. In size the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the largest urban park in the United States. Besides geologic forces, people who inhabited the area in the past have been ones to affect the land, there were different reasons for people to come into the area. Some came to live and others to work the land, the first groups to live in the mountains were the Native American tribes called the Chumash and the Tongva who lived here for thousands of years.
Then came the Spanish Explorers and Homesteaders from other areas of the country, the Homesteaders brought new ideas and cultures that shaped the landscape and mindset of the area, and California overall. Up to this day, people continue to live, places such as Paramount Ranch, Solstice Canyon, and Rancho Sierra Vista/ Satwiwa still have that history that has been left behind by people in the past. The past stories from people are discovered through photographs, letters. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area strives to make sure the collections, the first area in the Santa Monica Mountains set aside for public use was Griffith Park which was donated to the city of Los Angeles by Griffith J. Griffith in 1896. During the first decade of the century, Frederick H. Rindge made several attempts to create a forest reserve in the Santa Monica Mountains. These reserves were precursors to national forests, in 1902 California’s State Mining Bureau examined the area being considered for the establishment of a forest reserve.
The resulting report was sent to Washington where the proposal for a reserve was denied, in 1907 an application was submitted to the Secretary of the Interior requesting that at least 70,000 acres in the mountains be designated a forest reserve. This time state mineralogist Lewis E. Aubury opposed the venture and he wrote the L. A. C. and endeavor to ascertain his views on the subject, and further protest against the creation of this proposed reserve”. Days the U. S. Limestone deposits were discovered in the mountains behind Pacific Palisades in 1925 which led to a battle between wealthy home owners of the area and land developers. The quarry site was in Traylor Canyon, three miles inland from the sea, between Santa Ynez and Temescal Canyons. Alphonzo Bell, Sr. was the real estate developer behind the scheme while local opposition was led by Sylvia Morrison. After much criticism of his plan, Bell offered a new proposal
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a state park located within the Colorado Desert of southern California, United States. The park takes its name from 18th century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and borrego, the Spanish word for bighorn sheep. With 600,000 acres that includes one-fifth of San Diego County, ABDSP is the largest state park in California and, after New Yorks Adirondack Park, the second largest in the contiguous United States. The park occupies eastern San Diego County and reaches into Imperial and Riverside counties, ABDSP is around a two-hour drive northeast from San Diego, southeast from Riverside or Irvine, and south from Palm Springs. The park is an anchor in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve, Park information and maps, interpretive events and displays and listening devices for the hearing impaired are all available in the Visitor Center. ABDSP has Wi-Fi access to the Internet in various sections of the park, many visitors approach ABDSP from the east-Coachella Valley side via California County Route S22 and S78.
These highways climb from the coast to 2,400 ft above sea level, the great bowl of the surrounding desert is surrounded by mountains, with the Vallecito Mountains to the south and the highest Santa Rosa Mountains to the north. They are in the wilderness area, without paved roads. In January of 2017 Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was named the best state park in California, the habitats of ABDSP are primarily within the Colorado Desert ecosystem of the Sonoran Desert ecoregion. The higher extreme northern and eastern sections in the Peninsular Ranges are in the California montane chaparral, the park features and desert washes, rock formations and colorful badlands, vast arid landscapes, and dramatic mountains. The bajadas are predominantly creosote bush-bur sage with creosote bush and the palo verde-cactus shrub ecosystems with the palo verde tree, cacti, in the washes, Colorado/Sonoran microphylla woodlands can be found. These woodlands include such plants as tree, velvet mesquite. ABDSP has natural springs and oases, with the only native palm.
