Yosemite and Abe

One June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act, which promised federal protection for the wild lands of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove's sequoias. From this historic act sprang an American legacy -- the concept of national parks -- and 150 years later, Yosemite is marking the significance of Lincoln's signing with special events:

  • For the anniversary itself, June 28-30, there will be a Yosemite Grant 150th Party in Oakhurst Community Park, a Mariposa Grove restoration ceremony and a melodrama series at Golden Chain Theatre in Oakhurst.

  • Ongoing events include historical and art exhibits at the Yosemite Museum, Ansel Adams Gallery, Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau and the Oakdale Cowboy Museum, plus monthly events at the King Vintage Museum and the Mariposa County Arts Council Treetop Gallery.

  • Summer festivals in Groveland, Bridgeport and Oakdale will pay special tribute to Yosemite this year.

    For a full list of events, go to www.nps.gov/featurecontent/yose/anniversary/events.html.

    BTW, although camping has declined nationwide in the last 15 years, the National Park Service says Yosemite is by far the country's most popular park and campground, with nearly 460,000 tent campers alone in 2013.

    Camp 'n' ride

    Heading out on a vigorous bike tour on your vacation, or even a casual ride? Instead of a booking a pricey hotel room, you might consider a camp as your base camp. According to the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, dozens of their member campgrounds and park resorts are conveniently situated for the state's big events and fundraising rides. These include Cycle the Sierra, June 21-25 in Grass Valley; the Best Buddies Challenge on Sept. 6 from Carmel to Hearst Castle; the 100-mile Sept. 27 Lighthouse Century ride in Morro Bay; and the Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour, which travels from Irvine to San Diego on Oct. 18-19 to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. To find campgrounds, go to www.camp-california.com.

    -- Linda Zavoral, Staff