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Celebrating 150 Years of Yosemite

Today marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln signing the Yosemite Land Grant in 1864. With millions of visitors each year, summertime is the busiest season for many of the national parks, including Yosemite. Here are five ways you can celebrate the big anniversary:

1. Watch Ken Burns’ Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit

Marvel at the beauty of the park with Ken Burns’ documentary,Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit; special screenings of the film will be shown at the Yosemite Conservancy.

2. Visit Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University

See the images that persuaded Abraham Lincoln to sign the Yosemite Land Grant 150 years ago. Carleton Watkins’ extraordinary photographs were instrumental in convincing the president to sign the act. See the full exhibit at Stanford University’s museum.

3. Celebrate the 4th of July

Complete with Yosemite floats and grand Marshalls, this year’s Independence Day will prove to be a special one for America’s first national park.

4. Raft the Merced River

Simply enjoy all of Yosemite’s pleasure by rafting down the Merced River. You can rent a raft or BYOR and enjoy all the park has to offer.

5. Participate in the Mariposa Grove Restoration

As one of most popular destinations at the park, the Mariposa Grove sequoia habitat is in need of restoration. Help develop a plan to save the groves, or volunteer with one of the National Park Service’s projects here.

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(Photo: dhilung via flickr/CC Attribution)

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