Yosemite Trivia Quiz Questions and Answers

photo of valley

1: In which U.S. state is Yosemite National Park located?

A: Nevada

B: California

C: Oregon

D: Washington

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Yosemite National Park is located in California, making it a notable destination within the state.

2: How many acres does Yosemite National Park cover?

A: 500,000 acres

B: 1,000,000 acres

C: 759,620 acres

D: 845,000 acres

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Yosemite National Park covers an expansive area of 759,620 acres.

3: When was Yosemite National Park officially established?

A: 1900

B: 1914

C: 1890

D: 1872

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Yosemite National Park was officially established on October 1, 1890.

4: Which president signed the Yosemite Grant that federally preserved the area in 1864?

A: George Washington

B: Theodore Roosevelt

C: Abraham Lincoln

D: Ulysses S. Grant

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant in 1864, establishing it as federally preserved land.

5: What year did Yosemite become a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

A: 1950

B: 1984

C: 1978

D: 1992

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Yosemite gained international recognition when it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

6: What geological feature is Yosemite especially known for?

A: Sand dunes

B: Volcanoes

C: Granite cliffs

D: Coral reefs

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Yosemite is famous for its stunning granite cliffs, among other natural wonders.

7: What is the name of the valley carved by glaciers in Yosemite?

A: Monument Valley

B: Yosemite Valley

C: Death Valley

D: Napa Valley

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Yosemite Valley is the iconic U-shaped valley carved by glacial movement.

8: Who is credited with the discovery of the area that would become Yosemite National Park?

A: John Muir

B: James D. Savage

C: Galen Clark

D: Theodore Roosevelt

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: James D. Savage is credited with the discovery of the area that became Yosemite National Park.

9: What tribe were the original inhabitants of Yosemite called?

A: Cherokee

B: Navajo

C: Ahwahneechee

D: Sioux

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The Ahwahneechee were the indigenous people who originally called Yosemite home.

10: How many visitors did Yosemite National Park attract in 2023?

A: 5,000,000

B: 2,000,000

C: 4,000,000

D: 6,000,000

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Yosemite National Park attracted approximately 4,000,000 visitors in 2023.

11: What is the meaning of “Yosemite” in the Miwok language?

A: Beautiful valley

B: They are killers

C: Mountain giants

D: Sacred land

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The term “Yosemite” in the Miwok language means “they are killers.”

12: What is the tallest waterfall in Yosemite National Park?

A: Bridalveil Fall

B: Yosemite Falls

C: Vernal Fall

D: Nevada Fall

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Yosemite Falls, with a height of 2,425 feet, is the tallest waterfall in the park.

13: Which President camped with John Muir in Yosemite to discuss federal protection for the park?

A: Franklin D. Roosevelt

B: Abraham Lincoln

C: Theodore Roosevelt

D: Woodrow Wilson

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: President Theodore Roosevelt camped with John Muir to discuss the importance of federal protection for Yosemite.

14: What is the highest point in Yosemite National Park?

A: Half Dome

B: El Capitan

C: Mount Dana

D: Mount Lyell

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Mount Lyell is the highest point in Yosemite, standing at 13,120 feet.

15: Which American naturalist is closely associated with Yosemite and its conservation?

A: Ansel Adams

B: John Muir

C: Henry David Thoreau

D: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: John Muir played a crucial role in the conservation of Yosemite and the National Park system.

16: What type of climate does Yosemite National Park have?

A: Tropical

B: Tundra

C: Mediterranean

D: Desert

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Yosemite has a Mediterranean climate, characterized by wet winters and dry summers.

17: What natural process is responsible for Yosemite’s U-shaped valleys?

A: Volcanic eruptions

B: River erosion

C: Glaciation

D: Wind erosion

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The U-shaped valleys in Yosemite were formed by glaciation.

18: What unique winter phenomenon can occur at Horsetail Fall?

A: It freezes solid

B: It glows orange at sunset

C: It vanishes completely

D: It doubles in height

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Horsetail Fall can glow orange at sunset in mid- to late February, resembling a firefall.

19: How many federally designated Wilderness areas are adjacent to Yosemite?

A: One

B: Two

C: Three

D: Four

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Three Wilderness areas—Ansel Adams, Hoover, and Emigrant—are adjacent to Yosemite.

20: What year did the National Park Service take over Yosemite?

A: 1880

B: 1916

C: 1903

D: 1920

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Yosemite came under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service when it was created in 1916.

21: What was the first human activity in the Yosemite area believed to date back to?

A: 500 years ago

B: 2,000 years ago

C: 8,000 to 10,000 years ago

D: 1,500 years ago

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Humans may have first visited the Yosemite area as long as 8,000 to 10,000 years ago.

22: In what year did Congress make Yosemite a National Park?

A: 1872

B: 1890

C: 1906

D: 1916

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Yosemite was established as a National Park by Congress in 1890.