Seasonal wildflower displays can be stunning in any plant community association throughout the park, the high-country to the north and east has closed-cone pine forests and oak woodlands. The oases are prolific with all types of fauna, especially for bird-watching, in the reptile class, desert iguanas and the red diamond rattlesnakes can be seen — with caution. ===Desert bighorn sheep=== Some areas of ABDSP are habitat for the Peninsular bighorn sheep, few park visitors see them, and the sheep are justly wary. A patient few observers each year see and count this endangered species to study the population, the expanses of ABDSPs eroded badlands provide a different view into the regions long-vanished tropical past. The inland of southeastern California was not always a desert, the study of the fossilized remains of ancient life, is the key to understanding this prehistoric world
Fort Point, San Francisco
Fort Point is a masonry seacoast fortification located at the southern side of the Golden Gate at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. This fort was completed just before the American Civil War by the United States Army, the fort is now protected as Fort Point National Historic Site, a United States National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service as a unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In 1769 Spain occupied the San Francisco area and by 1776 had established the areas first European settlement, with a mission and a presidio. To protect against encroachment by the British and Russians, Spain fortified the high white cliff at the narrowest part of the bays entrance, the Castillo de San Joaquin, built in 1794, was an adobe structure housing nine to thirteen cannons. Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, gaining control of the region and the fort, following the United States victory in 1848, California was annexed by the U. S. and became a state in 1850. The gold rush of 1849 had caused rapid settlement of the area, military officials soon recommended a series of fortifications to secure San Francisco Bay.
Coastal defenses were built at Alcatraz Island, Fort Mason, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers began work on Fort Point in 1853. Plans specified that the lowest tier of artillery be as close as possible to water level so cannonballs could ricochet across the surface to hit enemy ships at the water-line. Workers blasted the 90-foot cliff down to 15 feet above sea level, the structure featured seven-foot-thick walls and multi-tiered casemated construction typical of Third System forts. It was sited to defend the maximum amount of harbor area, while there were more than 30 such forts on the East Coast, Fort Point was the only one on the West Coast. In 1854 Inspector General Joseph K. Mansfield declared this point as the key to the whole Pacific Coast. a crew of 200, many unemployed miners, labored for eight years on the fort. In 1861, with war looming, the army mounted the forts first cannon, colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the Department of the Pacific, prepared Bay Area defenses and ordered in the first troops to the fort.
Kentucky-born Johnston resigned his commission to join the Confederate Army, throughout the Civil War, artillerymen at Fort Point stood guard for an enemy that never came. Troops soon moved out of Fort Point, and it was never again occupied by the army. The fort was important enough to receive protection from the elements. In 1869 a granite seawall was completed, the following year, some of the forts cannon were moved to Battery East on the bluffs nearby, where they were more protected. In 1882 Fort Point was officially named Fort Winfield Scott after the hero from the war against Mexico. The name never caught on and was applied to an artillery post at the Presidio
Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, United States, within the Coachella Valley. It is located approximately 55 mi east of San Bernardino,107 mi east of Los Angeles,123 mi northeast of San Diego, the population was 44,552 as of the 2010 census. Palm Springs covers approximately 94 square miles, making it the largest city in the county by land area, golf, horseback riding and tennis in the nearby desert and mountain areas are major forms of recreation in Palm Springs. The city is famous for its mid-century modern architecture and design elements. Archaeological research has shown that the Cahuilla people have lived in the area for the past 350–500 years, the Cahuilla name for the area was Se-Khi. The alternating non-reservation sections were granted to the Southern Pacific Railroad as an incentive to bring rail lines through the open desert, presently the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is composed of several smaller bands who live in the modern day Coachella Valley and San Gorgonio Pass areas.
The Agua Caliente Reservation occupies 32,000 acres, of which 6,700 acres lie within the city limits, as of 1821 Mexico was independent of Spain and in March 1823 the Mexican Monarchy ended. With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the region was ceded to the United States in 1848, one possible origin of palm in the place name comes from early Spanish explorers who referred to the area as La Palma de la Mano de Dios or The Palm of Gods hand. The earliest use of the name Palm Springs is from United States Topographical Engineers who used the term in 1853 maps, other early names were Palmetto Spring and Big Palm Springs. The first European resident in Palm Springs itself was Jack Summers, fourteen years later, the Southern Pacific railroad was laid 6 miles to the north, isolating the station. By 1885, when San Francisco attorney John Guthrie McCallum began buying property in Palm Springs, the area was named Palm Valley when McCallum incorporated the Palm Valley Land and Water Company with partners O. C.
