natural wonders of yosemite

Have you ever wondered how the Park has gotten it’s unique shape? Have you ever thought about the diverse ecosystem that has adapted to the conditions of the park? Take a look through these sections to learn and connect about these places you now call home.


“…Thirty filmmakers spread throughout Yosemite National Park to document the people who visit and work there. Hikers, horses and hang gliders, as well as painters, climbers and cooks helped create this unique portrait of One Day in Yosemite.”

nature notes

Yosemite Nature Notes is a video podcast series that tells unique stories about the natural and human history of Yosemite National Park. Produced by the National Park Service, this series features park rangers, scientists, historians and park visitors as they discuss the diverse plants and animals that make Yosemite their home, as well as the towering cliffs, giant waterfalls and mountain peaks that are known throughout the world.

California Poppies   (Eschscholzia californica)   and  Harlequin Lupine  (Lupinus stiversii)   at Hite’s Cove just outside of the park.

California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and Harlequin Lupine (Lupinus stiversii) at Hite’s Cove just outside of the park.

Plants of yosemite

As you wander through Yosemite National Park, you can expect to see a great diversity of wildflowers; to date about 1,450 species have been found in the park. No matter where you go in the park, different species of lupines, paintbrushes, and other genera are likely to be found. 

Yosemite is a wildflower enthusiast’s paradise, where blossoms are found most of the year. The park’s 11,000-foot range in elevation—from 2,000 feet on the west to 13,000 on the east—provides a phenomenal variety of growing conditions. Its location in the central Sierra Nevada makes it a crossroads for plant species that have migrated over the millennia from the Pacific coast, Great Basin, southern deserts, and northern mountains. The result of this mix of migrants is an extremely rich flora of 1,450 species with 25 percent of California’s native plants represented in the park.

Yellow-bellied Marmot ( Marmota flaviventris ) in Tuolumne

Yellow-bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris) in Tuolumne


Yosemite National Park supports more than 400 species of vertebrates including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The high diversity of species is the result of diverse habitats in Yosemite that are largely intact. The park’s rich habitats range from thick foothill chaparral to conifer forests to expanses of alpine rock. Animals feel at home in each location.