23: Which battalion was the first to document Yosemite Valley?

A: Mariposa Battalion

B: California Battalion

C: Sierra Battalion

D: Yosemite Battalion

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: The Mariposa Battalion was the first well-documented group to enter Yosemite Valley.

24: How many miles of hiking trails does Yosemite National Park have?

A: 400 miles

B: 500 miles

C: 800 miles

D: 1,000 miles

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Yosemite offers over 800 miles of hiking trails for visitors to explore.

25: What group lobbied for the Yosemite Grant, resulting in its preservation?

A: Sierra Club

B: Natural Conservation Society

C: Friends of Yosemite

D: Yosemite Guardians

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: The Sierra Club, founded by John Muir, was instrumental in lobbying for the Yosemite Grant.

26: What does the term “Ahwahnee” mean?

A: Hidden valley

B: Big mouth

C: Sacred land

D: Ancient forest

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: “Ahwahnee,” the original name given by the native inhabitants, means “big mouth.”

27: What year did President Roosevelt sign the bill returning Yosemite Valley to federal control?

A: 1902

B: 1906

C: 1910

D: 1914

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: President Theodore Roosevelt signed the bill in 1906 that transferred control of Yosemite Valley back to the federal government.

28: What is the largest tree species found in Yosemite National Park?

A: Redwoods

B: Cypress

C: Sequoia

D: Ponderosa Pine

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The Giant Sequoia is the largest tree species found in Yosemite National Park.

29: What natural resource was sought during the 1848-1855 California Gold Rush impacting Yosemite?

A: Silver

B: Gold

C: Copper

D: Iron

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The Gold Rush of 1848-1855 brought many settlers looking for gold, impacting the region significantly.

30: What landscape feature is El Capitan known as?

A: A river

B: A cave

C: A granite monolith

D: A meadow

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: El Capitan is renowned as a massive granite monolith in Yosemite.

31: How did the term “Yosemite” most likely get misunderstood to mean “grizzly bear”?

A: Similar-sounding words

B: Early explorer’s mistakes

C: Indigenous legend

D: Geological characteristics

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: The term “Yosemite” was often confused with a similar Miwok word meaning “grizzly bear.”

32: Which year marked a record high in Yosemite visitor numbers surpassing five million?

A: 2020

B: 2009

C: 2019

D: 2016

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Yosemite National Park saw a record of over five million visitors in 2016.

33: Which river systems originate from the crest of the Sierra in Yosemite?

A: Colorado and Green Rivers

B: Columbia and Snake Rivers

C: Merced and Tuolumne Rivers

D: Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The Merced and Tuolumne River systems originate within Yosemite.

34: What was the purpose of constructing a village by the state government for Yosemite Native Americans in 1851?

A: Tourism

B: Cultural Preservation

C: Relocation after Mariposa War

D: Trade and Commerce

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Following the Mariposa War, the state government constructed a village to relocate indigenous people who had been displaced.

35: Who was the first female Park Ranger hired in Yosemite?

A: Helen Hall

B: Enid Michael

C: Clare Marie Hodges

D: Jennie Curry

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Clare Marie Hodges was hired as the first female Park Ranger in Yosemite in 1918.

36: What percentage of Yosemite is designated as wilderness?

A: 75%

B: 80%

C: 90%

D: 95%

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: A significant portion of Yosemite, about 95%, is designated as wilderness.

37: What was the impact of the Firefall ceremony being stopped in Yosemite?

A: Increased tourism

B: Reduced traffic

C: Reduced fire risks

D: Decreased snowfall

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Stopping the Firefall ceremony helped reduce fire risks and other disruptions in the park.

38: What event precipitated the creation of Camp Curry, now Curry Village?

A: The establishment of the first concession in Yosemite

B: The need for better lodging and services for visitors

C: Development prompted by the Yosemite Grant

D: Merger of rival concession companies

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The need to provide lodging and services for tourists led to the creation of Camp Curry.

39: What happens to the Merced River during the warmer months?

A: It freezes

B: It dries up

C: It becomes suitable for rafting

D: It changes course

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The Merced River becomes suitable for rafting from late May to July.

40: For what was The Wawona Tree in Yosemite Park mainly known?

A: Its age

B: Its tunnel cut for carriages and cars

C: Its size

D: The animals it harbored

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The Wawona Tree was famous for the tunnel cut through it, allowing carriages and cars to pass.

41: Which name is given to Yosemite’s famous edge-of-the-valley viewpoint?

A: Tunnel View

B: Eagle View

C: Mountain View

D: Horizon View

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Tunnel View provides an iconic vantage of Yosemite Valley.

42: What was used at Indian Field Days of 1924 in Yosemite that drew park officials’ disapproval?

A: Native American games and activities

B: Tourism activities

C: Horse races

D: Logging demonstrations

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Park officials disapproved of Native American games and activities during the Indian Field Days of 1924.

