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California, together with Wyoming, has served as the historical, and modern, epicenter of American Alpinism and Wilderness Conservation. In the late 1880's, John Muir explored the Sierra Nevada and advertised its need for environmental protection. He advertised the transcendent beauty of Yosemite by writing, "No temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. [Yosemite is] the grandest of all special temples of Nature." These words rippled through the naturalist communities of the United States, attracting the likes of President Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson to Yosemite. Overtime, this attention on Yosemite has solidified its position as the international center of big-wall climbing, attracting elite mountain climbers from all over the world. Climbing achievements have advanced in Yosemite from climbing one big wall in multiple days, to climbing multiple big walls in one day. Less crowded, yet equally impressive, corners of California are protected by National Parks and Wilderness Areas. Some of these protected regions include: Mount Shasta, Lake Tahoe, the Giant Sequoias and Redwoods, Death Valley, and Mount Whitney, which is the tallest mountain in the lower 48.

Cathedral Peak

Eichorn Pinnacle

Half Dome

Lembert Dome

Matthes Crest

Mount Whitney

Royal Arches

Stately Pleasure Dome

Yosemite Valley

California Wilderness & Mountains
Cathedral Peak, Yosemite, California
Eichorn Pinnacle, Yosemite, California
Half Dome, Yosemite, California
Lembert Dome, Yosemite, California
Matthes Crest, Yosemite, California
Mount Whitney, Yosemite, California
Stately Pleasure Dome, Yosemite, California
Yosemite Valley, California
Royal Arches, California
All pictures © Copyright 2017 Matthew Jesperson. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use is prohibited.