- "Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone, and space."
- –Ansel Adams
Despite its appearance, Yosemite is not considered a Mountain in-game.
Each Yosemite tile provides +1 Gold and +1 Science to adjacent non-wonder tiles (see diagram). However, as with all impassable wonders, the individual wonder tiles of Yosemite offer no benefits, and cannot be developed or improved. Yosemite is usually most effective when it is near the outskirts of a city (or even slightly beyond its borders), since the wonder tiles themselves are functionally dead space. If a city is strategically placed in this fashion, it receives the adjacency benefits of the wonder without sacrificing valuable space.
Note that the wonder tiles can be incorporated into National Parks - if a player wishes to found a Park, then it may be more efficient to place the city nearer the wonder.
Densely forested with pine and flanked by the granite summits of El Capitan and Half Dome, 13-kilometer (eight miles) long Yosemite Valley lies in the western Sierra Nevada. The original inhabitants, a tribe of Mono Lake Paiutes whose principle food was acorns, just didn’t appreciate it; so when the California Gold Rush saw restlessness among the natives, the state formed the Mariposa Battalion to drive them out. A few years later, in 1855 AD, James Hutchings organized the first tourist parties in the valley. The scribblings of artist-author Thomas Ayres generated interest in Yosemite in the far Eastern United States, and soon enough there was a toll road, several hotels, and new hiking trails. In 1864, President Lincoln declared that Yosemite Valley and the nearby tract of giant sequoias were to be “inalienable for all time” … and the United States had its first federally “protected” scenic park.
- Yosemite's in-game model depicts the Half Dome, a strangely-shaped mountain in the real-life valley.