He asked Dr. Welwood Murray to establish a hotel across the street from his residence, the crops and irrigation systems suffered flooding in 1893 from record rainfall, and an 11-year drought caused further damage. The city became a resort in the 1900s when health tourists arrived with conditions that required dry heat. Because of the heat, the population dropped markedly in the summer months, Early illustrious visitors included John Muir and his daughters, U. S. Vice President Charles Fairbanks, and Fanny Stevenson, widow of Robert Louis Stevenson, Murrays hotel was closed in 1909, nellie N. Coffman and her physician husband Harry established The Desert Inn as a hotel and sanitarium in 1909. It was expanded as a hotel in 1927 and continued on until 1967. Coffman herself was a force in the citys tourism industry until her death in 1950. James Wonders of the Colorado Desert was followed in 1920 by J. Smeaton Chases Our Araby, Palm Springs and the Garden of the Sun, which served to promote the area
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California. Declared a U. S. National Park in 1994 when the U. S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act and it is named for the Joshua trees native to the park. It covers a area of 790,636 acres —an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. A large part of the park, some 429,690 acres, is a wilderness area. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the southwest edge of the park, in 1950, the size of the park was reduced by about 265,000 acres to exclude some mining property. The park was elevated to a National Park on 31 October 1994 by the Desert Protection Act, the higher and cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of Yucca brevifolia, the Joshua tree for which the park is named. It occurs in patterns from dense forests to distantly spaced specimens, in addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in Californias deserts. The dominant geologic features of landscape are hills of bare rock.
These hills are popular amongst rock climbing and scrambling enthusiasts, the flatland between these hills is sparsely forested with Joshua trees. Together with the piles and Skull Rock, the trees make the landscape otherworldly. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high/low of 85 and 50 °F respectively, winter brings cooler days, around 60 °F, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at higher elevations, summers are hot, over 100 °F during the day and not cooling much below 75 °F until the early hours of the morning. Joshua trees dominate the open spaces of the park, but in among the outcroppings are piñon pine, California juniper, Quercus turbinella, Quercus john-tuckeri. These communities are under stress, however, as the climate was wetter until the 1930s, with the same hot. These cycles were nothing new, but the vegetation did not prosper when wetter cycles returned. The difference may have been human development, cattle grazing took out some of the natural cover and made it less resistant to the changes.
But the bigger problem seems to be invasive species, such as cheatgrass, in drier times, they die back, but do not quickly decompose. This makes wildfires hotter and more destructive, which some of the trees that would have otherwise survived
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a state park in the U. S. state of California, located in Santa Cruz County, about 36 km northwest of Santa Cruz. The park contains almost all of the Waddell Creek watershed, which was formed by the uplift of its rim. Big Basin is Californias oldest State Park, established in 1902 and its original 3,800 acres have been increased over the years to over 18,000 acres. It is part of the Northern California coastal forests ecoregion and is home to the largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco. It contains 10,800 acres of old-growth forest as well as recovering redwood forest, with mixed conifer, chaparral, elevations in the park vary from sea level to over 600 m. The climate ranges from foggy and damp near the ocean to sunny, the park has over 130 km of trails. Some of these trails link Big Basin to Castle Rock State Park, the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail threads its way through the park along Waddell Creek to Waddell Beach and the adjacent Theodore J.
Hoover Natural Preserve, a freshwater marsh. The park has a number of waterfalls, a wide variety of environments, many animals and abundant bird life – including Stellers jays, herons. Contrary to popular belief that people did not inhabit the old growth forests, archaeological evidence has been found, although sporadically. Ohlone tribes that lived on watercoures which begin in Big Basin Redwoods State Park were the Quiroste, Achistaca and Sayante. In October 1769 the Portola expedition discovered the redwoods of southern Santa Cruz County, although many in the party had been ill with scurvy, they gorged themselves on berries and quickly recovered. This miraculous recovery, as it seemed at the time, inspired the name given to the valley, although he did not fight Spanish soldiers until early 1793, Charquin had harbored fugitive neophytes since November 1791. Charquin and his followers retreated into the country behind Point Ano Nuevo in late 1791, lands that were equidistant from the missions San Francisco, Santa Clara.
