Home :: Quarter Dollar :: America the Beautiful (2010-2021) :: 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters :: Yosemite National Park Quarter (California) 2010

Yosemite National Park Quarter (California) 2010

Yosemite National Park Quarter (California) 2010
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The Yosemite National Park Quarter is the third of 2010 and the third overall in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. Yosemite National Park, one of the first wilderness parks in the United States, is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles are deep valleys, grand meadows and ancient giant sequoias. It was first established as a national site on October 1, 1890 (26 Stat. 650).

The unique landscape of Yosemite is the work of millions of years of natural forces. Around 10 million years ago, the area was uplifted and tilted which formed the relatively gentle slope of the land. Then around 1 million years ago giant glaciers started to contour the massive valleys out of the granite hills.

Native Americans were known to frequent the area for many years before the Mariposa Battalion first entered it in 1851. Based on their impressive accounts, other visitors started to arrive.

Intent on protecting the area, concerned citizens lobbied the United States Congress which passed the Yosemite Grant which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1864. In setting aside the land for public use, the grant paved the way for the creation of the first national park in Yellowstone less than a decade later.

Unfortunately, the Yosemite Grant failed to protect the area as much as supporters had hoped because it left control of the area to the State of California. Powerless to evict homesteaders, the board controlling Yosemite achieved little to aid the fragile area.

Finally, in the early 1900's, naturalist John Muir camped with President Theodore Roosevelt near Glacier Point during which he extolled the virtues of Yosemite. Roosevelt agreed and in 1906 he signed a bill placing Yosemite under the control of the federal government.

Today, an estimated 3.5 million annual visitors enjoy the benefits the park has to offer. Most only spend time in Yosemite Valley enjoying the granite El Capitan and the more famous Half Dome. However, the park features much more scenery, with over 95% of it designated wilderness. Wildlife runs abundant and Yosemite is also home to groves of ancient giant sequoias.

The reverse image depicts the iconic El Capitan, which rises more than 3,000 feet above the valley floor and is the largest monolith of granite in the world. Inscriptions are YOSEMITE, CALIFORNIA, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. Design candidates were developed in consultation with representatives of Yosemite National Park.


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