43: When did Yosemite become the location for the first explicitly preserved land by the U.S. Government?

A: 1864

B: 1886

C: 1890

D: 1902

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: The Yosemite Grant signed in 1864 by Abraham Lincoln was the first instance of land being preserved explicitly by the U.S. Government.

44: What is the geological process primarily responsible for Yosemite’s granite domes and arches?

A: Sedimentation

B: Glaciation

C: Erosion via exfoliation

D: Volcanic activity

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Exfoliation, or the peeling off of rock in layers, is responsible for many of Yosemite’s granite domes and arches.

45: What type of forests dominates Yosemite’s western boundary?

A: Deciduous Forest

B: Mixed Coniferous Forest

C: Temperate Rainforest

D: Alpine Tundra

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Mixed coniferous forests, including species like ponderosa pine and cedar, dominate Yosemite’s western boundary.

46: What event introduced European American settlers to the Yosemite Valley in 1851?

A: Gold Rush

B: Logging operations

C: The Mariposa Battalion’s expedition

D: Railroad construction

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The Mariposa Battalion’s expedition in 1851 led European American settlers into Yosemite Valley.

47: What is a significant threat to Yosemite’s sequoia trees mentioned in the text?

A: Logging

B: Urban development

C: Ozone pollution and fire suppression

D: Tourism

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Ozone pollution causes tissue damage, and historic fire suppression has reduced the trees’ ability to reproduce.

48: Which military group was the first to supervise Yosemite in the late 1890s?

A: U.S. Cavalry

B: National Guard

C: U.S. Marines

D: State Militia

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: The U.S. Cavalry was the first to supervise Yosemite, starting in the late 1890s.

49: How long did Yosemite’s last known indigenous settlement remain inhabited before eviction by the NPS in the 1960s?

A: 20 years

B: 50 years

C: 80 years

D: Over 100 years

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Indigenous settlements remained in Yosemite until the NPS evicted the final residents in the 1960s, ending over 100 years of continuous habitation.

50: What unique practice did early settlers and visitors in Yosemite partake concerning black bears that is no longer allowed?

A: Bear riding

B: Feeding garbage

C: Hunting for sport

D: Bear racing

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Early settlers and visitors would feed garbage to black bears, a practice that is no longer allowed due to the risks it posed.

51: What was the first major initiative attempted by Muir to protect Yosemite’s ecosystems?

A: Campaigning against sheep grazing

B: Launching controlled burns

C: Planting trees

D: Relocating residents

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: John Muir’s first major initiative was to campaign against sheep grazing in Yosemite’s high-country.

52: What was the impact of the construction of the O’Shaughnessy Dam in Yosemite?

A: Decreased tourism

B: Provided water and hydroelectric power to San Francisco

C: Increased wildlife habitats

D: Initiated skier activity

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The O’Shaughnessy Dam was built to provide water and hydroelectric power to San Francisco, despite opposition.

53: How many trees are estimated to be in the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias?

A: 100

B: 150

C: 200

D: 250

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The Mariposa Grove contains approximately 200 giant sequoia trees.

54: What does the designation of 677,600 acres as Yosemite Wilderness mean for the park?

A: Increased tourism activities

B: Building more amenities

C: Preservation in its natural state

D: Development of new trails

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: As a designated wilderness area, Yosemite ensures that 677,600 acres are preserved in their natural state.

55: What year did the last white residents get evicted from Yosemite by NPS?

A: 1920

B: 1935

C: 1945

D: 1969

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: The last known residents were evicted in 1969 when the NPS demolished the remaining Native village.

56: What was constructed in Yosemite in 1879 and became a popular tourist attraction?

A: El Capitan

B: Half Dome

C: Wawona Hotel

D: Yosemite Museum

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The Wawona Hotel, built in 1879, served tourists visiting Mariposa Grove.

57: Which flora and fauna habitat found in Yosemite ranges from chaparral to alpine zones?

A: Tundra

B: Desert

C: Mediterranean

D: Mixed Coniferous

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Yosemite’s varied flora and fauna habitat extends across chaparral, mixed coniferous forest, and alpine zones.

58: What seasonal event marks Yosemite’s landscape between March and early April?

A: Flowering of sequoias

B: Maximum snow accumulation

C: Bear hibernation

D: Glacial melting

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: March to early April marks the peak of snow accumulation in Yosemite’s high country.

59: Which artist’s detailed drawings helped popularize Yosemite in the 1850s?

A: Thomas Ayres

B: James Hutchings

C: Ansel Adams

D: Galen Clark

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Thomas Ayres’s detailed artistic works played a crucial role in making Yosemite popular in the 1850s.

60: How many groves of giant sequoias does Yosemite National Park have?

A: One

B: Two

C: Three

D: Four

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Yosemite contains three groves of ancient giant sequoias: Mariposa, Tuolumne, and Merced Groves.



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