From there he invited dissatisfied neophytes to join him, on January 6,1793, Mission San Francisco servant Diego Olbera baptized a 22-year-old woman on the verge of death ‘at the Quiroste village in the Mountains’. Olbera was probably in the vicinity to convince Charquin and his followers to return to the Mission, but the success of Charquin goaded the soldiers into action. No known diary stemming from any successful expedition against Charquin exists, yet indirect evidence exist that one did take place, and that it occurred in late April and early May 1793. An entry in the Mission San Francisco Libro de Difuntos on May 3,1793 recorded the death of two children of families in the mountain Quiroste Village of Chipletac. Charquin seems to have captured at that time
Riverside County, California
Riverside County, California is one of fifty-eight counties in the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,189,641, making it the 4th-most populous county in California, the name was derived from the city of Riverside, which is the county seat. Riverside County is included in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, the county is included in the Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area. There is a concentration of sprawling tract housing communities around Riverside and along the Interstate 10,15. Roughly rectangle-shaped, Riverside County covers 7,208 square miles in Southern California, the county is mostly desert in the central and eastern portions, but has a Mediterranean climate in the western portion. Most of Joshua Tree National Park is located in the county, the resort cities of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, and Desert Hot Springs are all located in the Coachella Valley region of Riverside County.
Large numbers of Los Angeles area workers have moved to the county in recent years to take advantage of affordable housing. Along with neighboring San Bernardino County, it was one of the fastest growing regions in the prior to the recent changes in the regional economy. In addition, but significant, numbers of people have been moving into Southwest Riverside County from the San Diego-Tijuana metropolitan area, the cities of Temecula and Murrieta accounted for 20% of the increase in population of the county between 2000 and 2007. The indigenous peoples of what is now Riverside County are the Luiseño, Cupeño, the Luiseño lived in the Aguanga and Temecula Basins, Elsinore Trough and eastern Santa Ana Mountains and southward into San Diego County. The Cahullia lived to the east and north of the Luiseño in the valleys, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains. The first European settlement in the county was a Mission San Luis Rey de Francia estancia or farm and grapes were grown here. In 1819, the Mission granted land to Leandro Serrano, mayordomo of San Antonio de Pala Asistencia for the Mission of San Luis Rey for Rancho Temescal, following Mexican independence and the 1833 confiscation of Mission lands, more ranchos were granted.
New Mexican colonists founded the town of La Placita on the east side of the Santa Ana River at the extremity of what is now the city of Riverside in 1843. When the initial 27 California counties were established in 1850 the area known as Riverside County was divided between Los Angeles County and San Diego County. In 1853 the eastern part of Los Angeles County was used to create San Bernardino County, between 1891 and 1893 several proposals, and legislative attempts, were put forth to form new counties in Southern California. These proposals included one for a Pomona County and one for a San Jacinto County, none of the proposals were adopted until a measure to create Riverside County was signed by Governor Henry H. Markham on March 11,1893. The new county was created from parts of San Bernardino County, on May 2,1893, seventy percent of voters approved the formation of Riverside County
Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific coast, in southwestern Marin County, California. It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and is 12 miles north of San Francisco and it protects 554 acres, of which 240 acres are old growth coast redwood forests, one of a few such stands remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Muir Woods National Monument is an old-growth coastal redwood forest, due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the forest is regularly shrouded in a coastal marine layer fog, contributing to a wet environment that encourages vigorous plant growth. The fog is vital for the growth of the redwoods as they use moisture from the fog during droughty seasons, the monument is cool and moist year round with average daytime temperatures between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is heavy during the winter and summers are almost completely dry with the exception of fog drip caused by the fog passing through the trees.
