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About this website, Yosemite Online

Yosemite Falls from Merced River
Yosemite Falls from a
Merced River raft
The Lonely Planet guide Yosemite National Park says this is an “excellent website,” “though it’s hard to tell who’s at the helm”. Email from others complain that there’s no “about” webpage for this site, so I decided I need to write this.

I'm a Security Researcher at Intel Corporation. I live in Oregon and have visited Yosemite many times, usually off-season or in the backcountry.

I started this website in 1997 after a series of frustrations visiting Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park. I like to wander around the grove from time to time, sometimes off the beaten path. However, with the maze of roads and trails, I’ve sometimes ended up on the long road or trail back to Wawona or elsewhere. Fine—I’ll just pick up a map at the trailhead parking lot. Well, it seems that it’s rarely in stock—fall, winter, spring, or summer. You can get translated leaflets—that don’t include the map—in several exotic languages, which is fine, but not English, let alone with a map.

Well, OK, I thought. Next time I’ll jump on the web and print out a map from the official Yosemite National Park NPS website before I go. Isn’t the web great?—such a wealth of information available. Well, I look and look around the NPS website. No map of Mariposa Grove there. In fact, no information about Mariposa Grove and no maps at all on the website except for a large-scale map of the entire park and another of part of Yosemite Valley. Yosemite National Park—established in 1864 in part to protect the Mariposa Grove—has no information or map of Mariposa Grove! Wow! [Update: in 2007 the NPS website added a map of Mariposa Grove, among other useful maps. Thanks NPS!].

Sierra Nevada crest looking north from Sentinel Dome
Sierra Nevada crest looking
north from Sentinel Dome

So, I decided at that moment to create a website with detailed information about Yosemite—books, maps, and a forum to post questions and comments about Yosemite. In the previous three years I posted all John Muir’s books and a few major articles at the Sierra Club’s John Muir Exhibit, so I knew how to do it. I also knew that—although most Yosemite books in print is under copyright—an equal or greater amount is public domain, not copyrightable, never copyrighted, or out of copyright. Although much information in the public domain is somewhat dated, most is still relevant: “just because something is old doesn’t mean it’s useless.” For example, no new mountain ranges or newly-evolved plants or animals have appeared since the park was created.

Billy the Bear with pancakes
Read about Billy the Bear,
who was fed 72 pancakes
Don’t try this yourself!
(photo is a dramatization)
The emphasis I have on this website are classic, hard-to-obtain primary books about Yosemite National Park and vicinity. I also like old maps and photographs of the park. Most books I post online “as-is,” although I correct the most egregious and commonly-repeated errors in square brackets [Editor’s note: this is an example of a correction or note not in the original text.—dea].

I’m commonly asked who sponsors this website. The answer is just me. I the web server up and I pay my monthly ISP bill for web server bandwidth. Although I’ve had assistance from several people, I created this website independently without the approval of and, unfortunately, without cooperation of the National Park Service. If you wish to help, however, please contact me. In any case, I hope you enjoy this website and enjoy our National Park.

Dan Anderson, September 2007

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Last updated 1 December 2021.

If you have questions or comments, please send a message to Dan Anderson.