Four books celebrating Yosemite National Park

June 24, 2014 

Just in time for the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act, four new books about the iconic national park have been published. On June 30, 1864, amidst the civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act to protect Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove of giant Sequoias.

"Yosemite in Pictures"

Each new generation sees Yosemite National Park with a fresh set of eyes and a unique perspective. With "Yosemite in Pictures," up-and-coming nature photographer Ryan Alonzo has dedicated much of his creative talent to capturing the endless beauty and inspiration that this spectacular park has to offer. Alonzo has worked in Yosemite for the past 10 years, so he gets an insider's view of those special moments of weather and light that most of us miss.

The dramatic shots in this book are accompanied by key information that visitors and park admirers will want to remember and share. Highlights include Yosemite Valley, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Tuolumne Meadows, and Glacier Point.

"Yosemite Meditations for Adventurers"

The spirit of adventure is alive and well inYosemite, and nearly four million visitors each year find their own version of nirvana within its great granite walls and expansive wilderness.

A recent survey showed a 98% satisfaction rate among Yosemite National Park visitors, and no wonder: few places on earth combine the tremendous opportunities for recreational well being with the sheer beauty of Yosemite.

The book is a collection of some mountain meditations to inspire the climber, backpacker, hiker, and adventurer in all of us. Quotes from well-known climbers, nature writers, poets, philosophers, and leading adventurers are paired with beautiful images of Yosemite by renowned landscape photographer Michael Frye.

"Seed of the Future Yosemite and the Evolution of the National Park Idea"

Authored by Emmy-winning writer and documentary filmmaker Dayton Duncan, the book is lavishly illustrated with more than 100 archival images and full-color landscape photographs. Duncan's compelling narrative honors the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act.

Our national park and land conservation movement is something Americans can all be proud of. Yosemite National Park is one of the crown jewels of this effort, and it appeals to conservationists, environmentalists, naturalists, scientists, backpackers, hikers, climbers, travelers, and photographers on a national and international level.

Duncan, who produced with Ken Burns the PBS series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," is the author of Seed of Anniversary of the Yosemite Grant the Future.

Through the efforts of visionaries such James Mason Hutchings, Galen Clark, Frederick Law Olmsted, John Muir, and Theodore Roosevelt, among others, the world learned of Yosemite, flocked to it, nearly destroyed it, and finally saved it. These fascinating characters and their enduring stories are skillfully woven together in this lively portrayal of the beginnings of the preservation movement. The idea of preserving special places grew into the national park idea, and it started on its course from a seed, a seed planted in Yosemite in 1864.

Inspiring Generations: 150 Years, 150 Stories in Yosemite

To honor the 150th Anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act, a call went out inviting the public to celebrate in prose and poetry the national park they love. The pieces in the book were selected from hundreds of submissions from people who have visited, lived in, or worked in Yosemite. These reflections range from the hilarious to the historical, the enlightening to the uplifting.

The stories recall, among other experiences, treks up Half Dome, escapades at The Ahwahnee, revels at the long-gone firefall, and yes, bear encounters. Two of the five photos on the cover of the book were taken by Wawona photographer Nancy Robbins.

All four books noted above are available wherever books are sold, calling (209) 379-2317 ext. 17, or going to

The Sierra Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service