Annual precipitation in the ranges from 39.4 inches in the lower valley to 47.2 inches higher up in the mountain slopes. The redwoods grow on brown humus-rich loam which may be gravelly and this soil has been assigned to the Centissima series, which is always found on sloping ground. It is well drained, moderately deep, and slightly to moderately acidic and it has developed from a mélange in the Franciscan Formation. More open areas of the park have shallow gravelly loam of the Barnabe series, one hundred and fifty million years ago ancestors of redwood and sequoia trees grew throughout the United States. Today, the Sequoia sempervirens can be only in a narrow, cool coastal belt from Monterey, California. Before the logging industry came to California, there were an estimated 2 million acres of old growth forest containing redwoods growing in a strip along the coast. By the early 20th century, most of these forests had been cut down, just north of the San Francisco Bay, one valley named Redwood Canyon remained uncut, mainly due to its relative inaccessibility.
He and his wife, Elizabeth Thacher Kent, purchased 611 acres of land from the Tamalpais Land and Water Company for $45,000 with the goal of protecting the redwoods and the mountain above them. In 1907, a company in nearby Sausalito planned to dam Redwood Creek. When Kent objected to the plan, the company threatened to use eminent domain. Kent sidestepped the water companys plot by donating 295 acres of the redwood forest to the federal government, on January 9,1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the land a National Monument, the first to be created from land donated by a private individual. President Roosevelt agreed, writing back, MY DEAR MR, responding to some photographs of Muir Woods that Mr. Kent had sent him, Those are awfully good photos. Kent and Muir had become friends over shared views of wilderness preservation, in December 1928, the Kent Memorial was erected at the Kent Tree in Fern Canyon
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a national park spanning portions of Tuolumne and Madera counties in Northern California. The park, which is managed by the National Park Service, on average, about 4 million people visit Yosemite each year, and most spend the majority of their time in the seven square miles of Yosemite Valley. The park set a record in 2016, surpassing 5 million visitors for the first time in its history. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness, Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. First, Galen Clark and others lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development, Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada, and the park supports a diversity of plants and animals. The park has a range from 2,127 to 13,114 feet and contains five major vegetation zones, chaparral/oak woodland, lower montane forest, upper montane forest, subalpine zone. Of Californias 7,000 plant species, about 50% occur in the Sierra Nevada, there is suitable habitat for more than 160 rare plants in the park, with rare local geologic formations and unique soils characterizing the restricted ranges many of these plants occupy.
The geology of the Yosemite area is characterized by granitic rocks, about 10 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada was uplifted and tilted to form its relatively gentle western slopes and the more dramatic eastern slopes. The uplift increased the steepness of stream and river beds, resulting in formation of deep, about one million years ago and ice accumulated, forming glaciers at the higher alpine meadows that moved down the river valleys. Ice thickness in Yosemite Valley may have reached 4,000 feet during the early glacial episode, the downslope movement of the ice masses cut and sculpted the U-shaped valley that attracts so many visitors to its scenic vistas today. The name Yosemite originally referred to the name of a tribe which was driven out of the area by the Mariposa Battalion. Before the area was called Ahwahnee by indigenous people, as revealed by archeological finds, the Yosemite Valley has been inhabited for nearly 3,000 years, though humans may have first visited the area as long as 8,000 to 10,000 years ago.
The indigenous natives called themselves the Ahwahneechee, meaning dwellers in Ahwahnee and they are related to the Northern Paiute and Mono tribes. Many tribes visited the area to trade, including nearby Central Sierra Miwoks, a major trading route went over Mono Pass and through Bloody Canyon to Mono Lake, just to the east of the Yosemite area. Vegetation and game in the region were similar to that present today, acorns were a staple to their diet, as well as seeds and plants, salmon. In 1851 as part of the Mariposa Wars intended to suppress Native American resistance and he was pursuing forces of around 200 Ahwahneechee led by Chief Tenaya. Accounts from this battalion were the first well-documented reports of ethnic Europeans entering Yosemite Valley, attached to Savages unit was Dr. Lafayette Bunnell, the company physician, who wrote about his awestruck impressions of the valley in The Discovery of the Yosemite. Bunnell is credited with naming Yosemite Valley, based on his interviews with Chief Tenaya, Bunnell wrote that Chief Tenaya was the founder of the Pai-Ute Colony of Ah-wah-nee