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Discovery of the Yosemite in 1851--and the Indian war which led to that event

by Lafayette Houghton Bunnell, M.D., one of the Discoverers, of the Mariposa Battalion,

First published in 1880, this is the primary account of how Yosemite Valley came to be "discovered" by the white race. Of course, the Indians knew it was there; they were living in it when the battalion came to roust them out. The valley had been seen from its rims and from afar before this trip, but this was the first recorded entry and exploration. Bunnell proposed the name of the Indian tribe for the valley, "as it was suggestive, euphonious, and certainly American; that by so doing, the name of the tribe of Indians which we met leaving their homes in this valley, perhaps never to return, would be perpetuated." Foreword by former chief park naturalist William R. Jones.

Period engravings. 184pages, slightly abridged from the original.

ISBN-10: 0-89646-021-5. ISBN-13: 978-0-89646-021-8. VIST0021 paper$6.95

Our Yosemite National Park

by John Muir.

Among its forests and wild gardens, animals and birds, fountains and streams. At the turn of the century, John Muir described Yosemite National Park to readers of The Atlantic Monthly in the articles here reprinted. Just a decade before he had been so involved with the park idea that he became known as the "father of Yosemite National Park". Muir knew the park better than anyone else, and he had a gift for expression that keeps his fame and his works alive yet. The writing here is perhaps the best blend Muir gave of the Yosemite as a wild nature preserve. The ecological account is full, and we learn much of Muir's observations of the Yosemite birds, bears, and blossoms as well as its winters, earthquakes, glaciers, and forests.

Period illustrations. 96 pages.

ISBN-10: 0-89646-061-4. ISBN-13: 978-0-89646-061-4. Order #: VIST0061 paper$6.95


The Proposed Yosemite National Park--treasures & features, 1890.

by John Muir.

Perhaps the most important writing Muir ever did, for here he proposed a national park, which was soon established. He and his editor had hatched the scheme around a Tuolumne Meadows campfire, and so Muir became known as the "Father of Yosemite National Park." The writing is mostly descriptive, in Muir's magnificent style, covering the grand scenes, waterfall explorations, storm flooding, sequoias, glaciers, Hetch Hetchy Valley, and more. An included map shows Muir's proposed park boundaries, larger than today's, as one might imagine, for there was controversy about taking too much mineral land from potential production. Also shown is the watershed of the Yosemite Valley, as a major purpose of the new park was to protect the waterfalls of Yosemite Valley from upstream lumbering and sheep-grazing. At that time, Yosemite Valley was under state operation and the new park would not affect that; later, however, the valley was returned to federal management and the present park achieved its wholeness. Foreword by former Yosemite Chief Park Naturalist William Jones.

Reprinted from 1890, with period engravings. 32 pages.

ISBN-10: 0-89646-003-7. ISBN-13: 978-0-89646-003-4. Order #: VIST0003 paper$3.95


The Yosemite in Winter: an 1892 account.

by James M. Carson, with extracts from John Muir's writings.

An appreciation of Yosemite Valley's winter character and an early history of the first winter residents, with plenty of quoted passages from John Muir, who also was a year-round valley resident in the early days. Reports of floods, in which trees were swept over the waterfalls, of the ice-cone at the base of Upper Yosemite Fall, snow-banners flying off rangecrest peaks, use of "snowshoes" (skis, today) to bring in the mail, winter-time climatic differences between north and south sides of this deep east-west trending valley due to shadows. Foreword by former Yosemite Chief Park Naturalist William Jones.

Period engravings. 16 pages.

ISBN-10: 0-89646-053-3. ISBN-13: 978-0-89646-053-9. Order #: VIST0053 paper$3.95



Yosemite: the story behind the scenery

by William R. Jones, former Chief Naturalist of Yosemite National Park

Presents all aspects of the Yosemite story--geologic origin of the principal features, Indian history and "discovery" by early explorers plus role in conservation history as what has been called America's first national park (set aside in 1864 and before Yellowstone of 1872 but without the term "national park" in its formal establishment), scenery of the High Sierra, and ecology of the park's three giant sequoia groves. Revised in several new editions since release in 1971, now with over 860,000 copies in print. Color photos. National Park Service cooperating associations order from K. C. Publications. 

ISBN: 978-0-88714-234-5. Order #: KCPU0738 paper$11.95







Domes, Cliffs, Waterfalls: a brief geology of Yosemite Valley

by William R. Jones, former Chief Naturalist of Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite has the roundest domes, the sheerest cliffs, the highest waterfalls. Why?
This book gives the answers from geology. Published by Yosemite Conservancy.

Many photos and drawings, 21 pages.
Order #: HEYD1858



Do you remember Dr. Carl W. Sharsmith (1903-1994)? (Carl was a Yosemite ranger-naturalist and San Jose State College/University botany professor with over 60 summers at Tuolumne Meadows and a herbarium in his name at San Jose State College/University.) A proposal was made to name a Yosemite mountain peak for him, with the Name4Carl Committee taking the lead. This committee is of National Park Service people who have had tours of duty  at Yosemite whose Carl's tour touched. William R. "Bill" Jones, principal of VistaBooks and author of this VistaBooks website is the Lead Member of the Name4Carl Committee. The proposal, however, was not approved by the federal Board on Geographic Names in spite of supporting statements from most living past Yosemite superintendents and nNational Park Service directors. The mountain selected for this naming effort is nevertheless becoming known informally as Sharsmith Peak. A next step to gain formal recognition would be to recommend the naming to members of the U.S. Congress and ask for legislative establishment. Interested? View the  Sharsmith Peak website: exits this website.  And, contact the committee.





The Hummingbird of the California Waterfalls. by John Muir. ISBN: 978-0-89646-019-5. Order #: VIST0019 paper$3.95
IN THE HEART OF THE CALIFORNIA ALPS: a near view of the High Sierra in 1872.
The Canon of the South Fork of King's River, California.
click to view above on VistaBooks Publishing JohnMuir page.


Follow this link to for insights on the park and its history by a park insider--Dave Hubbard, son of long-time chief park naturalist Douglass Hubbard. Dave grew up in the park and has put together a refreshingly different park guide some 40 years afterwards.

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