Favorite Spots: El Capitan Meadow

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Photo by William Neill

As part of an ongoing series, we’ll feature the favorite places of Yosemite community members and park visitors. El Capitan Meadow in Yosemite Valley is a favorite spot of professional photographer William Neill, who has lived and worked in Yosemite. “One of my favorite locations in Yosemite is El Capitan Meadow. Yosemite’s high country wilderness is epically beautiful, but I don’t get out there as I once did when younger. However, this meadow is by the road, and accessible to thousands of visitors all year around. Over the past 35 years that I’ve lived in and around the park, I often stop for a short walk to gaze at the soaring cliffs of El Capitan and Cathedral Rocks, and wonder at the graceful oak trees. Favorite seasons are autumn and winter, especially when in the fog or fresh snow!”

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Photo by William Neill

El Capitan Meadow

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A Bittersweet Birthday Wish for Yosemite

On October 1st in 1890, Yosemite was established as the nation’s third national park. John Muir, America’s most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist, and Robert Underwood Johnson, editor of The Century Magazine, had growing concerns about the devastating effects of sheep grazing in the high country of the Sierra Nevada. They launched a successful campaign to persuade Congress to preserve this area as a national park in 1890, and the U.S. Congress set aside more than 1,500 square miles of reserved forest lands, soon to be known as Yosemite National Park. On October 1st in 2013, the U.S. Congress reached a stalemate over the budget and the federal government was shut down – including all national parks. Ironically, we wish Yosemite a happy birthday on a day it is closed to visitors.

In addition to the anniversary of our favorite national park, we are celebrating another milestone here in Yosemite: twenty years of hospitality providing lodging and services by DNC Parks & Resorts. On October 1, 1993, DNC Parks & Resorts began operating the concessions in Yosemite under contract with the National Park Service. We take great pride in being stewards of this treasured landscape, and hope to celebrate another twenty years providing stewardship and hospitality in Yosemite National Park.

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